Agile practices like scrum and kanban were primarily designed for software development.
Interrupt and unplanned work is a significant component of what most SRE (Site Reliability Engineering) or DevOps teams do. While it is always useful to use a tracking system like Jira to manage work, do sprint or kanban really work for SRE teams?
The constraints I see are:
- The work is very dynamic in nature, with priorities changing on a daily basis. Because of this, the sprint duration of two weeks seems very aggressive and it adds unnecessary overhead.
- People being on call adds another dimension to the problem. Sometimes, more than one team member might get involved in on call / post-mortem tasks.
- The team doesn't have a single "product" and hence it doesn't yield itself to a common planning process
- Daily standup meetings may not make much sense because of the lack of overlap among tasks
- The team might be working on tasks related to more than one partner teams and hence spanning multiple Jira projects. Since a sprint or kanban board allows only one Jira project, it may not be able to fit in all the work.
From what I hear from many SREs that I have spoken to, sprint planning hasn't worked for them at all. I would like to hear from the community here what their experience with sprint and kanban is.
I asked this question on scrum.org as well:
And here is a blog post that raises concerns about Agile and SRE in general: