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Understanding the Agile Scrum Framework

The difference between a good software developer and a great one lies in the processes; by this, I mean the framework on which you build your products. One of such awesome methodologies is Scrum and it is awesome because it does a great job of managing complex projects. For a smaller scaled task, you may want to try out some other approaches to software development but for big budget projects, you will want to make the Scrum approach your go-to approach.

Part of what has made Scrum so successful is its ability to trim down the long development cycles that most software development projects are known for. With the help of cross functional teams made, a series of iterations are made as the project progresses, thus making the vision of the final product clearer.

So this is how it works – – The scrum team come together to work off of a “to-do list called the Product Backlog. This is basically where all the features that the customer or end user of the finished product wants to see. This product backlog is managed and prioritized by the Product Owner; the product owner is the only person tasked with adding the right user stories to the product backlog. This process is often achieved with the help of the Scrum development team – they all meet to decide on suitable user stories for the product backlog. It’s also a time for team members to the Product owner questions as regards the features he/she wants on the final product.

The final product is then brought to life through a series of incremental releases which are actually made up of events called Sprints. Sprints are a specified period in which are a certain amount of work related to the development of the software is expected to be completed and ready for review. Like every well-executed project, a sprint event typically starts with a planning meeting; this is where members of the product development team agree on what amount of work has to be completed during that time frame (Sprint).

The reality of it is that it is only the product development team who give the final say on what amount of work is realistic to be completed during a particular sprint. This is not to give the impression that the product owner does not have a say in it because that would be erroneous. It is the responsibility of the product owner to determine what counts as finished work. He identifies the criteria that need to be met for the work to be approved and certified complete. Please note that a sprint session usually lasts for 2-4 weeks at the end of which a review meeting is held so that the product owner can run a check on all the tasks that were carried out during that particular sprint.

During each day of the Scrum sprint, all the development team members are expected to attend the daily Scrum team meetings. These meetings could be as brief as 15 minutes per session. The agenda of the meeting is accomplishments of the previous day, the work schedule for that day and any issues or hindrances to the progress of the project. These sprint meetings help the development team to synchronize their work.

How about the Scrum Master you may ask?

First off, you should know that the Scrum master is not a project manager, he doesn’t get to manage the budget, manage the risks or prioritize features like the project manager would. His role is more like a coaching/oversight role. He is responsible for removing any hindrances that will affect the development process. He is even responsible for coaching the product owner to ensure that he/she functions within the confines of the scrum framework.

He facilitates and monitors the sprint sessions, encourages continuous communication amongst team members and generally works to uphold the principles and values of scrum within the organization.

Other aspects the Scrum agile framework is the sprint burndown chart and the release burndown chart. The burndown chart shows the quantity of work left to complete either in a release or a sprint. These aspects are efficient mechanisms in Scrum software development, which aid in determining if a sprint or release is run according to the given timeframe for the planned project to have been completed.

For a more detailed insight to Scrum, visit Nutcache.

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