So we have loads of stuff still in our office from http://buildstuff.lt. I was just sitting with some of the people in the office and one thing may prove to be quite useful.
Technical debt is always an issue on teams. We always say we will work on it and don’t. There are other ugly tasks we deal with at well like writing that pesky documentation or a simple example that people can use. It is easy to get too caught up on getting new stuff out to deal with such tasks and they build up over time to the point they are overwhelming.
I have an idea that may help with this.
We have this in our office now:
The idea is to not put technical debt/documentation/etc cards in the backlog. Instead put them on the spinner, you can always put them directly in the backlog if you want to explicitly prioritize them. If you try to add a card and there is not space you must make space for it.
When you finish a task you spin the wheel. If it lands on a card you take it and do it, if not go to the backlog.
This has what I believe to be a few benefits. The first is that you end up with a fixed size buffer for these types of tasks. The second is that the wheel reaches an equilibrium on when things should be scheduled (the more things there are, the more likely you are to land on one).
And of course its a bit of fun!
Some of the guys are hopefully going to be able to give it a try or if you try it please let me know any feedback you have on it.