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Consulting Insights

Scrum at Glance

Scrum is just one of the Agile frameworks for managing projects/products, but it is one of the best known. While the most important thing is adhering to an agile mindset and principles, there are specific practices that define Scrum--and ensure its benefits.  But, what do the aforementioned "agile mindset and principles" mean?

Well, there is a set of characteristics or behaviors, which can be identified as "Courage", to accept difficulties as natural and inevitable and cultivate the strength to be able to overcome them when they arise; "Curiosity", to show openness to new ideas, to learn new ways, and to unlearn the obsolete ones; "Adaptability", to embrace change and have a quicker and continuous evolution by constant feedback; "Excellence", by collaborating with the customer to maximize delivery value; And last but not least, "Simplicity", which lets us refine over time to reduce ambiguity to a few basic concepts, allows us to face complexity in a practical way to keep moving forward without getting entangled in bizarre discussions.

 

Now that we know the Agile mindset, then we can go with the Scrum good practices given by their accountabilities, artifacts, and ceremonies.

 

The Scrum team focuses on the same goal, with three different sets of accountabilities: Product Owner, Scrum Master, and  Developers. The Scrum Master, who is responsible for removing impediments as an aid to the Scrum Team; the Product Owner, who represents the customer's voice and ensures delivery of the highest value; and the Developers, who are the people from the Scrum team committed to delivering a usable and valuable product increment.

 

These are the 5 artifacts in Scrum: 

  • Product Backlog. It is a dynamic list of required work items, including features, enhancements, and fixes.
  • Sprint Backlog. It takes the specific items from the product backlog that you will focus on during the current sprint and organizes them. 
  • Increment. It corresponds to the product increment, a working piece of software that is the total of completed product backlog items from the current sprint and previous sprints.
  • Definition of Done. It is a list of criteria to determine when a work item should be considered finished.
  • Burndown Chart. It is used to measure the overall progress of a project/sprint. It offers a long-term view of work completed and work remaining, essentially counting down, or burning until work reaches zero.

There are also 5 ceremonies:

 

Scrum at Glance Graphic

 

My advice is to implement each one of these good practices and stick to them as much as possible. However, if you could only keep one of these practices or wanted to start with only one, my recommendation is the Sprint Retro. Make sure to have a continuous improvement mechanism in place and the future will be bright!

Erika I.

Business Analyst with 20 years of experience in business analysis and process improvement. Passionate about Agile, she enjoys sharing her experience through workshops inside and outside the organization and has also worked as a teacher, imparting knowledge to children and young people. In her free time, she enjoys watercolors, sewing, and spending time with her 3 children.

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