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Scrum (software development)


Scrum is an iterative and incremental agile software development framework for managing product development. It defines "a flexible, holistic product development strategy where a development team works as a unit to reach a common goal", challenges assumptions of the "traditional, sequential approach" to product development, and enables teams to self-organize by encouraging physical co-location or close online collaboration of all team members, as well as daily face-to-face communication among all team members and disciplines involved.

A key principle of Scrum is its recognition that during product development, the customers can change their minds about what they want and need (often called requirements volatility), and that unpredicted challenges cannot be easily addressed in a traditional predictive or planned manner. As such, Scrum adopts an evidence-based empirical approach—accepting that the problem cannot be fully understood or defined, focusing instead on maximizing the team's ability to deliver quickly, to respond to emerging requirements and to adapt to evolving technologies and changes in market conditions.

Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka introduced the word 'scrum' as a term in the context of product development in 1986 in their article on the New New Product Development Game. Takeuchi and Nonaka later argued in The Knowledge Creating Company that it is a form of "organizational knowledge creation, [...] especially good at bringing about innovation continuously, incrementally and spirally".

The authors described a new approach to commercial product-development that would increase speed and flexibility, based on case studies from manufacturing firms in the automotive, photocopier and printer industries. They called this the holistic or rugby approach, as the whole process is performed by one cross-functional team across multiple overlapping phases, where the team "tries to go the distance as a unit, passing the ball back and forth". (In rugby football, a scrum refers to a tight-packed formation of players with their heads down who attempt to gain possession of the ball.)



Commitment
Team members individually commit to achieving their team goals, each and every Sprint.
Courage
Team members know they have the courage to work through conflict and challenges together so that they can do the right thing.
Focus
Team members focus exclusively on their team goals and the Sprint Backlog; there should be no work done other than through their backlog.
Openness
Team members and their stakeholders agree to be transparent about their work and any challenges they face.
Respect
Team members respect each other to be technically capable and to work with good intent.
Scrum Team
Product Owner, Scrum Master and Development Team
Product Owner
The person responsible for maintaining the Product Backlog by representing the interests of the stakeholders, and ensuring the value of the work the Development Team does.
Scrum Master
The person responsible for the Scrum framework, making sure it is used correctly and maximizing its benefits.
Development Team
A cross-functional group of people responsible for delivering potentially shippable increments of product at the end of every Sprint.
Sprint burn-down chart
Daily progress for a Sprint over the Sprint's length.
Release burn-down chart
Feature level progress of completed Product Backlog Items in the Product Backlog.
Product Backlog (PBL) list
A prioritized list of high-level requirements.
Sprint Backlog (SBL) list
A prioritized list of tasks to complete during the Sprint.
Sprint
A time period (typically 1–4 weeks) in which development occurs on a set of Product Backlog Items that the team has committed to—commonly referred to as a time-box or iteration
Spike
A time boxed period used to research a concept or create a simple prototype. Spikes can either be planned to take place in between Sprints or, for larger teams, a spike might be accepted as one of many Sprint delivery objectives. Spikes are often introduced before the delivery of large or complex Product Backlog Items in order to secure budget, expand knowledge, or produce a proof of concept. The duration and objective(s) of a spike is agreed between Product Owner and Development Team before the start. Unlike Sprint commitments, spikes may or may not deliver tangible, shippable, valuable functionality. For example, the objective of a spike might be to successfully reach a decision on a course of action. The spike is over when the time is up, not necessarily when the objective has been delivered.
Tracer bullet
Also called a 'drone spike', a tracer bullet is a spike with the current architecture, current technology set, current set of best practices that results in production quality code. It might just be a very narrow implementation of the functionality but is not throw away code. It is of production quality, and the rest of the iterations can build on this code. The name has military origins as ammunition that makes the path of the bullet visible, allowing for corrections. Often these implementations are a 'quick shot' through all layers of an application, such as connecting a single form's input field to the back-end, to prove the layers connect as expected.
Tasks
Work items added to the Sprint Backlog in Sprint Planning, or during the Sprint, with an estimate of hours to complete. Generally, each task should be small enough to be easily completed within a single day.
Definition of done (DoD)
The exit-criteria to determine whether a Product Backlog Item is complete. In many cases the DoD requires that all regression tests should be successful. The definition of done may vary from one Scrum Team to another, but must be consistent within one team.
Velocity
The total effort a team is capable of in a Sprint. The number is derived by evaluating the work (typically in user story points) completed in the last Sprint. The collection of historical velocity data is a guideline for assisting the team in understanding how much work they can likely achieve in a future Sprint.
Impediment
Anything that prevents a team member from performing work as efficiently as possible.
Sashimi
A term used to describe one or more user stories, indicating that they are thin slices of a product feature or capability.
Abnormal termination
The Product Owner can cancel a Sprint if necessary. The Product Owner may do so with input from the team, Scrum Master or management. For instance, management may wish to cancel a Sprint if external circumstances negate the value of the Sprint goal. If a Sprint is abnormally terminated, the next step is to conduct a new Sprint Planning, where the reason for the termination is reviewed.
ScrumBut
ScrumBut (or Scrum but) is a term to describe the approach of a team who have heavily adapted the Scrum framework to their own needs in some way contradictory to the principles of Scrum.
  • demonstrates the solution to key stakeholders who were not present at a Sprint Review;
  • defines and announces releases;
  • communicates team status;
  • organizes milestone reviews;
  • educates stakeholders in the development process;
  • negotiates priorities, scope, funding, and schedule;
  • ensures that the Product Backlog is visible, transparent, and clear.
  • Helping the Product Owner maintain the Product Backlog in a way that ensures the needed work is well understood so the team can continually make forward progress
  • Helping the team to determine the definition of done for the product, with input from key stakeholders
  • Coaching the team, within the Scrum principles, in order to deliver high-quality features for its product
  • Promoting self-organization within the team
  • Helping the Scrum Team to avoid or remove impediments to its progress, whether internal or external to the team
  • Facilitating team events to ensure regular progress
  • Educating key stakeholders in the product on Scrum principles
  • Coaching the Development Team in self-organization and cross-functionality
  • Communicate the scope of work that is intended to be done during that Sprint
  • Select Product Backlog Items that can be completed in one Sprint
  • Prepare the Sprint Backlog that details the work needed to finish the selected Product Backlog Items
  • Time-boxed to a four-hour limit for a two-week Sprint (pro rata for other Sprint durations)
    • During the first half, the whole Scrum Team (Development Team, Scrum Master, and Product Owner) selects the Product Backlog Items might be achievable in that Sprint
    • During the second half, the Development Team decomposes the work items (tasks) required to deliver those Product Backlog Items; resulting in a confirmed Sprint Backlog
      • Some Product Backlog Items may be split or deprioritized if the identified work is not achievable in that Sprint
  • During the first half, the whole Scrum Team (Development Team, Scrum Master, and Product Owner) selects the Product Backlog Items might be achievable in that Sprint
  • During the second half, the Development Team decomposes the work items (tasks) required to deliver those Product Backlog Items; resulting in a confirmed Sprint Backlog
    • Some Product Backlog Items may be split or deprioritized if the identified work is not achievable in that Sprint
  • Some Product Backlog Items may be split or deprioritized if the identified work is not achievable in that Sprint
  • All members of the Development Team come prepared. The Daily Scrum...
    • ...starts precisely on time even if some Development Team members are missing
    • ...should happen at the same time and place every day
    • ...is limited (timeboxed) to fifteen minutes
  • Anyone is welcome, though normally only Scrum Team roles contribute.
  • During the Daily Scrum, each team-member answers three questions:
    • What did I do yesterday that helped the Development Team meet the Sprint goal?
    • What will I do today to help the Development Team meet the Sprint goal?
    • Do I see any impediment that prevents me or the Development Team from meeting the Sprint goal?
  • ...starts precisely on time even if some Development Team members are missing
  • ...should happen at the same time and place every day
  • ...is limited (timeboxed) to fifteen minutes
  • What did I do yesterday that helped the Development Team meet the Sprint goal?
  • What will I do today to help the Development Team meet the Sprint goal?
  • Do I see any impediment that prevents me or the Development Team from meeting the Sprint goal?
  • Reviews the work that was completed and the planned work that was not completed
  • Presents the completed work to the stakeholders (a.k.a. the demo)
  • Incomplete work cannot be demonstrated
  • The recommended duration is two hours for a two-week Sprint (pro-rata for other Sprint durations)
  • Reflects on the past Sprint
  • Identifies and agrees on continuous process improvement actions
  • Two main questions are asked in the Sprint Retrospective: What went well during the Sprint? What could be improved in the next Sprint?
  • The recommended duration is one-and-a-half hours for a two-week Sprint (pro-rata for other Sprint durations)
  • This event is facilitated by the Scrum Master
  • What risks, impediments, dependencies, and assumptions has your team moved on since we last met?
  • What risks, impediments, dependencies, and assumptions will your team move on before we meet again?
  • Are there any new risks, impediments, dependencies, and assumptions slowing your team down or getting in their way?
  • Are you about to introduce a new risk, impediment, dependency, and assumption that will get in another team's way?
  • Captures requests to modify a product—including new features, replacing old features, removing features, and fixing issues
  • Ensures the Development Team has work that maximizes business benefit to the Product Owner
  • Teams whose members are geographically dispersed or part-time. In Scrum, developers should have close and ongoing interaction, ideally working together in the same space most of the time.
  • Teams whose members have very specialised skills. In Scrum, developers should be able to work on any task or pick up work that another developer has started.
  • Products with many external dependencies. In Scrum, dividing product development into short Sprints requires careful planning; external dependencies, such as deliveries of software from other teams, can lead to delays and the failure of individual Sprints.
  • Products that are mature or legacy or with regulated quality control. In Scrum, Product Increments should be fully developed and tested in a single Sprint; products that need large amounts of regression testing or safety testing (e.g., medical devices or vehicle control) for each release are less suited to short Sprints than to longer waterfall releases.
  • Unstarted
  • Ongoing
  • Completed
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Wikipedia

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