You felt lost when you discovered for the first time the Scrum method? In order to master Scrum methodology for project’s management and sprint scheduling, you need to roll up your sleeves, like in cooking! Let’s simply begin with the list of essential elements for Agile Scrum method.
Scrum methodology: introduction to the team
Do you remember the first time you made a chocolate cake on your own? On my side, I will say it wasn’t easy as pie (no pun intended). But by following the right recipe, everything becomes more simple, and I gained easily in efficiency!
As in every good cooking recipe, it’s mandatory to begin with the utensils necessary. In Agile Scrum methods, those utensils match the different members of the team project. Let’s decrypt together how the Scrum Master, the Product Owner, and the development team interact in project management.
The Scrum Master, warrant of the agile project
If we compare the job of the Scrum Master to an utensil to use in our chocolate cake recipe, it will be the baking pan! It is him that allows the cake to keep its shape and don’t go everywhere. He is responsible for the rules’ compliance.
Indeed, in the new methods for project management (opposed to the traditional ones: V cycles, waterfall…), the Scrum Master guides the whole Agile Team. He is responsible for the following of the rules to develop according to Agile’s methods, as well as the diverse events and artifacts, such as the sprints and daily meetings.
But be aware, the Scrum Master does not appear only at the end of the project. Your recipe is influenced by the size of your baking pan. The Scrum Master oversees the project in its entirety, from the choice of ingredients, the overall progress of the project, its specifications, to the tasting.
Product Owner, in charge of the product vision
The second utensil mandatory to your project management following Scrum method is the Product Owner (PO). Thanks to its deep knowledge of the client’s needs, the PO will guide the development team to obtain a cake which will be soft and smooth. Such as the weighing scale in your recipe! He indicates the right quantity of elements doable to succeed a sprint.
The PO is responsible for the product’s vision. He maximizes the value of each increment created by the Agile’s development team during the project’s iterations. The PO is flexible, he doesn’t mind the way the ingredients are mixed. He only checks that all are presents in the right quantity to reach its vision of the cake.
The development team, Agile’s developers for the Scrum project
This development team is the central core of your Agile practice. The team will mix all the ingredients, like a whisk! During each sprint, the development team will produce an increment (a version of the final product) that everybody can taste (or try, but you got it).
In order to create this version, the developers rely on the User Stories they find in the sprint backlog. They also use the Kanban board to organize their work. Each User Story coincides with a feature expected by the client for the final product.
The events in Scrum project management
Even if now you know all the utensils needed for your Scrum project management, you won’t be able to make a fantastic chocolate cake without following some steps! Indeed, you need to incorporate the ingredients in a precise order, to structure your development cycles. We don’t want our cake to be too much cooked, or to forget to whisk the egg whites!
The sprints, the basic of Scrum Method
The sprints are the heart of your project management. It’s around them the other Scrum’s events will organize themselves! A sprint defines a period of time lasting approximately a month. This length of time stays the same during the whole project.
A sprint is an iteration (or iterative cycle) during which the development team will produce a testable version of the product. As soon as a sprint ends, a new one begins, with new characteristics to develop for the development team. Various meetings shape this Agile approach: you can see them as diverse steps in your recipe!
Sprint planning, to organize your Scrum project
The sprint planning is the first reunion that will shape your sprint: it is with it that everything begins! The whole project team (the Scrum Master, the Product Owner and the development team) gathers and plans together all the elements which will be developed during the sprint.
Here, you look after the sprint value, as well as the work that would be realized and the way it should be. During this meeting, the team shifts the User Stories selected in the Kanban board: they will move them from the Product backlog to the “To Do” column.
If you compare this meeting to our chocolate cake recipe, the sprint planning is the selection of the ingredients. It is the moment the team thinks of the necessary elements to realize the increment (or the cake when you are cooking).
Daily Scrum, daily meeting for Agile’s teams
This meeting, as its name implies, takes place every day of the sprint. In only 15 minutes, each member of the development team exposes 3 elements. To begin with, the work realized the day before, then the blocking points encountered, and finally the work planned for the day.
By checking with your team each day during a small slot time, you ensure a fast decision-making in your team, and facilitate the communication inside the development team. This meeting will help you gain in agility!
Sprint review, second to last step of Scrum sprint
Second to last step of the sprint, the sprint review is a time of presentation: the Scrum team discloses the increment produced during the sprint. This meeting is planned at the end of each sprint, for a duration of four hours at most.
The product’s characteristics produced during the iteration are validated, as well as the changes that have impacted the development team. The team also talks about the next challenges and features that will be developed, and the product backlog can be modified to answer those needs! To put it in simple terms: you have tasted your chocolate cake, and it’s time to assess it! Was the cake to dry? Not sweet enough ?
Sprint retrospective, last step of Scrum method
Finally, the last meeting of your Scrum methodology: the sprint retrospective. This time of exchanges takes place at the end of each sprint and lasts at most three hours.
Here, the whole project team questions the conduct of the sprint, the elements which went well and the one which, on the contrary, have blocked the progress. For example: could we be more efficient if we had whisked the egg whites while the chocolate was melting?
This last step is really important, because it’s it that ensures a continuous improvement in your Agile’s teams. While doing the review of all the elements and listening to the opinion of all the scrum team’s members, you will pull through useful learning for your developments.
The artifact in Agile Scrum methodology
We have presented to you the utensils and the recipe building the Scrum methodology. It is time to look at the ingredients! Because you will never succeed in your chocolate cake if you don’t have the floor or if you confuse sugar for salt.
The product backlog, the frame of Scrum project
The product backlog can be compared to your ingredient’s cupboard. It is in it that you will find all the ingredients you need to master your chocolate cake and your Agile project management. All the features of your product that need to be developed during the sprints are described in it!
Those ingredients are selected by the Product Owner, to guarantee a maximal value (and an exceptional flavor).
The PO is responsible for the product backlog, but it is the development team that selects the User Stories the members will realize during the sprint. The Product Backlog is the basis for the whole Agile approach!
Of course, it isn’t fixed and evolves all along your Scrum project management. New User Stories, as well as new characteristics can be added during the development, to match the more possible to the client’s expectations.
Sprint backlog, the map for Scrum’s developers
The sprint backlog combines the necessary ingredients for a precise step of your cake. For example, to whisk the egg whites, you will need eggs, a bit of salt and an electric mixer.
The sprint backlog identifies all the User Stories that will be developed during a specific sprint. In the Kanban board, each User Story should be in the “Done” column at the end of the sprint.
The increment, product realized at the end of a sprint
Finally, the result much expected: your chocolate cake! The increment is actually a functional and usable version of your product. The development team produces an increment during a sprint, which will be used as a reference for the assessment during the sprint review.
Begin a project management following Scrum methodology
Now, you have in your hands all the information you need to realize a fantastic chocolate cake! However, if you feel Scrum methodology is still a hard nut to crack, feel free to contact our team: we will offer you a personalized support.
Cream of the crop: find the favorite chocolate recipe of our team!