Posted by tac_admin, November 6, 2013

What is Scrum and Why is it Important?

2013-10-25_0857One of the most common agile frameworks, Scrum projects are done as a group of software revisions known as sprints, which typically last from two weeks to a month. When each sprint ends, the team must have a software version that is ready to be delivered to a stakeholder or client. Scrum users hold four ceremonies, or meetings: sprint planning, the daily scrum, sprint reviews, and sprint retrospectives.

In Scrum, requirements are listed in a product backlog, user stories that serve as a requirement list that are updated and prioritized as the team develops acceptance criteria. As each sprint begins, the product backlog notes the client’s highest priority.

Roles in Scrum are specific and specialized. The product owner directs the product as well as creates and prioritizes the product backlog (BAs are frequently involved in this process). The scrum master runs the team and manages its performance. The team develops and delivers the product through close collaboration with the scrum master and the product owner.

Scrum methods include backlog management to prioritize requirements, retrospectives (look-backs) to improve teamwork, and MoSCoW prioritization to understand the importance of user stories.

The Agile Extension to the BABOK® Guide identifies the various stages in Scrum. During sprint planning, the team updates user stories and meets daily to collaborate and discuss their progress and challenges. As the sprint ends, the software produced must address the user stories and be fully operational. The sprint is finalized with client review, in which software is demonstrated and feedback is provided. The team finds ways to improve the product and will use them in the next sprint to create the next ideation of software.

Business analysis occurs naturally, as Scrum’s objective is value driven development. Analysis of gaps and capabilities drives the product backlog. As the sprint goes on, business analysis occurs during elicitation and criteria formation. According to the Agile Extension, “this approach is frequently referred to as just‐in‐time requirements elicitation; developing only what is required for the current sprint and only done to the level of detail required to enable the team to build the product and acceptance criteria.”

Have you used Scrum, and how well did it work for you?

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