Scrum – a from beginner’s view

Posted on Posted in Agile

While it’s “easy” to follow scrum in your team, making sure that everyone understood the concept correctly and over a period of time seeing success in team work might be a challenging. Today, I am excited to share my learning for scrum.

What is Scrum?

Scrum is a development framework of leading agile product. It provide or define a way to achieve winning product and build winning team. Here, two words “Winning Product” and “Winning Team” both are self-explanatory. If you succeed to implement product is nothing but winning product and the team who worked for it is winning team. When we talk about scrum, we talk about three important aspects, i.e. Inspection, Adaption and transparency. In order to build winning product scrum has various feedback loops, so that product and process are inspected and adapted. Transparency helps us in understanding as to what is done so far and what is left to do. It’s all about experience and each time we take decision based on previous experience and learning. When we do it frequently in effective and efficient way is nothing but key to success.

Key to Success* = Inspect & Adapt + Frequent + Effective / Efficient

Image 1: Scrum Framework. source: http://scrumalliance.org

Scrum approach:

If your product is simple and clear enough about target to achieve, you can use any framework or methodology to complete it, it can be Scrum as well. But, Scrum is best suitable for complex project, where you have moderate uncertainty in requirements and technology. For everyone who has been working in development, you could have gone through worst situation of product release, where you can’t even go back and start new one.

  • Scrum framework solve those problems by having small development cycles called as Sprint, where team perform 1 to 4 weeks and daily team meeting known as Daily Scrum.
  • Each sprint allows team member, stakeholders to review incremental improvements made by team. In order to maximize value deliver by Scrum team, there is a list of roughly defined task known as Product Backlog. Product backlog are a list of everything that might be needed in the product.
  • Scrum helps team member to self-organize. To focus on short team goal during the sprint, development team creates Sprint Backlog. Sprint backlog is a list of refined product backlog items chosen for development in the current sprint. Once the sprint backlog is established, the development team begins work on the new product increment. The Sprint Backlog makes visible all of the work that the Development Team identifies as necessary to meet the Sprint Goal. Sprint backlog is the output of Sprint Planning.
  • Sprint Planning is the activity perform by scrum team to define sprint goal and achievable outcome. Scrum team perform this activity at the beginning of the sprint. Team spend time-boxed 4 hour for 2 week sprint to define what needs to be done.
  • As I said, scrum is inspect and adapt aspect on frequent basis, team needs to have feedback on product increment during the sprint. Scrum team demonstrate the working product to customer/stakeholder on last day of sprint known as Sprint Review.
  • Team share their observations, issues, experiences patterns in behavior, recommendations and feedback called as Sprint Retrospective. Once team got list of activities, thoughts or steps that make team more effective and efficient, team priorities action item that need to consider in next sprint. Transparent, engaging and visualizing technique can make this meeting more effective. ScrumMaster plays an important role to resolve ineffectiveness in system.

Scrum Framework Roles:

There are only three main role in scrum framework. Let’s talk each of them one by one.

Image 2: Scrum Roles. source: CSM Training by Naveen Nanjundappa. 

  1. ScrumMaster: One, who is responsible to build winning team. He facilitates the scrum activities and removes impediment’s so that the team can build winning product. ScrumMaster act as a coach to teach scrum framework roles, responsibilities, activities and people aspect. He challenge the practices, enhance the creativity and work at multiple level and organizational level process to bring in change.
  2. Product Owner:He is responsible to build winning product and his job is to clarify requirements in uncertain zone. Product owner should be a balanced personality who can give inputs on product, business, value and domain. A person with only underlined technical expertise might not be an effective product owner.
  3. Development team:It’s a group of people working towards single goal i.e. to build winning product. Team is responsible to achieve goal by delivering value frequently and with high quality. Team size can be of 5 to 9 members. Development team attains higher quality, build integrity and is reliable through the use of definition of done (DOD).

More topics to follow.

*Thanks to my trainer, Mr. Naveen Nanjundappa for brain washing on all concepts of scrum, attending his CSM training gave me a better clarity and interest in the field of agility. Build winning products and teams concept makes it clear to understand scrum for anyone.

Author:

Sushen Birari
Senior Software Developer at Amaris
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