Silent Grouping – @ken_power #xp2011

Here’s the notes I took from Ken’s demo at #xp2011:

  • About 50 or so post it notes with different animals on them
  • Aim was to size the animals
  • Board with columns from Fibonacci sequence
  • Ungrouped animals all on left hand side of the columns, ready to be sized.
  • Everyone agrees on a median animal and places that as size 8.
  • Everyone lines up behind the board
  • One at a time move an unsorted animal into a column then go to the back of the line, all in SILENCE
  • Repeat until all the animals are in columns (backlog is gone)
  • Now everyone gathers round the board in SILENCE
  • Everyone moves the animals to where they think they belong
  • Can still move an animal if someone else has already moved it
  • This continues until everyone stops moving animals. Wait for a minute or two to make sure people are happy
  • Should have a ? column to move animal/story if there is not enough information to size a story
  • Then can discuss if required
In the demo, using this method it took 6 minutes to size 50 stories!

We tried Silent Grouping in our planning session before I went on holiday and it went down really well! In retrospect we decided it would be good to have a speech mark column for those that possibly need more discussion and anything in that column, or the ? column is not allowed to be moved. We’ll give it a try next time to see if the weaker willed people would feel happier about it, rather than just giving in.


Thanks so much again Ken!

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