Time Management: Meetings & PTA-S

Time Management: Meetings & PTA-S
Yours Truly | November 2019


  • Purpose
  • Time
  • Agenda
  • Summary

Scrum Master prepares a PTA-S before each Meeting
PTA = presented in 5 minutes at the beginning of the Meeting
S = presented at the end of the Meeting, time-box to 5 minutes/hour

Summary = Notes taken by the Scrum Master during the Meeting, when Agenda Items are discussed. Makes sure everyone is on par with what was discussed and potentially shareable with non-participants.

If anything come up that is not in the Agenda, take note of it in a Parking, to be discussed afterward.

Source = Michael de la Maza in “Robust Scrum Master Training” (Udemy)


Measure Cycle Time, Not Velocity

I’m not a fan of measuring velocity. Velocity is a point-in-time measure of capacity. That means that when things change for the team or in the code, the velocity often changes. (See Velocity is Not Acceleration.)

Instead, I like to measure cycle time. Cycle time is the entire time it takes a team to finish something on their board.

Cycle time indicates how much the team collaborates together and how small the stories are. We want more collaboration and smaller stories in any agile approach. That’s why measuring cycle time creates a virtuous (positive) feedback loop.

Here’s how to measure cycle time: I like to use a value stream map to see the wait times and work times.
Note every time the work changes state: is it a work time (above the line) or a wait time (below the line)
Add all the work times together.
Add all the wait times together.
Cycle time is all the work time plus all the wait time.

Other content:
Map the Value Stream for a Collaborative Team
Map the Value Stream for a Team Where People Work as Individuals
Use Cycle Time to Estimate Story Duration

Author = Johanna (Rothman Consulting Group, Inc.)


10 Tips for Effective Agile Sprint Planning

  1. Set the sprint goal
  2. Prioritize the stories that fulfill the sprint goal
  3. Arrange an informal sprint planning preparation meeting
  4. Meeting arrangements
  5. Introduction of the candidate stories
  6. Sizing of the stories
  7. Breakdown stories into tasks
  8. Agreement on the bug fixes and support work
  9. Setting due dates
  10. Effective work days

Target Outcome
Agreed Sprint Goal
Committed sprint backlog with stories and the sum of the story points isn’t more than the velocity
Bug fixing and support work is included in the sprint backlog and isn’t more than the agreed capacity
Each story is divided into tasks and each task has estimated hours
Total number of estimated tasks isn’t more than the team’s actual capacity
Tasks and user stories are mapped out in a schedule with due dates

Author = Yodiz Team