Modes of Planning (Part IV)

If you read our last article, you might think that it had to have been the last planning mode. What else is there if ad hoc planning is not the last one? It’s the one we do not speak of. No, seriously, don’t go there! If you are curious why, keep on reading.


Mode #4: Chaos Mode

This mode is similar to Mode #2 when the Product Owner sets a maximum limit for Developers’ Sprint capacity, and the rest of their time is reserved as a buffer for anything that has to be solved operatively. The differences with Chaos mode is that the initially planned work is not prioritized to be finished first in the Sprint, and the Product Owner may reorganize and reprioritize the work and add additional requests at any time.


  • You will barely finish the work pulled into the Sprint during Planning and the Sprint Goal will probably not be achieved.
  • Stakeholders are persuaded that they can require anything at any time in any volume.
  • The Product Owner is not able to plan strategically and needs to toggle between Product Owner and Developer contexts often.
  • Developers can become frustrated.
  • Daily Refinements will be an inherent part of the Sprint.

This Planning mode can be thought of as a service mode. Imagine that you know that there are ad hoc requests coming, but you never know what will come when. So, would you start working on the User Story you planned for during Sprint Planning if you know that you need 5 hours for its completion? Probably not. You’d rather wait for another ad hoc request to come, wouldn’t you? So, you will not finish the planned work ever.

This planning mode is considered bad practice and is NOT supported by ScrumOne.


Be strong! We will be back soon with Planning rules!

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