What to do with work that seems too small to bother planning?



  • We are a team whose main work is technical but not software development, and we have been using Scrum as our main framework for a while (although it's likely that what we're doing is closer to ScrumBut in various ways).

    With that said, we had a question come up in Sprint Planning today that I didn't know the answer to - sometimes, when planning out work, there is a temptation to just do some of the tasks without including them in the Sprint Backlog. Either they're small enough that it's quicker to just get them done rather than creating a Jira task, or the task is part of the planning process (e.g. doing a quick bit of research to help understand something that needs estimation) but doing it leads naturally into larger work.

    Is there any guidance on recognising when something needs to be put on the board rather than just knocked over on the side? The best I could suggest was "If you need to think about it, you probably need to put it on the board".



  • Tasks that are not listed increase context switching. People have to keep them in mind, but they forget. Then they remember about them in the middle of another task and think to themselves "Oops, I almost forgot, but I need to keep it in mind. What else did I forget?". This draws brain power away from the actual task at hand. All this may repeat multiple times, and by the end of the day you feel exhausted because you frequently switch to thinking about these small tasks.

    It's just easier to create a ticket for each such task. Or create 1 ticket where you list all the small tasks as bullets. After someone implements one of the small tasks he/she can simply edit the text and put a small check mark next to the finished items.

    Whether you ignore it during planning doesn't matter that much. If you estimate during your planning - just quickly put a small number in the field and keep going.



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