Understanding SCRUM

* scrum-overviewSCRUM is one of the project management methodologies of the agile family
* It is simple and light weight
* Of the constraints of time, cost and scope, time is the only one “non-negotiable’
* Based on self organized teams and a servant leader (scrum master)
* Scrum is based on the agile manifesto
* Scrum team values everything that adds value to the project’s deliverables, (that means, they are against everything which does not add any value to the project’s deliverable.
* SCRUM is based on the value systems of commitment, focus, openness, respect and courage.
* SCRUM is based on meritocracy (protecting the strong)
* The key building blocks of scrum framework are product backlog, sprint planning meeting, sprint backlog, sprints, daily scrums, demo meetings and lessons learned at the end of every sprint.
* The key roles in the scrum team are product owner (the custodian of product backlog and propritization), the scrum master (implementing scrum within the teams and removing impediments to the team) and the team members.
* There are no specific titles for the team members. team members are selected based on their core competencies (some based on their coding skills, some others for their testing skills, some others for domain knowledge) and at the same time anybody can volunteer for any pending activity.
* There is no concept of work allocation in scrum teams. Work is displayed and the team members can volunteer.
* At the beginning of a sprint, the product owner, scrum master and the team decides / agrees on the features to be developed during the sprint. This is done through a sprint planning meeting (8 hour meeting for a 30 day sprint – Our sprints are 6 day sprints hence the sprint planning time is much lesser). The sprint durations are identical (cannot have one sprint of 10 days, then a 20 day sprint followed by another 30 day sprint).
* During the sprint planning meeting, the time and venue of the demo meeting (at the end of the sprint), the participants and the acceptance test are also finalized.
* During the sprint, the team works on the agreed upon features.
* Every day the team has a scrum meeting (daily stand up meeting). During the meeting every team member reports the status of her work to the rest of the team.
* In case the team members need some help to remove impediments, they are also highlighted during the scrum meeting (resolved by the scrum master).
* Upon completion of the sprint, the team demonstrates the features developed to the demo meeting participants.
* At the end of every sprint, a lessons learned exercise is conducted (to be addressed before the start of the next sprint).
* The team gets into the planning of the next sprint

Hope this much will give you an idea of the scrum framework. In the forthcoming posts, I will elaborate this further.


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