Development Team

The Development Team is made up of the professionals who do the work of delivering the Product Increment. They self-organize to accomplish the work. Development Team members are expected to be available to the project full time.

Traditional software development approaches define various job types, such as architect, programmer, tester, database administrator, UI designer, and so on. Scrum defines the role of Development Team, which is simply a cross-functional collection of these types of people. The Development Team’s members, collectively, have the skills required to deliver the business value requested by the Product Owner. Whenever you can, you should create cross-functional teams. Parcelling the work out to different role-specific teams is suspect and is likely a serious impediment to the successful use of Scrum.

At the beginning of each Sprint, the Development Team participates in Sprint Planning. In collaboration with the Product Owner and with facilitation from the Scrum Master, the Development Team helps to establish the goal for the next sprint.

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Sprint Retrospective

At the end of each Sprint, the Scrum Team meets for the Sprint Retrospective. The purpose is to review how things went with respect to the process, the relationships among people, and the tools. The team identifies what went well and not so well, and identifies potential improvements.

The Sprint Retrospective is one of the most important and least appreciated practices in the Scrum framework. It is important because it gives teams the chance to customize Scrum to their unique circumstances. It is under-appreciated because some people have a misguided view that it takes time away from doing “real” design, build, and test work.

The Sprint Retrospective is a crucial contributor to the continuous improvement that Scrum offers. Scrum teams hold Retrospectives each and every sprint, allowing teams to take advantage of insights and data before they are lost. Because a Scrum Team meets at the end of each Sprint to inspect and adapt its Scrum process, it can apply early and incremental learning throughout the development process and thereby significantly affect the outcome of the project.

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Daily Scrum

The Daily Scrum is a critical, daily inspect-and-adapt activity to help the team achieve faster, more flexible flow towards the solution. All Scrum meetings are time boxed. The Daily Scrum is a fifteen minutes activity that takes place once every 24 hours. The Daily Scrum serves as an inspection, synchronization, and daily adaptive planning activity that helps a self-organizing team do its job better. The Daily Scrum is a core Scrum practice. If you don’t do it, you aren’t doing Scrum.

The goal of the Daily Scrum is for people who are focused on meeting the Sprint Goal to get together and share the big picture of what is happening so that they can collectively understand how much to work on, which items to start working on, and how to best organize the work among the team members. The Daily Scrum also helps avoid waiting. If there is an issue that is blocking flow, the team would never have to wait more than a day to discuss it. Imagine if the team members got together only once a week—they would deny themselves the benefits of fast feedback.

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Product Owner

The Product Owner is the empowered central point of product leadership. It is one of the three collaborating roles that constitute every Scrum Team (the others being the Scrum Master and the Development Team).

The Product Owner needs to look in at least two directions simultaneously. On one hand, the Product Owner must understand the needs and priorities of the organizational stakeholders, the customers, and the users well enough to act as their voice. In this respect the Product Owner acts as a product manager, ensuring that the right solution is developed. On the other hand, the product owner must communicate to the Development Team what to build and the order in which to build it. The product owner must also ensure that the criteria for accepting features are specified and the tests that verify those criteria are later run to determine whether the features are complete. The product owner doesn’t write detail-level tests but ensures that the high-level ones are written so that the team can determine when the product owner will consider the feature complete. In these respects the product owner is part business analyst and part tester.

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Scrum Master

The Scrum Master is one of the three roles that constitute every Scrum Team (the others being the Product Owner and the Development Team). While the Product Owner is focused on building the right product and the Development Team is focused on building the product right, the Scrum Master is focused on helping everyone understand and embrace the Scrum Values, principles, and practices. The Scrum Master acts as a coach to both the Development Team and the Product Owner. A Scrum Master also provides process leadership, helping the Scrum Team and the rest of the organization develop their own high-performance, organization-specific Scrum approach.

The Scrum Master is a servant leader, helping the rest of the Scrum Team follow their process. The Scrum Master must have a good understanding of the Scrum framework and the ability to train others in its subtleties.

The Scrum Master works with the Product Owner to help the Product Owner understand how to create and maintain the Product Backlog. He works with the Development Team to find and implement the technical practices that will allow them to get the job done at the end of each Sprint. He works with the whole Scrum Team to evolve the Definition of Done. The Scrum Master continuously helps the Scrum Team improve the process, whenever possible, to maximize delivered business value.

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Sprint Planning

Each Sprint begins with a time boxed meeting called Sprint Planning. In this meeting the Scrum Team collaborates to select and understand the work to be done in the upcoming Sprint.

The entire team attends the Sprint Planning meeting. Working from the ordered Product Backlog, The Product Owner and the Development Team members discuss each item and come to a shared understanding of that item and what is required to complete it consistent with the current Definition of Done.

In Scrum, the Sprint Planning meeting is described as having two parts.

Choose Goal: the Team and the Product Owner collaborate to decide how much of the prioritized backlog can be turned into potentially shippable functionality.

Create Sprint Backlog: the Team defines the tasks required to build that functionality during the next Sprint, including estimates to achieve the Definition of Done.

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What is Scrum?

Scrum is an Agile framework for developing innovative products and services, for organizing and managing work. Scrum begins when some stakeholders need a product. The Scrum framework is based on a set of values, principles, and practices that provide the foundation to which your organization will add its unique implementation of relevant engineering practices and your specific approaches for realizing the Scrum practices. The result will be a version of Scrum that is uniquely yours. Scrum is a refreshingly simple, people-centric framework based on the values of honesty, openness, courage, respect, focus, trust, empowerment, and collaboration. The Scrum practices themselves are embodied in specific roles, activities, artifacts, and their associated rules. Read More »