Scrum 101: Beginners’ Quickstart Guide to Mastering Scrum
Scrum is a type of Agile project management methodology. In this article, we’ll discuss different aspects of the Scrum project management process, so you’ll be able to take a look at the agile best practices.
1. Effective daily Scrum meetings
You should hold effective daily scrum meetings in order to accomplish successful Scrum project. Effective daily scrum meetings have the following features:
- The daily scrum meeting has these objectives: to approach the project as a team, to inform about the status of the project, to identify the obstacles the team has come across, to set the day’s direction, and to improve the team cohesiveness.
- The meeting should be held in the same place and at the same time every day.
- Members should stand in most cases – this helps to keep the meeting short.
- All project stakeholders should attend the daily scrum.
- The meeting should be 15 minutes or less.
By obeying to the above practices during your daily scrum meeting, you will increase the efficiency of your team and improve the quality of your project by avoiding unnecessary and time-wasting meetings.
2. Sprint and product backlog
You should preserve your Sprint Backlog and your Product Backlog as well-organized, different logs. The Sprint Backlog should contain the work you will work on during the Sprint and nothing else. If other tasks appear during a Sprint, then they should be put in the Product Backlog. You can deal effectively with your Sprint and Product Backlog following these tips:
- You should not mix your Sprint Backlog with your Product Backlog. If you start putting items on your Sprint Backlog that should be on your Product Backlog, you will start out problems.
- You can use Excel, in order to create your Backlog. This way will enable you to prioritize your tasks easily.
- For that purpose, you can also apply one of the many project management software options, like Scrum Desk, to manage your backlogs.
- You should reprioritize your Product Backlog each time you add an item to it. It will save you efforts in the future.
- You should not add more items to your Sprint Backlog than can be completed during your Sprint. You will only disturb yourself and your team.
- You should assign an ID number to each item on your backlog – this way you will keep track of tasks and stories, no matter what you call them.
- You should always include an estimate of how long it will take to complete the item in your sprint backlog.
- You should be very specific with each part of your Sprint Backlog story.
By controlling your Backlog, you will save time and effort and you can help maximize productivity by working on only the items that are important for your project.
3. Sprints and planning meetings
In the upper section, we talked about Sprint Backlog, Product Backlog, and Daily Scrum best practices. Sprints are the active time period where team members work on the items from the Sprint backlog:
- You should define a list of highly committed team members for the sprint.
- You must ensure that you have a clear goal for your sprint – during the planning session. This will help you to focus on the sprint efforts.
- When you will select the sprint backlog items, you will have to commit to them completely.
- You should define the sprint time to 15-30 days, the average for a sprint. If longer that means you are trying to accomplish too much. If shorter it means you may not have time to run the tasks developed.
- You can hold a sprint planning session once your product backlog has enough organization and details. If you start a sprint planning session when you lack some details, then your project may face a scope creep.
- The sprint planning meeting should take no longer (and no shorter) than 4 hours.
The crucial factor is the Scrum team – it can make or ruin your Scrum project. You should choose a team, not only for each member’s previous successes but also for the ability of the members to cooperate and communicate with one another. Here are some best Scrum team practices:
- Teams in Scrum should be able to self-organize. If a team contains one or two idlers, it may be hard for the team to move forward on projects.
- Most Scrum teams consist of between six and ten people. However, with careful scaling, your Scrum project may consist of one hundred or more people.
- You should maintain the communication among team members by utilizing project collaboration software tools. This will enable that everyone in the team will be on the same item, know what’s going on, and know what needs to be worked on next. It will also allow for the testers to have open access to new lines of code in software projects.