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Introduction To Scrum

Posted on 11/29/2009 07:46:00 PM by Abhijeet Bhagat

An Introduction to Scrum

  • Scrum is an agile process that allows us to focus on delivering the highest business value in the shortest time.  
  • It allows us to rapidly and repeatedly inspect actual working software (every two weeks to one month). 
  • The business sets the priorities. Teams self-organize to determine the best way to deliver the highest priority features.  
  • Every two weeks to a month anyone can see real working software and decide to release it as is or continue to enhance it for another sprint.

 Characteristics :
  • Self-organizing teams 
  • Product progresses in a series of month-long “sprints” 
  • Requirements are captured as items in a list of “product backlog” 
  • No specific engineering practices prescribed 
  • Uses generative rules to create an agile environment for delivering projects 
  • One of the “agile processes”

Sprints :
  • Scrum projects make progress in a series of “sprints” 
  • Analogous to Extreme Programming iterations 
  • Typical duration is 2–4 weeks or a calendar month at most 
  • A constant duration leads to a better rhythm 
  • Product is designed, coded, and tested during the sprint 

The Scrum Framework :

  1. Roles

    • Product owner

    • ScrumMaster

    • Team

  2. Ceremonies

    • Sprint planning

    • Sprint review

    • Sprint retrospective

    • Daily scrum meeting

  3. Artifacts

    • Product backlog

    • Sprint backlog

    • Burndown charts

 Let's Discuss the Three Roles :
Product Owner :

  • Define the features of the product

  • Decide on release date and content 
  • Be responsible for the profitability of the product (ROI) 
  • Prioritize features according to market value  
  • Adjust features and priority every iteration, as needed   
  • Accept or reject work results
The Scrum Master :
  • Represents management to the project
  • Responsible for enacting Scrum values and practices
  • Removes impediments
  • Ensure that the team is fully functional and productive
  • Enable close cooperation across all roles and functions
  • Shield the team from external interferences
 The Team :
  • Typically 5-9 people 
  • Cross-functional:
  • Programmers, testers, user experience designers, etc.
  • Members should be full-time
  • May be exceptions (e.g., database administrator)
  • Teams are self-organizing
  • Ideally, no titles but rarely a possibility
  • Membership should change only between sprints

 Let's Discuss the Ceremonies :

Sprint Planning :

  • Team selects items from the product backlog they can commit to completing

  • Sprint backlog is created 
  • Tasks are identified and each is estimated (1-16 hours) 
  • Collaboratively, not done alone by the ScrumMaster 
  • High-level design is considered
The Daily Scrum :

  • Held Daily 
  • 15-minutes 
  • Stand-up 
  • Not for problem solving 
    • Whole world is invited
    • Only team members, ScrumMaster, product owner, can talk
  • Helps avoid other unnecessary meetings


 Each Team Member answers 3 Questions :

  • What did you do yesterday?

  • What will you do today? 

  • Is anything in your way?

 The Sprint Review :
  • Team presents what it accomplished during the sprint  
  • Typically takes the form of a demo of new features or underlying architecture 
  • Informal 
  • 2-hour prep time rule 
  • No slides 
  • Whole team participates 
  • Invite the world

 Sprint retrospective :
  • Periodically take a look at what is and is not working  
  • Typically 15–30 minutes 
  • Done after every sprint 
  • Whole team participates 
  • ScrumMaster 
  • Product owner 
  • Team 
  • Possibly customers and others

 Let's Discuss the Artifacts:

The Product Backlog:
  • The requirements
  • A list of all desired work on the project
  • Ideally expressed such that each item has value to the users or customers of the product
  • Prioritized by the product owner
  • Reprioritized at the start of each sprint

Managing the sprint backlog
Sprint Goal : A short statement of what the work will be focused on during the sprintIndividuals sign up for work of their own choosing

  • Work is never assigned
  • Estimated work remaining is updated daily
  • Any team member can add, delete or change the sprint backlog
  • Work for the sprint emerges
  • If work is unclear, define a sprint backlog item with a larger amount of time and break it down later
  • Update work remaining as more becomes known

Srum is used by :
  • Microsoft 
  • Yahoo 
  • Google 
  • Electronic Arts 
  • Lockheed Martin 
  • Philips 
  • Siemens 
  • Nokia 
  • IBM 
  • Capital One 
  • BBC
  • Intuit 
  • Nielsen Media 
  • First American Real Estate 
  • BMC Software 
  • Ipswitch 
  • John Deere 
  • Lexis Nexis 
  • Sabre 
  • Time Warner 
  • Turner Broadcasting 
  • Oce

Suggested Reading List :
  1. Agile and Iterative Development: A Manager’s Guide by Craig Larman  
  2. Agile Estimating and Planning by Mike Cohn 
  3. Agile Project Management with Scrum by Ken Schwaber 
  4. Agile Retrospectives by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen 
  5. Agile Software Development Ecosystems by Jim Highsmith
  6. Agile Software Development with Scrum by Ken Schwaber and Mike Beedle
  7. Scrum and The Enterprise by Ken Schwaber
  8. User Stories Applied for Agile Software Development by Mike Cohn
  9. Lots of weekly articles at

Courtesy and Thanks :

 Disclaimer : The Above article is derived from many  various sources a special thanks to Mike Cohn


1 Response to "Introduction To Scrum"

thiruppathy999 Says....

I enjoyed reading your blog ~ thanks for posting such useful content./Nice article and great photos. Very nicely done!
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