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Team Practices

Team working in an office

Remote Work Tools

  • 1/3/1 Time Allocation

    • Reserve 1 day for the past (i.e. bugs), 3 days for the present (i.e. sprint backlog), 1 day for the future (i.e. backlog grooming).

    • If you don’t use all of your time allocation for the past or future, use the remaining hours to learn a new skill, fix technical debt, etc.

  • Rotating, Dedicated Bug Triage Support

  • Dummy “Bug Fixes” Stories

  • Kanban Swimlanes


  • Reserve time to fix bugs, handle emergency issues, and resolve implementation debt during every sprint.

  • Reserve time for the whole team to be engaged in Definition of Ready activities for future work.

  • Allocate teams for 60% - 80% of their potential capacity for optimal output.

    • WARNING: Teams working at 100% capacity are slower!

  • It is OK for people to be idle for a little while. During times of lower demand, encourage teams to work on Individual Growth, Research Unknowns for future work, or work on Optimizing for Flow over staying “busy”.


T3.2 - Time Allocation

Remote Work Tools


  • Plan together as a whole team, junior and senior team members, leads and employees, implementation, design, and testing. 

    • CAUTION: It’s important for the growth and education of junior team members for them to hear, learn, and discuss how to plan for upcoming work.

  • Talk about the entire effort to be done, from beginning to end, as an entire team. 

    • CAUTION: It’s important that different team members understand the work of their teammates; there are often insights to be gleaned between tasks.

  • Check again for any remaining questions, and answer them during planning; if they cannot be answered, put the job aside until you can get the answers.

    • WARNING: Assumptions are the largest cause of rework; teams often waste more time during rework than during waiting for an answer; teams engaged in rework appear busier, but actually have lower output.

  • If you estimate, every team member needs to think about and estimate the entire job to be done.

    • WARNING: Do NOT estimate role-by-role and use the sum total.

    • TIP: If a team member doesn’t understand someone else’s job, have them guess; comparing guesses against reality promotes cross-learning and cross-awareness within a cross-functional team.

  • Encourage volunteering for work assignments to promote ownership and responsibility.


T3.1 Collaborative Planning

Remote Work Tools

  • Sprints

  • Story Splitting

  • Work in Progress (WIP) Limits


  • The velocity of end-to-end production is equal to the slowest step in the process. 

    • ​TIP: To identify the slowest part of the system, look for the biggest bottleneck, where work is ready but not being worked on.

    • TIP: To help identify the biggest bottlenecks it is important to “visualize the bottlenecks”. For example, add a column in a Kanban board specifically for blockers so that they can be quickly found and resolved.

  • To optimize the slowest part of the system, look for blockers and