Scrum process – is executed in what are called sprints, or short iterations of work lasting usually no more than two weeks. Scrum is a framework that helps teams work together. Much like a rugby team (where it gets its name) training for the big game, Scrum encourages teams to learn through experiences, self-organize while working on a problem, and reflect on their wins and losses to continuously improve.
- Developer – The development team are the people that do the work. It can be comprised of all kinds of people including designers, writers, programmers, etc
The development team’s responsibilities include:
- Delivering the work through the sprint.
- To ensure transparency during the sprint they meet daily at the daily scrum ( sometimes called a standup). The daily scrum provides transparency to the work and provides a dedicated place for team members to seek help, talk about success and highlight issues and blockers. The scrum master might facilitate the daily scrum, but ultimately it is the responsibility of the development team to run this meeting. It is their meeting to help them, as a group, to inspect and adapt the work they are doing and work in a more effective way.
- Product Owner – agile teams are, by design, flexible and responsive, and it is the responsibility of the product owner to ensure that they are delivering the most value. The business is represented by the product owner who tells the development what is important to deliver. Trust between these two roles is crucial. The product owner should not only understand the customer, but also have a vision for the value the scrum team is delivering to the customer. The product owner also balances the needs of other stakeholders in the organization. So the product owner must take all these inputs and prioritize the work. This is probably their most important responsibility because conflicting priorities and unclear directions will not only reduce the effectiveness of the team, but also could break the important trust relationship that the business has with the development team.
Product owners responsibilities as:
- Managing the scrum backlog – This does not mean that they are the only one putting in new product backlog Items into the backlog. But ultimately they are responsible for the backlog that the development team pulls to deliver from. That means the product owner should know about everything that is in the backlog and other people that add items to the product backlog should ensure that they communicate with the product owner.
- Release management – The sprint is not a release cycle, but instead a planning cycle. That means that scrum teams can deliver at any time. Ideally, they would deliver frequently throughout the sprint allowing the sprint review to review real customer usage and feedback. However continuous delivery is not always possible and other release models are required. It is important for the product owner to know when things can and should be released.
- Stakeholder management – Any product will have many stakeholders involved ranging from users, customers, governance and organizational leadership. The product owner will have to work with all these people to effectively ensure that the development team is delivering value. That can mean a large amount of stakeholder management and communication.
- Scrum Master – is the role responsible for gluing everything together and ensuring that scrum is being done well. In practical terms, that means they help the product owner define value, the development team deliver the value, and the scrum team to get to get better. The scrum master is a servant leader which not only describes a supportive style of leadership but describes what they do on a day-to-day basis. They serve the product owner by helping them better understand and communicate value, to manage the backlog, help them plan the work with the team and break down that work to deliver the most effective learning. Serving the development team, the scrum master helps them self-organize, focus on outcomes, get to a “done increment,” and manage blockers. The scrum master also serves the organization at large, helping them understand what scrum is and create an environment that supports scrum. The scrum master serves the product owner in sprint planning and sprint reviews ensuring that value is clearly being described and direction set. They serve the development team in the daily scrum by ensuring that work is happening and that blockers are being removed. They also take responsibility for blockers that are outside of the the teams ability to resolve. The scrum master ensures that every opportunity to improve is made transparent to the scrum team and the retrospective has a clear set of outcomes that can be executed on.
The scrum master focuses on:
- Transparency – To effectively inspect and adapt it is important that the right people can see what is going on. But this is actually much harder than it looks. The scrum master is tasked with ensuring that the scrum team works in a transparent way. Examples include creating story maps and updating confluence pages with the retrospective ideas.
- Empiricism – A fundamental for scrum and agile approaches the idea that the best way of planning is to do work and learn from it. Empirical process is not easy and requires the scrum master to coach the scrum team on breaking down work, describing clear outcomes and reviewing those outcomes.
- Self Organization – Telling a development team they can self organize does mean that the team will self organize. In fact self organization comes over time and requires help and support. The scrum master will encourage team members to step outside their comfort zone and try different things and use practices such as ‘delegation poker’ to expose and challenge predefined ideas about role boundaries and responsibilities.
- Values – Scrum defines 5 values of courage, focus, commitment, respect, and openness not because they are nice to have, but because they create an environment of physiological safety and trust. This environment is necessary for agility to thrive. Following the values is the responsibility of everyone in the scrum team, but the scrum master takes an active role in encouraging and reminding everyone of the importance of those values.
Kanban process – is a visual system for managing work as it moves through a process. Kanban visualizes both the process (the workflow) and the actual work passing through that process. The goal of Kanban is to identify potential bottlenecks in your process and fix them so work can flow through it cost-effectively at an optimal speed or throughput.
Sprint – is one timeboxed iteration of a continuous development cycle. Within a Sprint, planned amount of work has to be completed by the team and made ready for review
Product Backlog – is simply a list of all things that needs to be done within the project. It replaces the traditional requirements specification artifacts. These items can have a technical nature or can be user-centric e.g. in the form of user stories. It is also a list of the new features, changes to existing features, bug fixes, infrastructure changes or other activities that a team may deliver in order to achieve a specific outcome.
Sprint Backlog – is a list of tasks identified by the Scrum team to be completed during the sprint. During the sprint planning meeting, the team selects some number of product backlog items, usually in the form of user stories, and identifies the tasks necessary to complete each user story.
Acceptance Criteria – are the conditions that a software product must meet to be accepted by a user, a customer, or other system. They are unique for each user story and define the feature behavior from the end-user’s perspective.
Backlog Grooming (Backlog Refinement) – is when the product owner and some, or all, of the rest of the team review items on the backlog to ensure the backlog contains the appropriate items, that they are prioritized, and that the items at the top of the backlog are ready for delivery.
Sprint Planning – is where the team meets and decides what they need to complete in the coming sprint.
Daily Scrum – is a standup meeting, or a very short – 15-minute mini-meeting – for the team to make sure they’re all on the same page.
Sprint Review / Sprint Demo – is another type of meeting, but one in which the team demos what they shipped in the sprint.
Sprint Retrospective – is when the team reviews their work, identifying what they did well and what didn’t go as planned, so they can make the next sprint better.
Scrum Board – is a tool that helps Teams make Sprint Backlog items visible. The board can take many physical and virtual forms but it performs the same function regardless of how it looks. The board is updated by the Team and shows all items that need to be completed for the current Sprint.
Kanban Board – is a work and workflow visualization tool that enables you to optimize the flow of the work. It is a tool designed to help visualize work, limit work-in-progress, and maximize efficiency (or flow). Kanban boards use cards, columns, and continuous improvement to help technology and service teams commit to the right amount of work, and get it done.