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Agile Santa Claus

How to deal with unplanned work. It's tough but Santa has a few things for you that you can try:

🎄 Unplanned work sucks the resources out of you

🎄 Be transparent about the unplanned work

🎄 Unplanned work is not evil

🎄 Always put a story in if unplanned work occurs

Unplanned work – wow, I hear a lot about unplanned work. You know, you have a team who is trying to work on a feature and then some boss comes along and says hey come to this workshop with me we're going to talk about cool and fantastic sexy stuff or a senior architect comes along and say, come and change the world for the company and they suck the resources out of you for a day or two. This is all great but it's unplanned work. It's value creating capacity being taken away from the products that you've committed to work on, on the features you've committed to work on. It doesn't mean you shouldn't do it, but always be transparent about the unplanned work. Always look at the unplanned work. Unplanned work is not evil it happens, you can't avoid it. It rains sometimes. But let's be clear about when it rains, why it rained and who caused it to rain. So we want complete transparency. Then we can go to the walruses and go "hey, mr. walrus or mrs. walrus you need a playmate today to go on the slides. Okay we're going to plan for Joe and Jane – Joe and Jane, I know, I don't know why all the penguins names start with Joe. Joe, Jane, Joanna, Joseph this must be a penguin thing – anyway Joe and Jane will come and help you and so we can plan for it. We can put a story in, we know where the capacity is going to make sure you can see your unplanned work. Just because it's unplanned doesn't mean it's evil and if it's work we need to be able to see it.

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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Peter Pedross

CEO & Founder PEDCO AG, Chief Methodologist Applied SAFe

Creator of the product Applied SAFe. Started to program for money at the age of 14. Ex-professional sportsman with a passion for software and a knack in engineering. 30+ years working experience with 50+ publications. SAFe SPC since 2011, Agile (XP) since 1999. Happy father and married to a wonderful woman.

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SAFe® 5 Program Consultant & RTE

Ian has a deep knowledge of Scrum, Kanban and Scaled Agile, and 30 years’ experience in international IT Transformation Programs. He is a successful PO, SM & RTE and as a Consultant/Trainer he coaches his clients develop a strong Agile Mindset that delivers real change and measurable improvements.


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