Overall, I think the second sprint was somewhat less effective than the first for my group. Unlike the previous sprint, we had some problems that prevented us from completing everything we expected to. I think the main issue we had was a lack of clarity regarding our goals for each issue. We have not been declaring a ‘definition of done’ for our issues, so we didn’t always know what we were working towards. The biggest example of this was the “Design frontend architecture” issue. We never had a plan for what our design needed to include or how it should be made, which caused this issue to get stuck in the ‘needs review’ column for most of the sprint as we tried to work out the confusion surrounding it. Additionally, I think many of our issues were too broad. For example, we had single issues for creating a database and implementing our UI which could probably have been broken into more specific tasks. We definitely underestimated the complexity of these issues and the time they would take, which made them difficult to complete during the sprint.
Despite the problems, there were some aspects of the sprint that worked well. I think our communication has started to improve since the last sprint. GitLab was used for discussion outside meetings more often, especially on the merge requests. I also thought that our in-class discussions were more effective. We did a better job using our time together to discuss specific problems instead of working on our own, especially after the transition to online meetings. Although the lack of clarity in our issues made the sprint difficult, it forced us to communicate more effectively so that we could help each other understand what needed to be done.
To improve as a team, we definitely need to be more specific with our issues. This would involve splitting broad issues into more specific tasks and creating a ‘definition of done’ for each issue so that we all know what to work towards. We should all look over our proposed issues to make sure they are small enough tasks, and we should add a definition of done that we all agree on to each issue. Ideally, this would be done during the planning meeting, though we can surely continue to fine-tune our issues during the sprint. If we are able to accomplish this while maintaining effective communication, I think our final sprint will be far more effective.
Individually, the main improvement I think I need to make is to keep better track of my teammates’ progress on their issues. So far, I have been completely focused on completing my assigned issues. As a result, I could never get around to familiarizing myself with the work completed by my teammates. This prevented me from reviewing their issues and approving their merge requests. It has also made me generally uninformed about the state of the overall project and where it is heading. I feel like I have not been contributing enough to the team, since I have been so focused on my own work. For the last sprint, I hope to participate more in reviewing my teammates work to both help the project progress and to keep myself informed. I think that making our issues more specific will immensely help with this. Having more manageable and specific goals would likely reduce my anxiety about completing my issues and allow me to spend more time assisting my teammates.
Links to my GitLab Contributions:
This is the main issue I worked on, where I learned about Angular testing. I left several comments informing the group of my progress and providing links to useful resources I found.
This is a repository I made to share my project where I experimented with Angular testing with the team.
These are issues that the entire team worked on. I left comments on some and moved some across the board.
I left a comment on this issue to inform the group of a meeting I had with the other teams in class.