Saurabh Gandhe I am a Coder!

A Beginners Guide to Scrum

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If you are an IT professional or in contact with one then you must have heard the terms of Scrum, Agile, and BPM. It is growing by leaps and bounds. According to the 2017-18 Scrum Report which states the survey result held on 2000 respondents from 91 countries representing 27 industries suggests that around 97% will continue using Scrum. In fact these days, every client is particular about scrum and agile methodology. Now, this is something really surprising. But what is this Scrum and why is it so important?  So let’s get started with it.

Scrum Overview

Scrum is an iterative method of managing and running projects. Here, the project could be anything from software, management to event planning. Scrum enables strong communication between the team with few disciplines inside the project. You could use whiteboards or Project Management software such as Trello to document everything and manage the process.  It suggests that each and every Sprint begins with a short meeting and ends with a review.

Let’s understand the Scrum Model more clearly.

  1. Scrum starts with a Product Owner who creates a prioritized list called as Product Backlog.
  2. Now, you can’t start the work with the whole set of Product Backlog, so the team divides the project into small chunks called Sprint. This Sprint Backlog is then created and the team decides how to implement those chunks.
  3. Each Sprint is given a certain time (nearly two-four weeks) to get completed but a daily Scrum meeting is conducted to review the previous day work and know the present day’s plan.
  4. This meeting is conducted by a Scrum Master, who keeps motivating the team to stay focused on its goal.
  5. Each sprint ends with a shippable work which could be shown to the product owner or stakeholders. Now, at the end of the sprint a review session is done and retrospective.
  6. Now, the next sprint starts with another set of work from the Product Backlog and the plan continues until the last sprint is ended.

Scrum is basically a framework to carry out the Business Process in a smoother way.

Roles & Terminology

By now, you must have got some knowledge about the Scrum Process. Now, let’s explore the Roles defined in the above Scrum Model.

Product owner– Product Owner is the key Stakeholder of the product. He is the one responsible to have a vision of what he wishes to build. He should have a clear instinct to the problem he wants to solve through his product or service.

Scrum Master- A Scrum Master is the one who ensures the process is followed, eliminates obstructions and helps the team to keep focused. He is much different than a Project Manager provided he doesn’t assign the tasks to the individuals and does not provide day-to-day advice to the team.

Scrum Team– The team which actually works on the project development is the Scrum Team. It comprises of individuals who do the planning, implementation, designing, testing, and so forth. Scrum methodology states that each individual contributes to whatever they know from each sprint.

Let us take it a step further to discuss in detail the Implementation of Scrum for a bigger picture.

If you are thinking to initiate the Scrum Process, it’s a good idea, just start it with a short project.

Define a Scrum Team

This team works on the project in real. It usually comprises of 5-9 members which may vary depending on the size of the project. The members include the individuals with core competencies to complete the project. They may be developers, testers, designers, business analysts etc. The team works closely with each other to deliver shippable products at the end of each sprint.

Check for the Sprint Length

The usual sprint length varies from a week to four depending on the module size and complexity. Each sprint starts with a planning meeting where the work is discussed and planned. The actual work is done by the scrum team and at the end, a review meeting with the demonstration. Afterward, the next sprint is discussed.

Look for a Scrum Master  

A Scrum Master is actually needed for the coordination among the team members and the Product Owner. He is responsible to maintain the flow of the project and keep the team focused towards the goal. He is also responsible for resolving the issues inside the Scrum team or between the team and Product Owner.

Appoint a Product Owner

A Product Owner imparts the clear vision of the product to be built. He is responsible to take charge to make sure that the team produces the value from the project to the business or client. He basically writes the client-side requirements and prioritizes the tasks in the Product Backlog.

Initial Product Backlog

The product backlog consists of user stories which are derived from client-side. This is a wish list which needs to be completed within the project. The user stories are ranked based on the priorities. The most important requirement is ranked on the top of the list.

These stories can further be divided into discrete tasks that the team can work and report time on. New stories can be written at any time in the product backlog by anyone. The Product Owner can update the list at any point of time i.e. he can change the priority of the stories depending on the time or work complexities.

Initiate a Sprint

Once you get the Product Backlog, the next task is to plan the sprint. A sprint would contain multiple user stories which are to be completed within a particular interval of time. Once you planned all the sprints, start with the first one. Set up a meeting where the sprint will be discussed and once done, the work will start.

Check for the Sprint Length

The usual sprint length varies from a week to four depending on the module size and complexity. Each sprint starts with a plan meeting where the work is discussed and planned. The actual work is done by the scrum team and at the end, a review meeting with the demonstration. Afterwards, the next sprint is discussed.

Close the Current Sprint and Start the next

Once the work is done the sprint will be ended with a review and demonstration; although, the daily status of the work or progress is checked in the daily Scrum Meeting.

The review clarifies if the tasks have been done on time and if they need to be put into the next sprint or put back to the product backlog. After the review session, a retrospective is done by the team where they discuss what went well and what needs to be improved.

There is no limit for the sprint unless it meets the deadline or the Product Backlog is completed. There should be fixed time and requirements so that all goes well otherwise the sprint will continue endlessly.

Conclusion

Scrum is an appropriate approach to provide agility to any project. If you want a smooth and quick flow then you should always opt for Scrum Model. The more you get into the process the better would be the business flow. Just remember to document everything properly.

Scrum is a wider topic. There are many metrics involved in it. Without going deeper, I would like to end this topic here for a brief understanding. I hope by now, you would have got an idea about Scrum and its process.

 

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By Saurabh
Saurabh Gandhe I am a Coder!

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