Wow, very cool! That’s almost exactly the path I’ve accidentally discovered.
Thanks for sharing @andycleff!
I agree - one measure of maturity for an Agile team is whether/how they estimate. The highest-performing teams I’ve worked with “size” all stories about the same (can be completed in under a day) and they plan based on number of stories. Our cycle time goal was to get all stories through from dev to deployed in Prod in 1 day (6 hands-on hours) or less. At that point, there’s really no need for sprintly planning either, it becomes an artificial date that slows the team down since they’re having current and future-looking story conversations together every day throughout the day - those teams just discussed what they were going to accomplish for the day during stand up and that essentially became planning too. The PO just kept the backlog ready at all times and the team discussed upcoming stories with the PO daily. We still kept the retro and review on a sprintly cadence, but the rest morphed into something closer to Kanban. (Incidentally, we called ourselves Scrumban teams because we held onto the ceremonies but focused on minimizing WIP and optimizing continuous flow.) Of course, there are several other mature practices a team will have to adopt and have mastered to be able to flow at this level, including a heavy emphasis on Lean UX, DevOps or NoOps, and BDD.
I wish all teams could get to experience this - it’s exciting and fun to be part of a team that produces great value, quickly and consistently, and where you really get to see how easy and fun Agile can be. I’m working on a theory/experiment about doing something like an “exchange student” kind of model where folks who are new to Agile/on new Agile teams leave their teams to visit and work on a high-performing Agile team for a certain length of time to get hands-on experience with the tools and practices the team is using so they really see and understand how the work should flow, and then they would bring that learning back to their teams to accelerate their growth - leveraging a learn-by-doing model.