The Retrobinet

Do you have difficulties choosing between creating new features and fixing bugs ? Maybe you should give a try to the Retrobinet. A sprint retrospective format to trigger discussion about priorities between maintenance and feature.

The concept

Retrobinet comes from “Robinet”, the French word for Faucet. The idea is to have two faucets: one for the bugs and one for the features, that fill up a bucket representing your team velocity. You have a 10 litter bucket. You cannot fill up more than 10 litters.

Question: How do you adjust the faucets ?

To trigger discussion and ideas, you can imagine what do you do if you have:

  • 5L feature, 5L bug ? (this one is easy 😉)
  • 10L feature, 5L bug ?
  • 5L feature, 10L bug ?
  • 15L feature, 15L bug ?

You cannot put 15L in a bucket of 10L. So a strategy should be defined. Bug first ? Feature first ? 50/50 ? 80/20 ?

Let your team think about this during 10 minutes. The first thing they may argue is:

— Things are not that simple in real life !

Yes, so what information is missing ? Is this information present in the ticket tracker ? Does having such information will really help you ? If things were that simple, what would you do ?

Things are not that simple in real life, but this exercise highlight that prioritizing imply sacrifices. If you don’t want to sacrifice anything, you can just let the bucket overflow, and you’ll get what you get.



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