Sunday, November 27, 2011

My priority is higher than yours....

Don't chop up your work
When more than one task must be completed, it is always better to do one before the other. I discussed that earlier.

An individual customer with a new question could think that it is even quicker if you fit his project in between. We have to make them aware that if we allow interruptions of any kind in an agile sprint, nothing will ever be completely done. What can we tell them? There will be other people with new requests while we are working on your task.... should we honor their requests to interrupt our work too?

They should understand: agile sprints are not interrupted. They are either completed, or canceled.

Image from Flickr by brittgow


  1. The title of your post points to the problem. Emergency conflicts with efficiency. And unfortunately emergency is often defined with non-rational arguments, e.g. priority is given to a customer with more "power".

  2. Thanks for the observation!

    Emergency is indeed a danger in scheduling. But most things that come in as emergencies are not true emergencies. I have had great success by showing internal customers that come in with an urgent request the total list of projects we're working on. Looking at all the other stuff going on often makes them realize that their emergency is not so urgent after all.

    Good agile methodologies or good time management also plays a role here: if you make sure not to cut corners, but to finish products properly with proper testing, there will be many fewer urgent requests coming in so that you can focus on the important.