There are multiple phases in decision-making, namely 1. Identifying the problem 2. Generating alternative solutions 3. Evaluating those alternatives 4. Making the right choice 5. Implementing the decision 6. Evaluating the outcome. As a part of today’s discussion, I will be talking about the decision that I have made at work.

Identifying the problem: 

We use Agile as our framework while we do Program increment planning AKA PI planning. It helps enable to take quick decisions in the unforeseeable environment. The organizations, which can adapt quickly and flexibility to changes in the environment. So, as a part of the planning team of scrum masters, developers and product owners will be identifying the existing issues and planning for any product changes. In the last sprint, we could not predict the number of production issues that are going to be raised, which led to a lot of confusion on how to fix this as we were already allocated with our work which includes the production defects too, but not in huge numbers. Now the team as a whole wants to analyze why this issue has happened.

Generating alternative solutions:

As a part of the analysis and the discussion, there were many ideas on how to go about this issue. Some of them were hiring additional resources, allocating 75% of hours to the development and the remaining for issues like this, reduce the number of meetings and loan resources. There were many other ideas, which would lead us into the rabbit holes.

Evaluating those alternatives:

Now that we have alternative solutions in place, it is time to evaluate the solutions by doing a SWOT analysis. At first, looking at hiring additional resources would solve the problem, but the problem includes hiring takes time, increases the budget and making them get used to the environment and the workflow will be time-consuming. However, the advantages are down the lane you will have a team, which can handle the worst-case scenarios.

The second alternative is to allocate only 75% of the work hours during the sprint, so the team can take up the production defects on time and resolve them. The problem with this alternative is the work that needs to complete will take longer than before. However, we will have reduced the stress on the team, which leads to a quality product.

The remaining alternatives are reducing the number of meetings would change the workflow and these scrum calls cannot be avoided as a part of the Agile framework and loaning resources would take a similar time as hiring a new resource except for the paperwork.

Making the right choice:

After evaluation, those alternatives, Allocating 75% of the work to development and the rest for unexpected production issues like this would increase the efficiency of the team and the application that we are building and supporting on the go. Not only this would reduce the amount of stress on the employee, but this can also be helpful for the team to be creative and learn new things if we do not have more issues as expected. This alternative does not affect the existing workflow in a way that we have to reduce any meetings or to increase the budget.

Implementing the decision: 

Once the decision has been taken by the team as a whole, it was communicated to the program managers and Release Train Engineers by showing the SWOT analysis for the alternatives and make them understand why this is the right choice for the problem. Then they have provided us with the green signal, we started writing stories and creating features for the coming sprint by allocating only 75% of the work by taking holidays and PTO’s into consideration.

Evaluating the decision:

Once the Program increment planning was done, the team started developing the application and as we have predicted we have faced production issues. However, this time as a team we are prepared for it, the development team has enough time to analyze, fix and validate the issue. Nonetheless, we had delivered on time for the sprint by within the milestone dates and have delivered a quality product, which would lead to fewer defects going forward.