Stick to the point(s)

Some time ago, we had a planning session for a new sprint and we discussed which stories to take in to this sprint.

Our previous sprint was not that successful as we did not complete 4 user stories. These 4 user stories were related to each other. We sort of mixed the work of the user stories, instead of keep the focus on 1 user story at the time. Long ‘story’ short, work not done. Finish this in the next sprint.

We planned the 4 not finished user stories for the next sprint. One of the team member stated that we should plan the work left over of those 4 not finished user stories for the new sprint.

Now the discussion kicked in. How many points must each user story have in the new sprint? What do we do with the work done in the previous? The previous sprint was formally closed.

Note that we did some work for the 4 user stories, but we did not finished them. Does that mean we just let that work end up in the binary heaven? Or are we going to split the 4 not finished user stories.

My remark to the team was as follows.

The user stories started in one sprint, but will be finished (not according to plan) in the next sprint. It does not harm you to leave the user stories as they are. It is just a piece of work. We gave it some points. We scored less point in the previous sprint (0 point for the 4 not finished user stories). We plan the next sprint a bit less work on what we do on average and add the points of the 4 not finished user stories. Our velocity will not be hit that hard.

I don’t want to bother you with the details of the discussion and the decision we made.

I just want to say the following.

The story points belong to the user story, not to the sprint.

So, stick to the point(s).

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