Scrum fundamentals in-Nutshell


Definition of Scrum:

It is an agile framework that address multiple and complex problems and deliver the requirements in small chunks spread across Sprints.


Scrum Roles: There are standard and only 3 roles. If you read/ hear more than 3 roles, then it is not a Scrum.

  • Product owner: Looks from the Business perspective and captures the product backlog items, communicates about the backlog and associated with the development team.

  • Developer: Works on the sprint requirements backlogs.

  • Scrum Master: Coaches on the Scrum. Serves product owner, developer teams and organization. Ensures Scrum is practiced by the teams.


Scrum Events: There are 5 scrum events:

1. Sprint: This is a monthly once meeting which addresses the above 4 events. Sprint is the heart of a Scrum process where the potentially releasable product increment is created as per the tasks “completed”. Note: This event should start immediately post the previous Sprint is concluded.


2. Sprint planning: It’s all about how the developer team works, deliver and accomplishes during a sprint. Duration: 2 hours/ two weekly.


3. Daily Scrum: It’s the good practice of Scrum, where all the participants on the call/ video conference/ Skype calling (as per the defined project communication method) will address their progress of work, raise any impediments or blockers during coding, testing, SME reviews or daily burn-down efforts. Duration: 15 mins max


4. Sprint Review: Every week 1 hour on the ongoing Sprint assigned tasks.


5. Sprint Retrospective: The duration and frequency (weekly/ monthly) will be decided by the Scrum master. The Scrum team members discusses on all positives, negatives, improvements, value adds, what went well and plan of action items for upcoming Sprint(s). Duration: 1 hour/ two weekly.


Summary of Scrum events: Well, if you carefully read the events mentioned, one might get a feeling “only meetings on the progress of tasks in hand”?!!


Yes, that’s absolutely correct. That is what Scrum/ Agile suggests. Sprints enable predictability by ensuring inspection and adaptation of progress towards Sprint goals. Thereby, sprints completes something (build, design, test, staging, deployment etc).


Scrum Artifacts: They are 3 artifacts in Scrum that focuses on the backlogs.

1. Product Backlog

2. Sprint Backlog

3. Increment


For a layman, these questions are the basics: 

  • What is a “Backlog” and product backlog?

  • Which Scrum role addresses backlogs?


What Pegasystems says about the backlogs?

  • Backlogs, called as Product Backlog Items (PBI) are the requirements, features, functions needed to develop, build a successful product. Product Owner (PO) is the responsible (R) and accountable (A) person to define, add, edit, order or reject the backlogs.

  • The Scrum Guide says, a product backlog is never complete. As long as a there is a product, the product backlog exists.

  • Pega Systems states if a product Owner handles more than 2 teams, then the backlogs will suffer. As well, there should be 2 Sprints worth high priority user stories ready for the scrum team members to work on. agilestudio.com is Pega's in-house tool for managing goals, Epics and user stories that cater's to the Scrum projects.


Sprint Backlog:

  • It is the list of PBI’s sorted for the ongoing or upcoming sprints. The main visibility of this step is the work, development team identifies for the Sprint target. If the new work is required, the development team adds them to the sprint backlog.

  • During the Sprint backlog duration, the complete track of the work can be summed up. Like: total tasks/ user stories completed, in-progress and target remaining to reach that sprint goal. The daily Scrum meeting will be the tracking means for this.


Increment:

  1. It is the sum of “completed current sprint backlog items+ previous all sprints”. The outcome of this step is the usable product with a definition of “done” in Scrum framework.


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