An assortment of thoughts.  Mostly tech related.

Multiple Concurrent Sprints in a Single JIRA Project

…or having multiple teams work out of a single project in JIRA.

Out of the box, it might appear that JIRA doesn’t allow multiple teams to work out of a single backlog of work in JIRA, given that backlogs exist in specific individual JIRA projects. As a result, most teams set themselves up with a new JIRA project and work out of that.

This makes things a little difficult, especially for some scaling Agile frameworks such as LeSS (Large Scale Scrum) or Nexus, where having multiple teams operating out of single backlogs is demanded.

There’s a hidden, lesser-known feature in JIRA software that when switched on will enable this kind of operational behaviour and allow several teams to operate out of a single JIRA project.

It’s done by enabling something called parallel sprints in JIRA. To do this you need to have the ‘JIRA Administrators’ global permission.

This JIRA Software knowledge base article explains the simple process to enable parallel sprints.

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There appears to be a couple of gotchas, though…

The article explains:

Please note the following caveats when using Parallel Sprints:

The Velocity Chart will not show the velocity per team.

The current implementation assumes that the teams perform estimation identically, which is unlikely in practice.

These could be a deal breaker for some, but there could be workarounds.

I’m not quite sure what the second point refers to. I know JIRA can have story points or time as the estimation unit, so it could be related to that. If it’s in regard to teams and their different considerations of how much effort a story point represents, that makes sense, but I’m keen to see what this looks like in practice.

Velocity charts can be generated manually if needed.

Useful to know if you find yourself with multiple teams needing to work out of a single Backlog using JIRA Software. I’m writing this as a prompt for myself as much as it is for anyone else… ;)


Help your followers help you - Tweet Length Calculator

We've put together a silly-simple Tweet Length Calculator, which employs sophisticated, 3rd grade maths to help you optimise the length of your tweets, thereby allowing retweets without compromising the integrity of the original message.

As we are all too aware, Twitter gives us exactly 140 characters to play with and while we all have moments of joy when we execute a Twoosh, or a Bingo - tweets that are EXACTLY 140 characters - we need to be a bit more conservative on our tweet length if we want our tweets to be retweeted without compromise.

When followers retweet with attribution, their Twitter client adds a preamble to your original message, adding as many as 20 characters to the front, depending on the length of your Twitter username.

Our calculator works out the maximum length your tweets should be in order to still allow for that preamble.

Visit the Tweet Length Calculator now and scribble down its output on a Post-It note.  Keep the magic numbers handy and have them in mind as you craft your most important retweet-worthy posts.