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What are 5 Scrum Emergency Procedures to deal with urgent work?

One of the critical components of Scrum is the sprint, which is a time-boxed period during which the team works on a set of prioritized tasks to achieve a specific sprint goal. However, unexpected situations can arise that may put the sprint goal at risk. Therefore, it's important to have an emergency procedure in place to ensure that the sprint goal is not compromised. One such emergency procedure pattern has been published on scrumplop.com. In this article, we will discuss the emergency procedure pattern and how to implement it.

Step 1: Determine the Urgency of the Request

The first step in this emergency procedure is to determine the urgency of the incoming request. The team should evaluate the request and assess whether it is urgent and cannot wait until the next sprint. If it is not urgent, the team can prioritize it during the next sprint.

Step 2: Rescope the Request

If the request is urgent, the next step is to rescope the request. The team should work with the product owner to break down the request into fewer, smaller, and more manageable tasks that can reduce the scope of the request. This is also a good opportunity to think about how the work can be done differently to increase efficiency.

Step 3: Have Other Teams Assist

If the team does not have enough capacity to handle the request, the next step is to have other teams assist. The team should check with other teams to see if they have the capacity to help. This will enable the team to share the workload and complete the request within the current sprint.

Step 4: Rescope the Sprint Goal

If other teams cannot help, the next step is to rescope the sprint goal. The team should work with the product owner to evaluate the priority of the request and determine if the sprint goal needs to be adjusted. If the request is a high priority, the team may need to remove lower-priority tasks from the sprint backlog to make room for the urgent request.

Step 5: Abort the Sprint and Replan It

If none of the previous steps work, the final step is to abort the sprint and replan it. The team should only take this step if the sprint goal cannot be achieved due to the incoming request. The team should work with the product owner to replan the sprint and adjust the sprint goal.


In conclusion, having an emergency procedure is critical for Agile teams to manage unexpected situations that may jeopardize the sprint goal. This five-step emergency procedure ensures that the team can evaluate the urgency of the request, rescope it, have other teams assist, rescope the sprint goal, or abort and replan the sprint if necessary. By having a clear emergency procedure in place, the team can quickly and effectively respond to unexpected situations, minimizing the impact on the sprint goal and project success.

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