In this article, you will find a complete definition of Scrum project management. This organizational scheme of complex product development, also called Frameworks, offers an approach that allows you to quickly deliver products or features.
SCRUM | Definition
As a reminder, Scrum is an agile method dedicated to “project management.” This management method, or rather this Project Management Framework, aims to improve the productivity of its team.
Role distributions in Scrum
The Scrum Master
- Ensures that the principles and values of Scrum are respected
- Facilitates communication within the team
- Seeking to improve the productivity and know-how of his team
The Scrum team
- No definite role. It can be an: architect, developer, tester, etc.
- All the team members bring their know-how to accomplish the given tasks
- In general, the team’s size is 6 to 10 people––and up to 200 people
The Product Owner
- Field expert (business) defines the functional side of the project and features’ specifications
- Establishes the priority of features to develop, to test, or to correct
- Validate developed features
- Testing and playing the role of the client
The Scrum lifecycle is punctuated by iterations of a few weeks (the sprints).
All Scrum sprints are preceded by a sprint planning meeting, where sprinting tasks are established and identified, and an estimated commitment of sprint goals is placed. The product owner and his team decide what should be moved from the product backlog to the sprint backlog.
During the Scrum sprint, teams register at the daily scrum meeting, called a daily stand-up meeting. These meetings allow the team to update project status, discuss solutions and challenges, and share progress with product owners.
A Scrum sprint is followed by a sprint review, during which the process is reviewed to identify instructions that can be used to improve the next sprint.
A retrospective sprint meeting follows the sprint review. This meeting looks at how the work was done during the sprint period. This gives the team a chance to discuss the sprint and think of better alternatives to do things effectively.
The product backlog
The initial requirements are drawn up and prioritized with the customer. It is what we call the product backlog. It does not have to contain all the features expected at the beginning of the project; it will evolve and change during the project in line with the client’s needs.
Described feature using the terminology used by the client.
A User Story (or Story) usually contains the following information:
- ID – a unique identifier
- Name – a short name (between 2 and 10 words) describing the functionality expected by the customer (e.g. Export / Import Standard Sales Item). The name must be clear enough for team members and the Product Owner to understand what the feature is. The name should not introduce ambiguities.
- Importance – an integer that sets the priority of the Stories. The priority of a story can be changed during project realization.
- Estimate – The amount of work required to develop, test, and validate this feature. The unit of measurement can be an ideal number of days (100% days dedicated to functionality) or a number of points. Estimates are relative by comparing estimates of completed stories with the story to be estimated.
- Demo – A relatively simple test (ex: to export an object in XML, and then to erase it from the database; to import it from the XML––at the end the object must be in the database). This test is a validation test.
- Notes – Any other information, clarifications, documentary references, etc.
Sprint planning meeting
Before each sprint, we organize a planning meeting (the sprint planning meeting). This schedule selects in the product backlog the highest priority requirements for the customer. They will be developed, tested, and delivered to the customer at the end of the sprint. They are the sprint backlog, a subset of the product backlog.
During the sprint, there is a progress meeting (about 15 min) every day with all the team members to make sure that the sprint goals will be met. This is the scrum. Every day, after the Scrum meeting, the Scrum Master maintains a graph called the sprint burndown chart. This graph gives a very good view of what has been done and the team’s pace of work. It also allows you to anticipate whether all Sprint Backlog stories will be completed at the end of the iteration or not.
This meeting has a purely informative purpose, but it also stimulates teamwork and a level of commitment among team members. During the meeting, each member of the team must speak and present mainly the following thing:
- What did I do yesterday? Potential problems confronted?
- What am I going to do today?
- Do I have challenges to continue my work?
By doing this exercise on a daily basis, each member of the team is aware of what his colleagues are doing and can coordinate his work and help (or ask for help).
The Scrum Meeting is not a place to try to solve problems, but only to identify and express them. The role of the Scrum Master is to provide solutions or to delegate to another member of the team in order to resolve the issues raised during the Scrum Meeting. As a result of this meeting, the Scrum Master updates the burndown chart.
At the end of a sprint, we have to present to the customer the latest advancements (updates) revealed during the Sprint Review Meeting. It is also an opportunity to make a results sheet, which shows how the team works and find areas for improvement.
Because of its values, Scrum advocates adaptability, based on the experience gained and the specificities of the project (which brings it closer to the production process of Toyota), visibility, to evaluate the results of the process, and inspection, which consists of verifying deviations from the original objective.
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