In many outsourced(near shore or offshore) services organizations, employees are expected to take part in activities that are outside the purview of their projects. These activities are intended to support organizational growth in someway or the other. A few of such activities are
Conducting interviews for hiring new employees,
Taking team out for lunch/dinner,
Arranging an offsite meeting,
Conducting trainings, events
Publishing whitepapers, attending conferences, etc
The above mentioned activities need effort, and this effort needs to be accounted some where. Naturally, one might get few questions like:
Should one track these tasks in Sprint Backlog ?
Should one keep the customer updated about these tasks ?
Should this be estimated as part of Planning meeting ?
Being Agile practitioners, it is expected that the team should practice as much transparency as possible in estimation and tracking. Keeping this in mind, one should estimate the effort being spent on such activities during each iteration and capture it as part of a task in sprint backlog. This also ensures that the customer is aware of these non-billable activities at the same time, IEH and velocity counts are captured accurately.
It is not a good idea to mask these activities and also not informing the customers. This would not only affect the credibility of the team but also forces the team to stretch themselves to compensate for the lost time.
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