#45 – WiP Limit

Authors’ Comments:

The purpose of creating flow in a sprint and getting stories delivered as soon as possible is for enabling a fast feedback loop, so deliveries can be validated, and learning can be accelerated. Therefore, it makes sense for the Scrum Master and the developers to take actions on increasing the throughput.

What can impede this is when the team has too many stories in progress simultaneously. Though the obvious answer is to enforce a WIP limit, it doesn’t magically increase throughput on its own. One solution is to facilitate swarming, i.e., having as many developers as possible working together on delivering a task/story. 

For this to really work, the whole team must agree on what story to begin after Sprint Planning and then collectively break it down into parallelly implementable tasks (potentially inspired by story breakdown techniques) to be worked on simultaneously by using Pair Programming, Mob Programming or similar.