Remember when we said some time ago that this is the year for reaching higher? Well, we’re keeping on track with that. And one of those things is about upgrading our workflow with agile Scrum methodology.
What’s that all about you may ask? Well, long story short Scrum methodology is about project management based on sprints. The process was created back in 1993 and the term “Scrum” was borrowed from the highly effective and organized rugby teams. Even though it was originally created for software development projects, it was quickly adopted for numerous types of projects. To get an idea about the process, here’s a short walkthrough the main Scrum framework:
- the product owner builds a task list and prioritizes each and every one of them (this is a product backlog)
- on sprint planning, team members take several top tasks and decide on the implementation tactics
- each day the team meets up and discusses about the tasks progress
- along the way the Scrum Master makes sure everybody keeps on track
- once the sprint ends the work should be ready for use; it’s also time for a sprint review
- at the beginning of a new sprint, team selects the next most important tasks and starts the same drill
Why did we take it up – because it’s the ideal approach when dealing with ongoing product development based on customer requirements. As well as this, it also brings to the table an invaluable amount of other benefits like better communication and planning, faster execution and better product development that is more connected to the company and its customers.
And guess what – it is used by Fortune 500 companies around the world. Fancy enough and most of all, a great deal productive.
Curious to find out how the implementation process is going within our team? Alexandra Draghici, the Product Owner, will make things a little bit clearer:
1. What’s different related to team collaboration after switching to SCRUM?
There are no development and QA teams anymore. There’s only a Scrum team rowing in the same boat (actually, we’ve got two Scrum teams at this point: CodeBusters and PRIDE – Personal Responsibility In Delivering Excellence). The team fails or succeeds as a whole.
The Scrum approach focuses on enabling the Scrum team to make decisions on its own and to be self-organizing. Therefore, team members need to communicate a lot, to be proactive and to help each other. All processes are facilitated by the Scrum Master.
2. What is a sprint and which are its advantages?
In our case, a sprint is a period of two weeks during which we address different user stories. A user story is basically a new feature or update that we decide to implement.
The advantage of working in sprints is that, prior to the beginning of the sprint, user stories are discussed, prioritized, broken down into smaller tasks and estimated. This way, we can bring more value to our platform in a shorter amount of time. And we can work faster towards our ultimate goal: making and keeping our users happy.
3. What’s a daily scrum meeting?
At the Daily Scrum, each member of the Scrum team says what they intend to do that day and what they did the day before. Also, they talk about any impediments they may have encountered and the rest of the team is there to help.
Each of our two Scrum teams has got a whiteboard split into five columns: Backlog, Sprint, In Development, QA & UI Validation and Done. User stories are written down on post-its and, at the Daily Scrum, they are moved to the next columns, based on their status. At the end of the sprint, every user story that made it into the column “Sprint” should have also made it into the column “Done”.
Well, that sounds excellent! A lot of team work lies ahead, but we’re definitely on the good track with Scrum on our side. Below are some snapshots from our Scrum workshop.