Lutz Mueller 

July 7, 2020

It is your job as a Scrum Master to encourage the development team to only commit to a realistic amount of work. How do you do this?

You refer the team’s velocity or you show historical data, but your protests about overcommitting fell on deaf ears.

Even managers message you to stop discouraging overcommitment because it is better to overcommit and get more done than undercommit and hit the sprint goal.

If overcommitment is only a problem for you as a Scrum Master, and not for the Product Owner or Development Team, then it is not a problem. Not yet!

What happens, if you persist on following the Scrum Guide? You look dogmatic and people will not follow you. Ouch!

So what can you do about overcommitting?

Create a list of situations from the past where business goals have been missed due to overcommitting. Discuss this list with your Product Owner (and maybe with a manager, too) to identify if this is a problem for them. You can also identify potential risks in the future, which might kick in if the commitment of the Development Team has no value at all.

👉 Action Item:

Create a list of situations from the past where business goals have been missed due to overcommitting. Discuss this list with your Product Owner and try to understand, if this is a problem or not.

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