Looking at the ideas behind SCRUM

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“No Heroics. If you need a hero to get things done, you have a problem. Heroic effort should be viewed as a failure of planning.” ― Jeff Sutherland, Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time

What is SCRUM?

Start with Wikipedia SCRUM definition

Hosk Experience of Agile

There are many projects Agile in name but chaos in reality #HoskWisdom

I worked on many Agile projects in name but only one was Scrum project which adhered to all the rules.

Good practices

I have worked on Agile and Scrum projects but not thought about the concepts and ideas behind it.

“Adaptive methods are called Agile. There are many Agile frameworks. The most famous Agile framework is Scrum.” Nader K. Rad, Frank Turley

Agile is a framework and Scrum is a flavour of it. The focus on adaptive, prepares the customer the project will need to adapt and change. The longer the project continues, the more you learn about the business requirements and more feedback from the customer on the iteration/solution created.

When should you use Scrum?

  • You should use Scrum on projects where its suitable to do incremental and iterative development.
  • The product owner must have a good understanding of the business
  • Where a product is hard to define upfront
  • Where the customer will devote time to the project
  • Customer will make quick decisions

Agile Manifesto

I mentioned the Agile manifesto earlier but lets focus on two points.

Customer collaboration

Successful projects involved a good relationship between the project team and the customer. The project should be a collaboration between the customer (business knowledge expert) and the technical team (solution experts).

Working Software

Sometimes people forget the goal of an IT project is to create a working solution to help the users achieve their business goals.

Software innovation, like almost every other kind of innovation, requires the ability to collaborate and share ideas with other people, and to sit down and talk with customers and get their feedback and understand their needs. Bill Gates

Development Team

In Scrum all developers are equal, have the same title and are all focused on delivering the sprint.

Progress monitoring

Splitting the projects into sprints allows the project to never fall to far behind schedule and if it does the customer knows quickly and a discussion can be had. This limits bad news to never being too bad before it‘s discussed with the customer (if it‘s bad).

Product backlog

The product backlog is a prioritized list of requirements. A list of deliverable’s grouped into sprints and prioritized (sprint backlog)

Sprint events

Each sprint has a number artifacts

  • progress is monitored
  • impediments are discussed and resolved
  • standup so not to take too long
  • Feedback
  • Discuss what didn’t work well in the sprint

Retrospective

One method for improving a team and individuals is to analyse past performance and work out what worked and what didn’t. This reflection often doesn’t happen because people don’t have time or don’t want to do it.

  • Relationships
  • Process
  • Tools

Review

This quote is inspiring and scary

“We welcome changes in Scrum and encourage them to be demanded, because it increases satisfaction of the customer and will create a final product that better matches the needs of the customer“ Jeff Sutherland

The quote comes from the book — Scrum: A revolutionary approach to building teams, beating deadlines and boosting productivity

Considering the concepts of Agile and Scrum

Looking a Agile/Scrum I can see many aspects of successful projects. If you flip it round and look the common problems with IT projects

  • Projects falls behind schedule
  • Customer changing, adding or removing requirements
  • Customer and developer team are not collaborating well
  • Communication between the developers

“Scrum incorporate the concepts of continuous improvement and minimum viable products to get immediate feedback from consumers, rather than waiting until the project is finished“ — Jeff Sutherland

Common language

A benefit of Scrum is it gives a common language for everyone to use. Common rules and processes must be followed by the customer and project term as outlined by the Scrum framework itself which insists on it.

Summary

Scrum is made up of many good practices such as adaption, incremental/iterative development and getting feedback as soon as possible.

Resources

The Scrum Master Training Manual: A Guide to the Professional Scrum Master (PSM) Exam

Written by

Have been working with Dynamics 365 since version 4 and enjoy reading and delivering enterprise projects

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