Many of us have
experienced projects that drag on much longer than
expected and cost more than planned. Companies
looking to improve their software development
processes are now exploring how Agile can help their
Enterprise more reliably deliver software quickly,
iteratively and with a feature set that hits that
mark. While Agile has different "flavors",
Scrum is one process for implementing Agile.
This newsletter is one in a series of
newsletters that will discuss the Agile Scrum
process and will end with variants of Scrum that can
be used to aid in improving your software releases.
Here are the prior newsletters in this series:
Understanding Scrum Rules
For Agile Scrum to be successful, you must have
buy-in from the highest stake holders to the
individuals doing the work and every individual must
follow the rules. Below are the rules
Obtain Number of Hours Commitment up
Front - Before beginning an Agile
30-day sprint, each team member must commit to a
certain number of hours for the 30 day sprint.
Gather Requirements / Estimates up Front
- The Product Manager will specify the sprint
goal and the team will gather the requirements
and provide an estimate up front. Once the
estimates are done, the requirements are
prioritized and only the ones that will fit into
the sprint are worked on (based on estimated
hours of all tasks vs. hours committed to by
Enter Time Daily - Each person
on the team agrees to enter their actual hours
and estimated hours remaining EVERY DAY.
Daily Builds - Each programmer
will check code in daily or more frequently if
possible. The checked in code must be
compilable. An automated process will
create daily builds to prevent manual merging of
code and allowing the Quality Assurance Engineer
to test features of the sprint.
No new Requirements for a Sprint
- No new requirements can enter into the sprint
unless all features of the sprint are completed.
Management and other parties that are not
directly involved in completing the features for
the sprint are not allowed to direct actions of
team members on items not included in the
sprint. If an emergency feature is
required by management, the sprint must be
aborted and a new sprint must begin with the new
Keep the Daily Scrum Meetings Short
- Daily Scrum meetings are held to determine
what things were done since the last Scrum
meeting, what things will be done in the next
Scrum meeting and what impediments stand in the
way of any person on the team. The Daily
Scrum meeting is designed to be completed in 15
minutes. If it takes 30 minutes, this is
OK, but it should not extend longer than that
without a solid business reason for it.
Team members that show up to Daily Scrum
meetings late are required to pay the Scrum
Master a $1 fine.
Code Inspections are Paramount
- Upon completing a particular feature, the
programmer should illustrate the feature to the
team and show the code that drives the feature.
The team should inspect the code for
re-usability, cleanness, and adherence to
established coding standards.
Upcoming newsletters will discuss the following
Agile Scrum - Scrum Kickoff and
Agile Scrum - The Daily Scrum
Agile Scrum - Reporting and
Agile Scrum - Retrospectives
Agile Scrum - Site specific
variants of Scrum