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How does the Scrum team decrease the difference between Capacity and Velocity (contd..) ?

I have been covering a series of posts on the topic of how to improve the Velocity of the Scrum team (how to improve the Velocity of the Scrum team). In this post, I will continue on the same line and mention some more points that can help in increasing the effectiveness of the Scrum team:
– Make sure that design issues are resolved promptly. For Scrum teams who work on simpler projects, there may not be a lot of complexities in terms of architecture, but for teams where the architecture is complicated, one does need to think ahead. Even though the Scrum model talks in terms of breaking up the tasks during the Sprint Planning session and doing estimation, there is the need to work through the design and architecture issues beforehand. For complex Client Server application (such as where you would normally have made complicated designs to depict the architecture of the system), the need for proper design does not go away just because you are using Scrum. Make sure that enough effort and thought goes into doing the proper design and architecture for building such complex applications. Combine this with the proper sequencing of such tasks as a part of your Backlog such that the design of such tasks happens in the desired sequence. You may also need to ensure that there are enough experienced people to oversee the design process (else you would find that you start running into cases where for lack of enough effort, design issues start to hit people and the tasks that the team has to do take more time, or there is waiting required).
– Make sure that there is enough time and effort being spent on planning for dependencies. When a product is being built, there are a large number of dependencies that could go towards delaying the various tasks inside the product development cycle (for example, there could be software being developed by vendors, or a new version of a Browser / Operating System that could affect your product, or the ability to get some of the features taken through a user review process where the inputs from such a review could cause changes in the product (small incremental changes or product rework)). These have the potential to have a huge impact on the product cycle (in terms of wreaking havoc on the product cycle) unless there is intense planning and scheduling of such tasks. For example, if a critical piece of technology from an external vendor is required in order for some tasks to get completed, and then the technology is of poor quality or gets delayed, it can have a cascading effect on the various tasks that follow. Hence, there needs to a very look at such dependencies and have contingencies plans ready to take care of different situations.

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