Scrum: Best and Worst Practices
Scrum is the most popular Agile-styled methodology of software development. Like any Agile method, it has lots of benefits compared to the traditional approaches. However, it is necessary to use only the best practices while managing your project with Scrum. This article will help you to find out what are the best Scum practices. It will also tell you about the bad Scrum practices and give you some tips on how to avoid them.
When it comes to Scrum practices, the first thing we should notice is that their use depends on the professional qualities of the team and the ScrumMaster. The ScrumMaster is the person who is responsible for coordinating the work of the team. Despite the fact that a Scrum team has no strict structure and formal leader, it still needs a person who will teach its members how to run projects in the most successful way. Such person is called a ScrumMaster and he is the main employee responsible for implementation of good or bad Scrum practices.
We will start our analysis with descriptions of the best Scrum principles and practices. All of them answer the question: “How to improve the effectiveness of your Scrum team?”
The first thing you should do to make the work of your Scrum team more effective is to determine the sprint length. It must be appropriate individually for your team. This simple principle can become the basis of one of the best Scrum practices if you use it in a right way. It is especially important if you just formed a new Scrum team. In that case, the first thing you should do is to determine the sprint terms.
Usually, the duration of the sprint term varies from one to four weeks, but too long or too short sprints are not the best solutions for new teams. In case of one-week sprints, the young team may not meet the terms, and if the sprint last four weeks the team may not be able to cope with the large amount of planed tasks. That is why it is better to choose two-week sprints, especially if you have an inexperienced team. Such duration of sprints is the best combination between the necessary amount of tasks and time required for performing them.
The next thing you should do in order to improve the effectiveness of your work is to educate your stakeholders. In the Scrum and Agile methodology, all the stakeholders play a great role. That is because of the fact that it is based on the customer’s strong involvement into the process of work on a project. However, to be able to give the necessary advice the customer must know the basic principles of your team’s work and its current activities.
To make your work more effective you should discuss all the necessary issues with the stakeholders. The customer must be always informed on the prioritization of tasks in your project and sprint backlogs. This will give him the ability to understand the process of work and to formulate his wishes on the final product most efficient.
The next thing you should do to improve the effectiveness of your working process is to build trust among the stakeholders. This is perhaps one of the most important of all Scrum rules and practices. The main thing you need to do to build trust among your stakeholders is to set realistic goals for your sprints and achieve them in time.
Now let’s talk about bad Scrum practices.
Bad execution of the main Scrum principles and practices may lead your project to failure, so it is necessary to know the worst Scrum practices to avoid them.
Wrong prioritization is one of the worst Scrum practices. However, it is not so rare. Many large companies try to set strict priorities for the Scrum projects just as for projects that are performed in a traditional manner. The wishes of the customer may be the reason for this. But Scrum is an Agile methodology. It is based on the principles of flexibility.
In Scrum, the items of the product backlog are usually changed constantly during the project’s realization. Setting strict priorities in the product backlog is one of the worst practices of Scrum. It may lead to wrong prioritization in the sprint backlog. As a result, you will get a final product with lots of bugs that were not fixed during the work. This rule illustrates the importance of right prioritization in the Scrum project management.