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CaSandra has a bachelor's degree in Computer Information Systems and has taught Agile along with Scrum and Kanban for over 10 years.
While searching for project management jobs, Laurie stumbled upon a job opportunity for a scrum master. Unfamiliar with scrum, she calls her friend Robert, a software developer who is part of a scrum team, for some guidance.
Robert explains that scrum is a framework that guides small teams to break complex products into small, functional pieces of work that can be coded and delivered in small increments of time known as iterations or sprints. The benefit is that working software is delivered to customers quickly.
Scrum is a term borrowed from the sport rugby and is short for scrummage, which is a way of starting play again. The goal of rugby is to play continuously without any time-outs or other interference.
As in rugby, in scrum, a delivery team must deliver working, quality software by the end of the sprint. A sprint is usually two weeks in length, but can be shorter or longer. The delivery team continues to work in sprints until the end of the product or project. Team members work together, without any outside interruptions, while the sprint is in process.
The scrum team incorporates three roles:
Let's look at each in further detail, starting with the delivery team.
The delivery team is accountable for choosing which work it will deliver at the end of the sprint. Team members are self-organizing and empowered to make all decisions on how they'll complete their work. They're also fully dedicated to the product.
Laurie's friend Robert is part of a delivery team, sometimes referred to as a development team. The team size is kept small, usually only five to seven people, so that collaboration and communication is easier. Robert's team has four developers, two testers, and one designer, but their skills are fairly balanced or cross-functional.
The scrum master is the servant-leader to the delivery team. His or her main responsibility is to remove any roadblocks that are preventing the team from completing work and to protect the team from all outside interference. The scrum master also teaches others, including the product owner and other organization employees, about scrum and ensures that everyone adheres to its principles.
Finally, the product owner is responsible for creating and prioritizing the work listed in the product backlog, which is a list of work that needs to be completed. This person serves as the one voice for the product and works closely with the development team on a daily basis.
Robert seems fairly excited to explain how scrum teams engage in five standard ceremonies or events, traditionally known as meetings.
Again, let's look at each in further detail.
The scrum team attends sprint planning, which happens on the first day of the sprint. The purpose of this ceremony is to choose which high-priority product backlog items will be developed in the sprint.
The product owner then describes the top-priority product backlog item, and the delivery team discusses and plans out what needs to be completed in order to consider the product backlog item completed. The product owner then describes the next item and the team continues to discuss and commit until they are no longer able to commit to any more work in their sprint.
The daily stand-up lasts no longer than 15 minutes and happens each morning at the same time. The scrum team attends the daily stand-up, and everyone stands up and answers three questions. Standing up helps to keep everyone from getting too comfortable in their seats, plus it helps to keep the ceremony short. The purpose of this ceremony is to keep the daily focus on the sprint work.
Robert explains that his scrum master has to consistently teach members that this meeting is not a status meeting and that they only need to answer three questions:
During refinement or grooming, the delivery team and the product owner discuss the product backlog items and evaluates them by assigning them points. A point is a value that doesn't measure time, but doubt, effort, and complexity.
The refinement ceremony helps to prepare the backlog for planning. The point values are used to determine a team's velocity, which is the average number of points a team completes over the course of a few sprints. This helps to guide the team during sprint planning to determine if they are over- or under-committing.
On the last day of the sprint, the scrum team participates in the sprint review. The product owner will also invite people to attend. The sprint review is a 'show and tell' that gives everyone a chance to provide feedback on the completed work. The product owner is responsible for collecting feedback and adding new work items to the backlog.
The retrospective is also attended by the scrum team and happens on the last day of the sprint. Robert likes this ceremony because it gives his team a chance to review how well they are or are not doing and how they can make improvements for the next sprint.
Scrum is a framework that has specific ceremonies and roles designed to help a small team of people break down a complex project into small, functional pieces. The teams work in short time cycles known as sprints, and the goal is to deliver working, quality software at the end of the sprint. For Robert, the best thing about scrum is the frequent retrospective ceremonies so the team can inspect and adapt how they work. Thanks to Robert, Laurie now has a better understanding of scrum!
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Back To CourseAgile & Scrum Training
9 chapters | 131 lessons