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TOPIC: Task Board Pull in sequence by priority vs. free-for-all

Task Board Pull in sequence by priority vs. free-for-all 1 week 1 day ago #29667

  • Michael Shea
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I've seen references to advantages where agile teams can pick from the project backlog any item at their discretion (as part of being self-directed). In Kanban the backlog is prioritized (believe a task list is too?) within the increment, and in one reference it looked like they needed to be 'pulled' in the order of highest priority (thus, you couldn't skip to just any one that looked good to you, you had to take the next one in queue). I'm sure I'm missing something but was hoping someone could clarify. If both a free-for-all and also in order of priority when the developer becomes available, what would be those conditions you would pick one over the other (if that question is applicable).
Last edit: by Michael Shea.

Task Board Pull in sequence by priority vs. free-for-all 1 week 1 day ago #29668

  • Billy MacDonald
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Hi Michael,
In general, Scrum has increments whereas kanban is continuous. In either system the backlog should be prioritised, or at least have enough prioritised backlog items to be selected.
In sprint planning the team creates a Sprint Backlog from the Product Backlog and then through the sprint team members can select any of those items until the sprint ends. Often in kanban you would pick from the top of the prioritised backlog .
If the team is self organising well they’ve probably had enough conversations with the PO and team to know which item to pick up if, for example, they run out of sprint backlog items.
In short- the next item selected should always be the ‘right’ one through whatever system the team uses.

Task Board Pull in sequence by priority vs. free-for-all 5 days 13 hours ago #29680

  • Michael Shea
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Thank you Billy- you actually answered another question I had about Kanban in the process (continuous nature vs iterative; I missed that somehow).

So for the original question- gathering from your response that stories 'should' be pulled in order of priority but the team member/developer 'can' pull a lower priority item at their discretion (assuming probably not in cases where there might be a dependency or something like that). Did I get that right? Also, is this true for Scrum as it is for Kanban?

Task Board Pull in sequence by priority vs. free-for-all 5 days 6 hours ago #29683

  • Billy MacDonald
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If it’s a question in an exam it’s probably safer to answer that team members should pull the next prioritised item.
In a real world situation it doesn’t have to be that rigid. But discretion doesn’t mean free reign, it suggests the team member has enough understanding and good reason to pick an alternative prioritised item other than the one at the top. This would be both kanban and scrum.

Task Board Pull in sequence by priority vs. free-for-all 4 days 13 hours ago #29684

  • Michael Shea
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Billy- Thank you (very clear answers, btw- appreciate it)
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