Scrum: a project management method for agile software development

  1. Scrum roles:  Scrum has three important roles; the Product Owner, the Scrum Master, and the Scrum Team.
    Product Owner:  The Product Owner is the one representing the customer and the business owners of the project. He or she is responsible for creating and prioritizing the Product Backlog, and at the end of the Sprint, the Product Owner is also responsible for reviewing the system. For commercial development, the Product Owner may be the previous product manager. For in-house development, the Product Owner could be the project manager or the user department manager.
    Scrum Master:  The Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring that Scrum values, practices, and rules are enforced. The Scrum Master is the driving force behind all the Scrum practices; he or she sets them up and makes them happen. The Scrum Master presents management and the team to each other. The Team Leader, Project Leader, or Project Manager often assume the Scrum Master role.
    Scrum Teams:  Scrum Teams are small (5-9 people), self-organizing and cross-functional, thus performs all design, development, tests etc. together. The team has full authority to do whatever is necessary to achieve the Sprint Goal. It is only constrained by organizational standards and conventions. Team members can interview others, bring in consultants, read books, browse the web, or whatever they need (within budgetary constrains) to achieve the goal. There are no roles or titles within the team and the members doesn’t have job descriptions other than doing the best work possible. Since the team size are relatively small, multiple teams often develop product increments in parallel, all teams working from the same list of wanted features. This set-up is known as a Scrum of Scrums.
  2. The Process
    Sprint Planning Meeting : At the Sprint Planning Meeting, customers, users, management, the Product Owner and the Scrum Team determine the next Sprint goal and functionality. The Sprint Planning Meeting actually consists of two separate meetings. First, the teams meets with the Product Owner, management and users to figure out what functionality to build during the next Sprint. At the second meeting, the team works by itself to figure out how it is going to build this
    functionality during the Sprint.
    Daily Scrum Meetings: Each Scrum Team meets daily for a 15-minute status meeting called the Daily Scrum. The Scrum Master is responsible for successfully conducting the Daily Scrum, by keeping it short and making sure the team members speak briefy. Other stakeholders can also attend the Daily Scrum, but they are there as guests and are not allowed to interfere in any way.Every person from the team shall, one at a time, briefly answer three questions:
    – What have you done since the last Daily Scrum?
    – What will you do between now and the next Daily Scrum?
    – What got in your way of doing your work?
    The first two questions gives the attendants a brief progress report, and lets the team synchronize their work. If a team member identifies something that is stopping him or her from working effectively, it is the Scrum Master’s top priority to remove that impediment. Such impediments can be that a server is down or that the team member was asked by management to do something else.
    Sprint Review Meeting:  The Sprint Review Meeting is an informal meeting, where the team presents what it has been able to build during the Sprint.
    Management comes to the Sprint Review to see what the team has been able to do with the resources that it has been given. Customers come to see if they like what the team has built and the Product Owner comes to the Sprint Review to see how much functionality has been built. Since this is suppose to be an informal meeting, no one should prepare extensively for it. That is why Power Point presentation and similar are forbidden. The Sprint Review is a working meeting where everyone should get an understanding for the product increment, as this is the knowledge they will need for the next Sprint Planning Meeting.
    Sprint Retrospective Meeting:  After each Sprint Review, but before the next Sprint Planning Meeting, a Sprint Retrospective is held at which all team members Retrospectect about the past Sprint. The purpose of the retrospective is to make continuous process improvement.
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