In this episode, we interview Andre, Fabian and Aleksandar, team members at one of the Runtastic App teams. At the time of recording, they had 5 months of experience with #NoEstimates at the team level, and that led us to explore how they applied #NoEstimates; what prompted them to change their way of working; and many other practical questions related to the use of #NoEstimates approaches in their product development work.
The path to #NoEstimates
Although the team is using #NoEstimates, it wasn’t always their idea to drop estimates. At first, the team invested quite a lot of effort and time to make their estimates better. Andre, Aleksandar, and Fabian explain their journey, from the moment of frustration to the lack of predictability from estimates and finally to the idea of trying out #NoEstimates in the team.
Trying out #NoEstimates thanks to a new Scrum Master
The team spent considerable amounts of time preparing the User Stories before planning so that they would be able to size them appropriately. However, that wasn’t working out too well, and a new Scrum Master that had joined the team hosted a retrospective where the team agreed to give #NoEstimates a try. They explain what their “pace” was at the time, and how they are able to predict how much work will be done even before they have looked at the stories in detail.
In this segment, we refer to the #NoEstimates Book.
Putting #NoEstimates to work for OKR’s
Convinced – by their own results – that #NoEstimates can help make decisions quickly and have a good understanding of what is possible to complete in time, the team has been starting to use the #NoEstimates ideas for OKR’s too. In this segment, they explain how to use #NoEstimates for OKR’s, and their results so far.
How can my team get started with #NoEstimates
Inevitably, we talk about how other teams may be able to replicate Runtastic’s team’s success. We discuss some of the tools that they used, as well as the changes to the process they made.
In this segment, we refer to User Story Mapping (here’s facilitator’s guide for a User Story Mapping workshop); Impact Mapping, a technique that helps teams focus on the value they need to provide (as opposed to the large list of requirements); and we discuss the #NoBacklogs idea, which suggests that backlogs should be kept short and relevant to the current reality, instead of a long, and always growing list of possible future ideas.
We end this segment discussing Collaborative Product Ownership.
PS: Runtastic is recruiting, and with stories like these, I’m sure many would love to work there 😉
About Andre Schweighofer, Aleksandar Ikonomov, Fabian Pöschl
Andre works at Runtastic in a double role as Product owner and software engineer. Over the last 8 years, he collected experience in agile teams as an engineer, Scrum Master, and product owner. He writes about topics like collaborative product ownership on Andre’s personal blog.
You can link with Andre Schweighofer on LinkedIn.
Aleksandar switched to software development after pursuing a football career for about 10 years. After graduating from a software Bootcamp named Telerik Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria, and finishing his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at the New Bulgarian University, he joined Runtastic as an intern and then as a full-time Software Developer. If you would like to know more about me or get in touch you can find Aleksandar Ikonomov on LinkedIn or Aleksandar’s personal website.
Fabian, works as a backend developer for Runtastic since 4 years. Fabian has 9+ years of work experience in embedded software and backend development.
You can link with Fabian Pöschl on LinkedIn.