In my previous blog I gave a brief introduction and overview of the SCRUM methodology however, after researching the method further I belief it is often illustrated to be far more scientific than needs be. In reality I believe scrum can be implemented with a simple understanding of the steps involved. Through my research I found a great blog entitled “All About Agile” (http://www.allaboutagile.com/how-to-implement-scrum-in-10-easy-steps/) which outlines 10 simple steps to be followed to ensure the successful implementation of SCRUM. Within this post I will summarise and illustrate the first 5 of these steps.
Get Your Backlog in Order
Align your development team with the organisation ensuring that there is at least one team member solely dedicated to the project at hand.
To simplify the integration of SCRUM within your organisation it should first be implemented in business as usual in order to allow staff to become accustom to the method before implementation on a big project.
Appoint a product owner, ensuring it’s someone who is dedicated to the success of the product and is willing and able to communicate product requirements.
Appoint a SCRUM master who’s responsible for advising/co-ordinating the scrum team and eliminating any obstacles which hinder them.
The SCRUM team must now collaborate to produce the Product Backlog. This is a list of things which the team would like to be done to the product in priority order. This list is expressed in business terms and can only be prioritised by the product owner.
2. How to Estimate your Product Backlog
Estimating the size of the product backlog is important for management to establish the overall size of the project and ensure they supply a team sufficient enough to have it completed by the deadline
Together the SCRUM team and Product Owner should estimate the size of each step to give them a general overview of the project size as whole.
Working as a team leaves less room for error as someone might see issues and complications where another didn’t just as someone might spot a simpler approach not recognised by others.
3. Sprint Planning
Call a sprint planning meeting attended by all members of the SCRUM team -including the SCRUM master and the Product Owner – where the group must decide on the sprint duration
The recommended sprint time is 30 days but this may vary depending on the content of the backlog.
It is important that the size of each sprint is kept consistent throughout the project to allow the SCRUM team to get into the flow of the project.
Set a target for the sprint by summarising the goals of the sprint in one clearly defined objective. This objective should include a bit more than you think can be achieved within the sprint in case the team finishes early.
As a team you should now go through each item on the product backlog methodically so that the whole team can discuss each item in detail and establish how each item will work from a functional perspective.
4. Sprint Planning (part 2)
In part 1 of the sprint planning workshop was focused on clarifying the requirements for the selected product backlog. It is advised that there is a one day break between part 1 and 2 to allow the SCRUM team to resolve any issues or remaining questions about the requirements.
First the sprint budget must be set, this is the available number of hours the team has to work on the sprint.
Go through each product backlog item selected for the sprint and break the requirements into tasks. It is important that the team agrees on a “definition of done” so that the amount of tasks necessary to make the product backlog item 100% complete are included.
As a team, tasks should be estimated in hours. Any task which last longer than 1 day should be broken down further into 2 or more tasks.
Add up all the number of tasks on the product backlog and compare them to the sprint budget. If it is much higher than the sprint budget remover some of the product backlog beginning with the least important steps.
The team as a whole must now commit to delivering the sprint backlog.
5. Create a Collaborative Workspace
An efficient workspace where the team meets everyday to discuss progress must be created.
This is best facilitated through the use of white boards which contain all project information to date at a glance.
One of these white boards should be separated into 5 columns labelled 1.Product Backlog 2.Tasks to do 3.Work in progress 4.Ready to be Verified 5.Done
The first column should contain post its summarising the sprint requirements with the tasks for each requirement parallel in the second column.
When a member of the SCRUM team is working on a task they should move it to the “work in progress” and so on as different tasks are verified and completed.