In "Sprint Planning", the team is supposed to come up with stories, break those down into tasks, estimate those tasks as a team, then let devs choose what tasks they want to work on based on the stories pulled into that particular sprint.

Instead, our manager creates the stories. He assigns the stories to each developer and then has that developer announce his theoretical tasks (without any research on feature's or project's requirements!) in front of the entire team. So, when I say, "I think it will take me 6 hours to implement this feature", he says, "6 hours? I think it will take 3." and then types the estimate as 3. I have so much rage when that happens. Then we continue to sit in the room for 2.5 hours where we go through this long data entry mess of him typing out tasks and second guessing estimates. There is no team deliberation or collaboration, its whatever the manager says.

While there are many issues I take with this approach, my pet peeve would be the second guessing of the estimates. It would make sense for teams members to second guess estimates as long as they are the same teammates who have the ability and possibility to take on the tasks themselves.

But I disagree with a manager seconding guessing an implementation feature that "I" definitely have to do alone, and they do not possess the immediate knowledge to implement it themselves.

  • 5
    I look for another place. But next time he disagrees ask him to ellaborate on why he think that it is 3 hours.
  • 2
    was there once. the fucking stupid manager screwed the project and cost a client to the company and client fired their team and we guys left our company.
  • 3
    Yeah... during our first foray into "agile", this happened a bit. Thankfully, we made it known during the retrospective meeting that the practice is breaking productivity and that the team feels their manager should "get scarce" during planning for the next 3 sprints.

    The productivity increase solidified the practice.
  • 1
    Seems strange that stories and tasks are being created in sprint planning. Stories should be created by the PM and then split up as necessary in grooming. Tasks should be created before sprint planning by the developers alone and then planning is just figuring out what will be done based on resource availability and sprint length.

    Seems like the agile process your team is using is missing a few steps.
  • 1
    Scrum isn't perfect, but if you guys are doing retrospectives, that would be a good time to bring that up. Your team will most likely back you up.

    If your manager doesn't like the criticism, or ignores it, it's time to go above his head with the issue, while looking for something else in case they let you go for it (they shouldn't, but let's face it: some people are assholes)

    Side Tip: as a manager myself, nothing will put you in poor-graces with your manager faster than going above his head without FIRST bringing the problem to his/her attention and giving them the opportunity to address it.
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