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Agile Santa Claus

What? Santa is talking with us about haircuts. He sure does not look like an expert in that matter. His advice: "No haircuts for agile planning"

🎄 It's okay to do haircuts for operative matters (retros, sprint planning, etc.)

🎄 It's not okay to do haircuts for investment time

🎄 No haircuts for support

🎄 No haircuts for reactive defect fixing

Look, I I know it's not obvious but I'm not a big fan of a haircut. I don't like haircuts for agile either so if you're looking at the capacity of your team. You're looking at the capacity of your organization, you take away the effort you need to operate the organization. So if we're looking at scrum, you look at your total capacity in days – let's say for some reason you're looking at the days at the beginning – it's just the beginning and you go "okay I've got a two week sprint, I've got 10 days of capacity, I'm going to take one day away – two days away, sorry – for retros and for demos and for sprint refinement and all of these other things gone", okay. Because that's operative time but everything else is investment time. In an investment time no haircuts. So that means we don't take a haircut for support, we track our support, we manage our support, we project our core support and forecast it and we allocate time for it. Which is we can't act on what we cannot see. So if you take away 20 percent for support, how much are you really using on support. You don't know because you're not recording anywhere. You've taken 10 percent, the team works on support as much as they want. So often organizations that do that once they actually look at their support, they'll go "ah it's twice as much in reality than I thought it actually was". Because we're only giving it a 10 percent haircut and the teams just for doing the support anyway and it's just invisibly sucking away capacity from change and improvement. So don't don't haircut support, don't haircut reactive defects fixing, don't haircut anything like that. Make it transparent. Plan for it, put stories in, even if it has placeholder stories in it, make it visible and so you can actually look at what the investment is. So haircuts for elves yes, haircuts for agile planning no.

About the course

Agile Santa has agreed to exclusively present his wisdom and advice with humor to all agilists in the world this year via




Beginner / Intermediate



Last Updated

Dec 24, 2022

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