This page describe the essential tool, a spreadsheet, we use to plan and track our sprints.
Why a spreadsheet
Scrum organizations often base their work on walls of stickies or cards, which is a great way of collaboration. In order to create a bit of history and make our work transparent we also wanted to have a common document that is online and can be shared with people both in- and outside the office. However there is a certain amount of geographical distribution in Openbravo as some pigs as well as some chicken are located in different places and need to access the document online.
So we tried different approaches and the one we found easy to use for all participants is a shared spreadsheet on Google Docs. It may not be the final word and we might change this for something better if we find a nicer tool, but for now we're quite happy with it.
Sample & Explanations
To understand our spreadsheet in its details, please view this Sample sheet.
It contains all the typical elements of a Scrum spreadsheet as we use it at Openbravo, and a lot of useful comments that explain the various elements. Hover your mouse over the cells to see the comments explaining them!
Note: You can resize the comment boxes through their lower right corner. Even though this seems not to work the size will be changed the next time a comment is displayed - so just move away with the mouse and come back. This is one of the rough edges of Google Docs...
You find all the typical elements needed by a Scrum team in these sheets:
The plans for each Sprint are separate sheets. In the sample document you find one called "Sprint 3". Inside this sheet we also have the Burndown chart or Burnup chart to visualize the progress.
The Product backlog is stored in the sheet with the same name. This sheet also holds overall statistics about the planned vs. achieved sprint velocity in Story points. Impediments that are to be resolved or addressed by the team are also part of this backlog.
Organizational impediments that go beyond the team are tracked on the sheet called "Impediment backlog".
Last is the "Resources & Holidays" sheet which lists all the team members, their availability (e.g. if they are working part-time) and days when they are unavailable. Here we gain the understanding of how much capacity the team is having in a sprint.
Spreadsheets of the teams currently in action
In this section you can follow the actual teams in action and see their product backlogs and sprints progressing. Note that some teams are using slight modifications of the spreadsheet template explained above.