SCRUM is an agile development methodology that introduced me to a new way of working with my colleagues, providing greater unity and better understanding resulting in increased productivity. It is based on iterative and incremental development.
The main role is that of Scrum Manager (SM), usually assigned to the Area Manager.
The role of Product Owner (PO) is usually held by a Manager, however, due to lack of knowledge of the methodology at the beginning of the project, this role was assigned to an external expert. The PO is the person responsable for generating the Product Backlog where the stories of the project are defined.
The Team is made up of analysts as well as programmers.
The development is incremental, dividing the requirements of the project into short blocks called sprint and which last on average 10 days / 2 weeks. At the beginning of a sprint, we have a Sprint Planning meeting that we call PLANI which is made up by the whole team with the exception of the SM, who only participates on some occasions. The objective of PLANI is to identify the work to be done during the current Sprint, identify which task are priority or the tasks that are most significant-striking for the user:
- Story (Stories) Are the elements of the Project that the user has requested be undertaken, for example: As a user I need to justify an access for an Audit.
- Chore (Unplanned work) which are issues that need to be solved due to a modification, for example: Modify the date of the Records Database because the format has been changed to they have timestamp format.
- Bug (Failure) are incidents that have been communicated or not by the users of something that is in production or because something fails, for example: The value of the user code box entered has been deleted when you return to the previous screen.
In the PLANI each person estimates the duration of the stories by using a score card with a number of points (importance, can be equated to hours) from 0, ½, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20, 40 to 100. Sometimes one with 4 is used in each corner either for not knowing or not wanting to vote and there is also another with a cup of coffee, which implies a request for a rest stop because there are times that the duration is 2 to 4 hours.
The task of performing the DEMO is also assigned and decides who is going to carry out the demonstration of the work done in that sprint to the end user. The role of the pursuer of the DEMO is also assigned at this stage.
A 15-minute Scrum meeting is held daily. The Daily, is attended by the PO and the team (on occasions the SM is present) where one by one explains:
- What was done the day before.
- What is going to be done that day.
- What problems (obstacles) you have encountered => very positive as sometimes another member of the team encountered and resolved them, either in this project and did not communicate it or in a previous project, which results in quick resolutions or work together to resolve them afterwards sharing their knowledge.
There are several system implementations to manage the Scrum process, ranging from yellow “post-it” notes and whiteboards to specific software packages. We opted for using a blackboard with self-adhesive coloured notes placed in a row by team members one for each story of the sprint and its tasks divided into three columns within the row:
- pending tasks (new unstarted)
- ongoing tasks (“in progress”)
- tasks solved (“done”)
At a glance, a person can see what others are working on at a given time since each task- note has a brief description and who in the team it has been assigned to or if somenoe has assigned it to themselves.
At the end of the sprint, DEMO => PLANI => Retrospective, RETRO.
The PO documents the burn down graph and updates the average speed of the team. Additionally documents what stories have been part of the current sprint and what obstacles have arisen in the completion process . 3 proposals are written about the process and methodology in “post-its” by each person and are pasted in a star-shaped drawing.
The result of the retrospective is documented by the PO, once the best are voted on. Currently this plus the backlog and the task board are managed using the tool REDMINE.