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What is Scrum/Agile, Kanban, Scrum team, Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, Sprint Retrospective, Backlog, Burn Down chart?

 # Little Savings

There is always a huge demand on the Scrum. And everybody opting for a Scrum is not a new thing.
But as to grow with the organization, one need to meet the demands and go with the flow.
So, I too become a Scrum Rider now. I want to share my understanding about Scrum through the posts. If you like it, please share it to as many through social sites.
  • What we will learn from this page?
  • What is Scrum
  • Core of Scrum
  • Scrum Team Members
  • Events of Scrum
  • Most Common Terms of Scrum
  • Scrum Guide
  • How to Estimate the Sprint?
  • Agile Vs Scrum
  • What is Kanban?
  • What is Scrum-ban?

Here are the basics I understand for Scrum.

Basics #1

What is Scrum & why we need it?

Scrum follows an empirical process, that means, based on the past knowledge, we re-route the direction, to achieve the goal. It is like learning from mistakes and it is not one-time. This will help to minimize the Risks for the future tasks.

And it have a pre-defined events, we may call it as Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Dev Work, Review or Retrospective, with a defined time-box. So this will minimize the unnecessary time spending on the meetings.
Scrum is a 3-basic rules.
Transparency - What we need to achieve is written in goal
Introspection - Finding what went wrong
Adaption - Adopt to the new change

What is the core of Scrum?

Basically, people thought, Scrum is a process, but the creators call it as a Framework. Within the framework, one can define the respective process within the events boundary. 

A Scrum core is to create a product in incremental basis(called as Sprints) and keeps on adding till the product has completed. So, a very complex product can be break down into a small pieces of product and planning to create a piece of product within the bound of time and keep on adding to it with a plan.

In short, a goal towards a short term in incremental, helps in achieving the Big Goal.

Little Savings - Scrum

Who are the Scrum team members?

  • Product Owner
  • Development Team
  • Scrum Master

In detail,
A Product Owner will help to scribe the product backlogs in a clear manner and helps everyone in the team to understand easily. He is the guider to the Development on optimizing the product value.

Development Team, a group should have a cross functional skills and a dedication to the process adherence. A self -organizing team is needed for any development team in Scrum.

Scrum Master, helps in meeting the Scrum events intact with the timelines and make the team to adhere to the events.

In any scrum team, the members should be in between 3 - 9.

Basics #2 

Here I want to discuss on the events & some terms used in the Scrum.

In the first post, we have already noted that there are pre-defined events in the Scrum.
There are four main events in Scrum.
  • Sprint Planning
  • Daily Scrum
  • Sprint Review
  • Sprint Retrospective 
In detail,

Sprint Planning - 

Any complex product has been broken down into small goals, called as Sprints. A sprint may be within 4 weeks duration. Some sprints can be planned less than 4 weeks.

But can sprints more than 4 weeks time? Of course, but we should restrict the sprint more than 4 weeks, as the sprint adapts any changes or with the 4 weeks time, a new requirement has come, where one  should adapt the new change and take it as part of your next sprints. This ensures the product value to keep up with the present trend.

So, in this event, a product backlog items are taken into sprints and come up with a plan for the First Sprint.

Daily Scrum - 

A Daily Scrum has its importance to plan the things for the day by having a 15 minutes discussion with the Scrum team. Usually, a development team is enough in this daily call, ensuring this happens everyday and organised by the Scrum Master. 

Whether we can include others in the Daily Scrum? No, but if someone joined, they should not intercept the team members discussion.

Sprint Review - 

A sprint review happens with the stake holders, Product Owner & Team after every sprint has completed. Here the Product Owner will explain on the part of product which has been completed in the sprint.

This is usually a four hours informal meeting for a 4 weeks sprint.

If any inputs given by the stake holders will include in the next sprint.

Sprint Retrospective - 

This event will be held once the sprint has completed & before the next sprint starts to discuss on the what has done not well & what has went well.

This is a 3 hours meeting for a 4 weeks sprint.

Little Savings - Scrum

Common Terms Used in Scrum:

  • Sprint - A complex product will be broken down into parts and planned to develop within the sprint.
  • Product Backlog - A requirement has been clearly written down and this is the base or inputs for the Sprint backlog.
  • Sprint Backlog - The product backlog has been taken into plan to complete/develop the part of a product. The backlog items within the sprint are called Sprint Backlog.
  • Refinement - This is part of Sprint Planning, where assigning task hours or user stories will help for the Sprint Planning.
  • Burn Down Chart - This is one of the chart/reports will help to give the status of the sprint towards the complete product development.
Please note, in this post, I described taking into account a product development as an example used to describe the terms. Scrum has been widely used in other departments too eg., on Finance, Pharma industries etc.,

Facts about Scrum#

To practice the Scrum, we need to know about the idea behind it. I collected some facts/basics of the scrum and comprehended it below.

Copyrights of Scrum- Exact texts from the Scrum Guide.

Little Savings - Scrum

Scrum proved especially effective in iterative and incremental knowledge transfer.

Scrum is founded on empirical process control theory, or empiricism. Empiricism asserts that knowledge comes from experience and making decisions based on what is known. Scrum employs an iterative, incremental approach to optimize predictability and control risk.

Fewer than three Development Team members decrease interaction and results in smaller productivity gains. Having more than nine members requires too much coordination.

The inspection can be done for the product, processes, people aspects, practices, and continuous improvements. 
Sprints are limited to one calendar month. When a Sprint’s horizon is too long the definition of what is being built may change, complexity may rise, and risk may increase.

Daily Scrums improve communications, eliminate other meetings, identify impediments to development for removal, highlight and promote quick decision-making, and improve the Development Team’s level of knowledge. This is a key inspect and adapt meeting.

The Product Backlog is dynamic; it constantly changes to identify what the product needs to be appropriate, competitive, and useful.

The history of Scrum is described elsewhere. To honor the first places where it was tried and refined, we recognize Individual, Inc., Newspage, Fidelity Investments, and IDX (now GE Medical).

Click here to download Scrum Guide.

# Test your Scrum Knowledge

It is recommended everyone to go through the Scrum Guide, to better understand What is Scrum?

Besides that, once you are done with the Guide, we need to put yourself through the Scrum appliances to better understand on the framework. Although it has been using mostly for the IT industry now, there are numerous applications using Scrum. Brainstorm your brain.

Lets go through this 6 min video, A team has used Scrum to build an iPad application (for ease goggles selection) based on the inputs from the Customers who visit the shop. 

There are 3 roles in the Scrum - Scrum Master, Product Owner & Development Team. Although, the one who is working as a Mid Level Developer cannot taken a role of Scrum Master unless he has proficient in it. Decide your role in the Scrum and get proficient in it.

Scrum Master by Project Manager
Product Owner by Business Analyst
Development Team by Dev & QA.

You can take Scrum Master or Product Owner roles too, if you have knowledge in it.

I recommend, take the free assessment available in the website.

Click here for the Scrum Open Assessment.

How to estimate the Sprint?

As one of the follower requested to write a post on the Scrum Estimation, I am writing this post.

Since every one knows the product owner creates the product backlog also known as user stories.
During the sprint planning, the picking up of the user stories will be easy if it has user story points or estimated work effort.

Estimation of work:

Before estimating the work, one has to define size/complexity of the each user story. 
The most commonly used technique is playing the Scrum Poker, which has the fibonacci series of numbers(1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13...) and pick one number from series based on the complexity(Many apps are available in Google Store).


A team of Development & Product Owner is part of this. One should be acting as a moderator from Dev team, who will read out the user story.


Once the user story has read out, team should define the size or complexity of the user story, by picking one number from the fibonacci series and every one should expose the number at the same time.

If every one has a matching number, will continue to add the same number as complexity, which is an ideal case. but in real, the number doesn't match, then the team should highlight and discuss why the particular number has given for the user story, which will help to get the missed points. And again need to pick the number from fibonacci series to concur everyone with the same number. The finalized number added to the user story, which is called as "Story Point".

Once the complexity has been defined for the user stories, lets see how to plan for a Sprint.

Lets understand by the following simple example.

            User Stories                    Complexity
            User Story -1                   2 Story Points
            User Story - 2                  3 Story Points
            User Story - 3                  8 Story Points

Post the discussion, the complexity has been assigned to each user story as above.

Assume each complexity of 1 story point takes 4 hours.

User Stories            Complexity            No of hours
User Story -1                   2                            8
User Story - 2                  3                            12
User Story - 3                  8                            32
Total                                                            124 hours

So to complete total available stories, it will take 124 hours.

Assuming each individual productivity is 6 hours per day, which will consume 21 days to complete all the user stories, which is equal to 4 weeks(5 working days per week).

Now Sprint can be planned in 2 ways.

2 weeks equivalent to 2 Sprints
4 weeks equivalent to 1 Sprint

Little Savings - Sprint
Hope this post gave the basic idea on the effort estimation and also the sprint planning. Request to post your queries.

#Final learning on Scrum

I have started learning Scrum by going through the Scrum Guide and extended my knowledge on the Scrum by attending an online class in Udemy. 

There are few points I learn after attending the class. 

What is the difference between Agile and Scrum? 

Agile is a process(how to execute the events) and Scrum is a framework(list of events). 

Disadvantages of Scrum?

Scrum is completely a different and structured framework. Evnthough the concept is simple, it is very hard to follow the process. Apart from that, when the organization is already a waterfall method, it is very cumbersome task to replace the existing model and follow a scrum process. 

Why we use fibonacci series for the Story points? 

If we use the series number for the story points, we cannot differentiate the difference between the Small, Medium and Large tasks. Fibonacci series will solve this problem. 

What is Team Velocity?

The  no of story points can be completed in a sprint box is the team velocity, this will help to analyze the no of story points can be picked in the next sprint.

Other Roles in Scrum?

Project Sponsor 
Business Leader
Technology Leader
Business User

What is Kanban Process? 

Even though it is a good process, I am not pretty sure why this is not popular? The key roles in Kanban is, without changing the existing model, this will delight the customer as in Agile, by providing Done product in regular intervals after the product is shippable. 

Visualize the work flow: The Kanban Board, will give the picture on the tasks and divide them into To Do, Doing and Done.
Prioritizing the tasks: By making the list of tasks in To Do by keeping priority tasks on top and less priority at last 
Focus : Limit the number of tasks in the Doing list. 
Deliverable : Piece of product is shippable in the Done tab. 

What is Scrum-ban Process? 

It is the combination of both Scrum and Kanban. In the kanban process, it included the list of ceremonies as in Agile. I doubt that, we are using Scrum ban process in all the organizations.

And here is my certificate of completing the Scrum Course.

Now, it's time to test your knowledge on what you gained. Try to attempt for the Certified Scrum Master[CSM] from Scrum Alliance. 

If you need some suggestions on how to approach for taking test, comment your name & email address in the comment.



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