Introduction to Agile
Agile methodology was originally developed for the software industry to enable developers to thrive in an ever-changing environment. It refers to a set of methods and practices based on the values enshrined in the Agile Manifesto. It advocates the use of incremental, iterative work cycles known as sprints.
What is Scrum?
Scrum is a process framework that reduces complexity and focuses on building products that meet specific business requirements. Most often the words scrum and agile are used interchangeably, but there is a difference. While agile denotes the methods, a scrum refers to the framework used to implement the agile methodology. Scrum is a subset of agile.
This article should serve as a lightweight basis for implementing agile project management with scrum frameworks.
Where does Agile Scrum Framework apply?
Not only is Agile methodology limited to the software industry, it has recently found utility in many industries and organizations. Agile methodologies can be used wherever there is a product involved. Both large and small organizations can benefit from scrum if implemented properly. General management also began to include agile. This was confirmed by research on the ground conducted by the Learning Consortium in 2015. There is plenty of literature available on topics such as tools. Processes and methods. However, the Learning Consortium found that thought sets and people are more important than processes.
The main characteristics of smooth
Satisfy the client and develop software continuously. Changed requirements are adopted to give the customer a competitive advantage.
Constant communication with the user representative to determine functions to integrate.
Focused and self-organized teams are best suited. Cross-functional teams act as a single cohesive unit.
Project teams must consist of motivated individuals. Autonomy must be given to get the job done, to establish a decent work environment and support system.
Focus on delivering a working product often. Delivery preferences are placed within the shortest possible period.
The primary goal of success is a working product.
Resource availability and team functions are considered before being included in a project.
Agile processes promote sustainable development. Developers. sponsors and users maintain a constant pace.
Technical expertise and good design must be continuously worked on and improved.
The team reflects on how it can periodically improve and become more effective. After reflection, their work processes are adjusted accordingly.
Benefits of agile
There is constant communication between the project team and the client throughout the life of the project. There is a greater level of collaboration, which is why the team has a deeper level of understanding of client requirements. The agile framework allows clients to get involved in prioritizing new features planning and review. This promotes transparency and honest communication. The team is also working to build features that offer customers the highest business value. All work sequences are timed, ensuring timely delivery. Costs are predictable and commensurate with the work that can be completed in each time box. Using agile methods, high quality development and testing is performed when the project is divided into small manageable units. Each build iteration is followed by testing and review, which is why problems can be detected early and fixed. Any expected discrepancies can also be dealt with effectively.
Building block of a smooth scrum
There are several people and processes that make up a scrum. Here is a quick overview of everything required to implement the agile methodology.
Scrum Teams consists of developers, testers, database experts, support staff, scrum masters and product owners. They work in close collaboration for a defined period of time to deliver the functions as promised. There are usually 7-9 people in a scrum team.
Product owner represents the interests of the user. He is given authority to decide what features are incorporated into the final product.
Scrum Master oversees the scrum team. He is responsible for the team’s productivity and for resolving issues or concerns that arise.
A Sprint is a predetermined time interval in which a certain amount of work is completed. The time period can vary from two weeks to one month depending on the project and the needs of the team. During the sprint, the team is working on tasks so that it is available for review, roll-out or production as the situation requires.
Scrum does not require heavy documentation of product requirements, they are defined through user stories in the following format.
* Ess a
User stories must be short, realistic, achievable and testable and measurable. Acceptance criteria must always accompany the user history. These criteria act as supporting documents and further improve user history. These must be written with care as the test cases and scenarios are prepared on the basis of these acceptance criteria.
Epics are undefined user stories that are reserved for future sprints. These represent the features that may need to be integrated into the product in the future. Most product features begin as epics, sufficient details are added later, and then broken down to be implemented.
It is an archive where all user stories are stored. It can be considered a wish list maintained and prioritized by the product owner according to the user’s business needs.
During a sprint, the scrum team retrieves user stories from product demand, the team then meets to understand if user stories can be completed in the predetermined timeframe. The opportunity is also discussed. The list of user stories that the team is working on in a sprint is called Sprint Backlog.
A burn-out diagram is used to track the development of a sprint. It shows the plot of estimated effort v / s actual effort for all sprint tasks.
Implementation of the Agile Scrum Framework
Implementing scrum does not require special training that is learned on the go. It starts with understanding the basics of the agile methodology and then mastering the technique. Here are the steps to follow to effectively implement the agile scrum framework.
Clearly defined roles are crucial to successful implementation. It is important to find a willing product owner who can communicate with stakeholders and represent their business needs. The Scrum Master is responsible for all Scrum events and solves any obstacles that may affect the sprint’s progress. The Scrum team commits to the sprint tasks and delivers the product. Everyone must play their role effectively to ensure the success of a scrum.
It is important that a person never assumes responsibility for the product owner and scrum-master at the same time. There must always be a balance between the two roles. The product owner will always have more items from the product backlog that are pushed into each sprint, while the scrum master must ensure that the team has everything it needs to perform the scrum tasks.
Create the product backlog
The product backlog can include bugs, improvements, risks, problems and anything related to the product. Functional and non-functional requirements should be added to the backlog. Everyone can contribute to product demand, but only the product owner can prioritize the backlog. While prioritizing the backlog, the items at the top of the list must be clearly defined and with greater attention to detail. Items at the bottom of the list are usually vague. As the project grows, new needs arise and these are continually added to the backlog. Therefore, demand is never complete.
Set up Scrum events
There is a defined set of activities to perform. These are Sprint Scheduling, Renewed Demand, Daily Scratch or Stand-Up, Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective.
In this phase, the team commits itself to the work to be done during a sprint. The volume of work remains unchanged during a sprint. During the planning meeting, details that the team commits to are discussed. The entire team should be encouraged to ask questions on each topic so that it understands how and what to do. When the team commits to the work, they assume responsibility for the sprint’s success. Participants in this meeting include the scrum master, the product owner and the scrum team. The duration of the sprint must be determined according to the nature of the industry. For fast moving software products, 1-2 weeks is an ideal sprint duration.
The team begins work on dedicated tasks. Progress is tracked through daily standup meetings. These daily meetings should not last more than 15 minutes and focus on three questions: What did you work with yesterday? What do you want to work on today? Is there anything blocking your work today that you need help with?
During the Sprint Review meeting, the team presents the work they have completed during the sprint. A demonstration of the new features is performed. This is an informal meeting where a maximum of two hours of preparation time is allowed and the use of PowerPoint slides is prohibited. During this meeting, the team’s progress is measured against the sprint goals set in the sprint planning meeting. Participants include scrum masters, product owners, scrum teams, management and developers from other projects.
After the sprint, the team celebrates its success and reflects on its progress. The team focuses on what improvements they can make and how they can be more effective. The Scrum team, the product owner and the Scrum master are attending this meeting. This meeting can be conducted as a start-stop continuation meeting. Each team member is asked to identify things that the team should:
Stop doing it
Keep doing it
After this exercise, the team will vote on specific topics to focus on in the next sprint.
When the first sprint is complete, the team will start again. Several items are picked up from the product backlog to create a new sprint backlog and start a new sprint.
Agile is a powerful tool for projects, regardless of the industry. It not only benefits the development team, but also provides several benefits to the client. A project is fraught with several pitfalls such as cost, unpredictable schedule and uncontrolled growth of project scope. Agile enables teams to handle these pitfalls in an efficient and controlled manner. Using Agile, project goals are achieved using a lean and business-focused approach.