Study Session: The Scrum Methodology

September 02, 2023

Our team at work has started to adapt to the scrum method for planning and implementing our deliverables. When it was first announced, I felt some level of shock on how things will be done differently. Coincidentally, I was in this headspace of being a student of life by studying something every night instead of doom scrolling on my phone πŸ˜“. And so, I decided that this topic will be my first subject to study on.


Scrum: Novice to Ninja
M. David Green 
This book worked well as a headstart on the details of the Scrum process. Reading this greatly helped me in following the discussions and understanding the motivations for certain decisions by the team. 


πŸ“ Notes & Takeaways

Scrum Roles consist of the following:

Scrum Master - 
officiates the scrum rituals; makes sure everyone is able to follow the scrum process; It is not advisable to make the Dev manager the Scrum Master as this will cause unnecessary tension during Daily Standups

Product Owner - defines the user stories and the acceptance criteria in coordination with the customer, ; monitors the backlogs

Dev - picks up the dev tasks

QA - does the testing

Scrum Rituals are:

Sprint Planning - this is when prioritization and organization of the sprint logs are done; this is also when story points are assigned; Story points should be agreed by all the members of the team during the discussion. Stories are organized in order of priority in the backlog and devs/qas pick up tasks on top of the sprint log. Because of this setup, there would be a scenario that a member would pick up a task that is outside of their specialization. Based on scrum principles, this is intentional so that all members will be well-rounded in their projects and will have a wider perspective on the overall architecture where the team's projects reside.

Quoting from the book:

"While it's valuable to have the most skilled talent working on the stories that are most appropriate for their specialties, it's also valuable for a team to share knowledge, so that everyone has a clear sense of what's involved in developing and maintaining the whole product. This helps the team become more versatile, provides learning and growth opportunities, improves everyone's ability to estimate new stories, and prevents mission-critical information from being the exclusive responsibility of one person. Finding the proper balance of efficient development and knowledge sharing is up to each team."

Daily Standup - should span 15-30 minutes only; it is the Scrum Master's responsibility that this ritual is timeboxed correctly; no side-discussions should be done; 

Sprint Demo - quick demo of the stories deployed for the sprint; optional to invite customers during this ritual

Sprint Retrospective - What went well? What can be improved?

Scrum Artifacts

Product Backlog
Sprint (usually has a 2-week long duration)
Burndown Chart
Story Points
Velocity Chart

The Scrum process can be made flexible to adapt with what works with the team. Our team is just warming up with incorporating Scrum with how we work. I'm also learning a lot, especially in the area of hitting my deadlines. πŸ˜“ This is a work-in-progress and I am thinking of new strategies to manage my work (especially due to upcoming commitments πŸ’ͺπŸ”₯) so I really have to amp up my time management skills. This is exciting times. I'm ready for the challenge! πŸ§ πŸ„✨

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