Scrum is a subset of Agile and an Empirical Framework that facilitates team collaboration on complex projects development. Scrum is the leading Agile development methodology having specific set of rules and concrete practices.
Scrum’s simple definitions give the anatomy that a team needed to deliver best work. Scrum process origins in early 1990s and name is from the sport –Rugby, in which everyone plays a specific role with a quick adoption of strategies, towards a well-defined goal. It uses fixed time box iterations called Sprint for building the software. Scrum methodology is defined by team roles, events, artifacts and rules.
The scrum methodology revolves around its processes, 3 main roles, and artifacts.
The process is simple and straightforward. It starts with discussing with the client the requirement. The product owner does this and then makes a project plan. The work starts with a sprint planning meeting with all team members facilitated by the scrum master. The product backlog is assigned by the product owner.
Sprint planning is followed by daily standup meetings. Based on the project duration sprint meetings happen on a biweekly or monthly basis. If it is 2 weeks or 4-week sprints. The client will approve the work in the sprint and then the team starts working on the next sprint objective. There is a sprint retrospective meeting to retrospect the mistakes and mutually agree on correction measures in the upcoming sprints. Sprint backlogs are assigned to subsequent sprints.
This process of sprint planning, sprint meeting, retrospective meeting repeats until the delivery of the end product. This makes shipping faster and cost-effective as well.
Product Owner is the project’s key stake holder, representing the business.
Product owner is one person, not a committee. To change the product backlog items, committee must address Product owner.
Scrum Master is the servant leader to the product owner, development team and Organization. He does not manage the team and differs from traditional team lead or project manager in many ways.
Scrum relies on a self-organizing and cross functional team. Self-organizing means, no team leader or manager decides which team member will do which task or how a problem will be solved.
As a scrum team, each and every team member takes the responsibility in addressing an issue.
Cross functional means, everyone is needed to take a feature from idea to implementation.
Though individuals join with different job titles, those titles are insignificant in scrum.
Each member of the team should contribute in a best way to complete the work of the sprint. Ideally development team can contain 3-9 members. Typically, development team includes Programmers, Testers, Architects and Analyst. Team is responsible for completing the work
Contains prioritized list of product features. Top items in the product backlog list are more granular. Items are constantly prioritized and managed by product owner. Items can be added by anyone at any time. List can contain bug and nonfunctional item also.
Usually written in the form of User Stories. Each product log item is estimated by the team in relative units, Ex: Story points. It works in a better way eliminating waste. Story points typically follow Fibonacci series ie.,1,2,3,5,8,13…
Some scrum team give T-shirt sized based estimation- XS, S, M, L, XL. T-shirt size map onto a specific story point. For example, M size can map on to 3 story points.
List of tasks selected by development team to develop and complete during current sprint, to turn selected set of backlog items in to a potentially shippable product increment. As the team is doing the work, they are responsible for keeping the Sprint backlog up to date. The sprint backlog cannot be changed once the work starts on that.
Sprint Burndown Chart is a graphical representation of the work remaining over the duration of the sprint. Scrum master updates chart daily, to re-estimate the work remaining. Usually horizontal axis displays days of the sprint and Vertical axis displays effort remaining in hours.
In Scrum, all the meetings are time boxed. Sprint itself is a time boxed event and acts as a container for remaining scrum events.
Product Owner(PO) gathers list of business features from stake holders and comes out with a prioritized product backlog. At the beginning of the sprint, Development team and PO discuss on the items to pull for the current sprint. Its typically 3-4 hrs for a 2weeks sprint and can go up to 8hrs for a 30-day sprint.
Happens daily for 10-15min to summarize
Happens Development team demonstrates on the working software increment to Product Owner and stake holders. Product owner inspects completed items and decides what items are “Done”. Left out items will be returned to product back log and reprioritized by product owner. Any feedback from Product Owner will turn as action item to next sprint
Happens at the end of the sprint, to discuss what went well and what not.
Scrum Master helps the team in finding out action items to implement and improve next sprint.
Product owner is optional for this meeting.
Product back log Items initially need to go through refinement, so that Development team can estimate and select enough number of items for the sprint. 5-10% of each sprint must be dedicated in the refinement and part of the team or entire team can assist the Product Owner to get the top of the Product Backlog ready for the next Sprint Planning Meeting. Usually refinement includes:
Needless to say, proper planning and smart decision making can help you get past these disadvantages with the Scrum methodology. For example, in larger teams, each member needs to have defined roles and responsibilities with definite goals, so that there is no compromise on quality and no excuse for failure. This will keep the team focused to project goals. Plus, the ScrumMaster needs to guide the team effectively to avoid pitfalls and ensure 100% project success.
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