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An Overview Of Scrum Methodology
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Scrum is a unique framework specially designed to build a versatile product. The framework supports a dynamic design, which allows the features and functionality linked with the product to be changed, along with the real time changes occurring in the ongoing market conditions. Generally, a scrum project is started when the stakeholders or the investors desire to develop a product for marketing and selling purposes.
Scrum is basically a team process. There are three important roles in scrum:
• The Product Owner
Responsible for the work to be done in the scrum project.
• The Scrum Master
Plays the servant-leader role, ensures that scrum is properly implemented in the project, and acts as a facilitator.
• The development team members
Undertakes the product development in the form of sprints and actually gives “birth” to the product.
A sprint is the fundamental unit of developing the product in scrum methodology. Actually, the entire product is developed in short bursts of development activity known as “sprints”. Each sprint generally lasts for two weeks. It can, however, extend up to four weeks if required, but in practice it generally lasts for only two weeks. A fully functional, or a “shippable” product feature or functionality is delivered at the end of each sprint.
Scrum artifacts or objects
Scrum includes three important artifacts which facilitate the scrum process. They are:
• The Product Backlog
It consists of the user stories, or the list of features and functionalities which actually define the entire product to be developed.
• The Sprint Backlog
A certain portion, or a subset of the product backlog, is transferred to the sprint backlog for development purposes during the sprint.
• The Product Increment
It constitutes the list of features and functionalities which have been developed successfully by the development team, and is ready for “shipping”.
Scrum also requires five team activities or meetings, which are:
• Product Backlog Refinement
The meeting includes updating the product backlog items or the user stories with the latest updates and feedback availed from the stakeholders, and resetting the priority of the backlog items on the basis of their importance.
• Sprint Planning
Scheduled just before a sprint is to be carried out, the meeting is used to plan which tasks should be taken up for development by the team, and to clear the doubts or issues concerning the development.
• Daily Scrum
The meeting is held just before the sprint commences for the particular day. The purpose is to discuss three important questions associated with daily sprinting:
- What was done yesterday?
- What is to be done today?
- Are there any difficulties?
• Sprint Review
Once a sprint is carried out, the product owner compares the user stories developed by the team, whether they fulfill the acceptance criteria. The review functions as a “learning” activity, and the team uses the prior experience to avoid potential pitfalls from occurring in the future sprints.
• Sprint Retrospective
Once the development is carried out in sprints, and the product owner accepts the tasks as “Done”, it is required to demonstrate the successfully completed user stories to the stakeholders and the end users. The retrospective also helps to obtain a feedback from the individuals who are actually going to use the product.
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