Get a grip on complexity – the TTM-matrix

The german version of this post can be found here.
During estimation or planning meetings with my teams I often get aware that the team refers to items that were talked about a few minutes ago. That’s great, since I encourage my teams to put items in relation to each other rather than to a fixed scale like hours or days. But quite often we have to pull up former item again since it already slipped from the minds. E.g. Sprint Planning: The team discusses a backlog item which was filed in JIRA (link) and projected to the wall for discussion. Afterwards we talk about the next one, the next one and so on. At the end of the meeting I ask the team which items they are willing to commit to and then it starts: “Could you show this one again?”, “Did this include the designs?”, “There’s just a smoke test necessary for that one, right?”. This made me think about how to keep things visible and the memory fresh. A few weeks ago then I stumbled across an article by James King who (among other interesting stuff) described the “things-that-matter-matrix”. I tried it with my current team and now I wonder why I never thought of something as simple and effective like this before. Let me explain how it works.

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