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Scrum Development Process Overview

Instructor: Nikel Morancie

Nikel has a masters degree in Engineering management. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Certified Scrum Production Owner (CSPO)

This lesson defines scrum in a nutshell. After this lesson, you will have a basic understanding of the meetings, roles, and artifacts and how they are interconnected.

The Scrum Cycle

Scrum is an Agile methodology that focuses on small incremental and iterative cycles called sprints. Each sprint produces a minimally viable product that delivers business value. It consists of four mandatory and one optional ceremonies or meetings, three artifacts and three core roles.

The four core meetings are sprint planning, daily scrum, sprint review and the sprint retrospective. Backlog refinement is an optional but highly recommended ceremony. The three key artifacts include the product backlog, the sprint backlog and the product increment. The product backlog is the first artifact created.

The Scrum Framework
The Scrum Cycle

Seeding the Product Backlog

Before you can start creating a product, you must determine stakeholder needs. Stakeholders are the people who have an interest in the product, including the product's users. Creating an initial list of prioritized user needs is called seeding the product backlog. The product backlog items (PBIs) are are often in the form of a user story. For example, a user story may be 'As an instructor I want to see a student's final letter grade and percentage in the new faculty web portal so I can verify the accuracy of the letter grade.' Though Scrum supports a collaborative process, creating and maintaining the product backlog by working closely with the stakeholders, is the responsibility of the product owner as they represent the voice of the customers.

Initiating a Sprint

Sprint Planning

The development cycle is called a sprint, and the story that makes it into the sprint is collectively called the sprint backlog. A sprint typical last between 1 to 4 weeks, two-week sprints are the most common. The scrum team works together to decide ultimately, what can be accomplished in the next sprint.

Two questions are addressed during Sprint Planning:

  1. 'What' will be completed in the sprint?
  2. 'How' will these be done?

The scrum master moderates this meeting, and ensures that the team is following the scrum process, clears any roadblocks, and ensures that the team does not deviate from the sprint goal. This sprint meeting typically lasts at least 2 hours.

At the sprint planning meeting, the product owner presents the prioritized list, represents the stakeholder, and helps the team understand the story by answering questions and providing explanation and additional information.

The development team is the group of individuals responsible for performing the work. It may consist of both IT and non-IT personnel. The development team assigns story points to indicate the level of effort required for each top priority story and determines which stories can be completed in the sprint and how the tasks needed to be performed.

During a Sprint

The Daily Scrum

The daily scrum meeting is a 10-15 minute meeting held every day and is primarily for the development team. Each member of the development team answers three fundamental questions:

  1. What did you do yesterday?
  2. What are you planning on doing today?
  3. Are there any obstacles preventing you from accomplishing your task?

It ensures that the team is working towards a single goal, and is an opportunity to request support or assistance from other team members. It is highly recommended that the product owner and Scrum master are available for the meeting.

Backlog Refinement

Backlog refinement is the responsibility of the product owner. Your primary goal is to ensure that the product backlog is prioritized and that there are completed user stories available for the next 1 to 2 sprints; this is a collaborative effort and includes the Scrum team and the stakeholders. Sprint refinement involves the creation, improvement, deletion, reprioritization, and the splitting of stories into smaller independent user stories. Our initial story may be split into two different stories: 'I want to see grades for the current term', 'I want to see grades for the past term.' It is important to note that any team member can add stories to the product backlog at any time. For a 2-week sprint, backlog refinement may last up to two hours per sprint.

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