Base Mx Product Programs Host Backlog Review

  • Published
  • By Kenneth Borland

MAXWELL AFB-GUNTER ANNEX, Ala. -- The Base Maintenance Product Line hosted their first in-person backlog review Dec. 5-6, 2022, for Headquarters Air Force A4 - Logistics Product Owner and Air Force Major Commands to review, scrub, and prioritize the Integrated Maintenance Data System Central Database (IMDS CDB) and Maintenance Scheduling Module (MSM) backlogs.

Led by their Scrum Master, the teams spent two days diligently reviewing over 400 bugs, product backlog items, security items, and non-software items to prioritize work for the upcoming sprints in 2023.

Over 30 people participated, and the teams received valuable input from customers and users at all levels. With this initial backlog review completed, Base Maintenance will transition to quarterly virtual reviews.

In January, Base Maintenance programs participated in their first ever Program Increment (or PI planning event) to lay out 90 days-worth of sprints. This event allowed programs to deliver capability to their customers frequently, thus meeting user needs according to the users’ priorities. Furthermore, the event allowed teams to develop a 3-month work plan and identify risks and impediments expected to impact efforts. The teams calculated their capacity for each sprint using story points and team member availability. Each sprint was guided by an overarching objective towards delivering business summaries. For instance, one sprint may have focused on achieving specific weapon system enhancements for an interface partner or completing script work on the creation of the single maintenance information system.

Both IMDS and MSM ran 3-week sprints during the event. During their sprints the teams participated in several agile ceremonies to refine work items during a weekly backlog review, which is then used to plan the sprint work efforts. Once in a sprint, the teams held daily 15- minute Scrum calls to identify any issues requiring leadership attention. At the end of the sprint, the team conducted a Sprint Review and Retrospective to capture lessons learned for the next sprint. They employed several measures to determine confidence in their efforts to ensure their goals were achievable.

The Base Maintenance team has fully invested in the Scrum methodology and continues to evolve their processes to deliver the warfighter priorities early and often. With a focus on business outcomes, set by their customers, the Base Maintenance team works together to establish a consistent level of effort needed to increase the reliability of cadence-based delivery.