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Scrum in under 10 minutes

Scrum in under 10 minutes

January 27, 2009
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I came across this video on YouTube describing the basics of Scrum. It’s quick and informative, definitely worth the 10 minutes.

Here a brief summary of what it covers.

Product Backlog

This is a wish list of all the things that would make the product great. These can be given by users, customers, executives, and other team members (developers, testers, and so on).

Release Backlog

Take features from product backlog to make a release backlog. These features are then prioritized and estimated. This can be added up to give a total release estimate.

Sprint Backlog

Now, plan out sprints to get work done. Sprints can be anywhere from 3 to 30 days in length. As a rule of thumb, any given release should have at least 4 and up to 12 sprints. The goal of each sprint is to get a subset of the release backlog into a ship ready state. That means any bugs or defects found during that sprint must be addressed immediately.

Product Owner: Sets the direction and makes sure right features get into product backlog. The product owner will also prioritize the features in the release backlog.

Scrum Master: Makes sure that project is on schedule, and that every team member hast the tools needed to complete their work. It’s basically a fancy name for Project Manager.

The Scrum Master monitors the progress of each sprint with a burn down chart. This chart provides a day by day measure of the amount of work remaining in a given sprint. As the developers on a team work on a particular sprint, each one updates the time estimated to complete their feature, which should hopefully go down each time.The outstanding work (or backlog) is on the vertical axis, with time along the horizontal axis.

Velocity

The slope of the burn down chart is the burn down velocity, or average rate of productivity. Given that, the estimated completion date of the sprint or release can be calculated.

Bugs and Defects

Bugs are tracked separately from features in their own defect backlog. However, bugs found during a feature sprint should be handled immediately. A good rule of thumb is to plan 1-2 sprints to focus on the defect backlog.

Daily scrums

These are daily standup meetings, to make sure that they don’t take too long. Each team member answers three questions:

  1. What have you accomplished yesterday?
  2. What are you committing to today?
  3. Do you have any problems preventing you from accomplishing your goal?

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