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Agile Impediments – Hints and tips

Here’s a potential problem:

An impediments is raised in a retrospective, we do root cause analysis and discover we can’t fix it, however the item is still chosen as one of our “actions”. Now the action ends up being to give the problem to someone else to solve. That person doesn’t really want to solve your problem and ignores you, this goes round and round in circles with you raising the same impediment and trying to find an owner. Your team ends up demoralised and state that the retrospectives are a waste of time and no one cares about them.

There is a better way!

Track your impediments as hours lost against each story, ensure that all teams are doing the same. Identify common root causes (you could set a category). The hours across the teams will build and build, this kind of information is difficult to ignore. Compare the two approaches:

1) We want you to solve our impediment that came up in our retrospective

2) We want you to solve our impediment which is costing each team 20 hours per week of wasted effort

You have automatically written the “justification” part of a business case, people understand this is a priority. This also helps with seeing the wood from the trees when you have a lot of problems. Finally this frees up your retrospectives to work on actionable items.

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