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How to Execute Scrum Well

Key points for certain Scrum practices

15 June 2015

Kaushik Saha
Infinite Computer Solutions (Client Place : Verizon Data Services India Ltd.)

Key points regarding certain Scrum practices

Test-driven development

Test-driven development (TDD) is an important software development process. It is based on repetition of a short development cycle that begins with the developer writing an automated test case initially fails. This defines a desired improvement or new function. The developer next writes the minimum amount of code needed to pass that test, and finally refactors that new code to meet acceptable standards. The cycle runs something like this:
  • Add a test.
  • Run all tests and see if the new one fails.
  • Write some code.
  • Run tests.
  • Refactor the code.
  • Repeat these steps.

Sprint Zero

If a Sprint Zero is being used, it's the time to assemble the team. Points of organization and logistics also need to be set up during this sprint. Consider planning, product backlog setup, and design.

User stories

The user story is the atomic functionality of what the user wants to achieve by delivering the business value under system constraints. It looks like this: As a <user>, I want to do <function> so that I can achieve <business value>.

It can be derived under two domains: the business domain or the technology domain.

Definition of Done

Various steps need to be take to meet the Definition of Done:
  • The story is done (acceptance criteria have been met).
  • Standards and guidelines have been met.
  • The code is done.
  • The code review is done.
  • Unit, integration, and system testing are done.
  • User acceptance testing (UAT) is done.
  • Documentation is complete.
  • Refactoring is done.

Product backlog refinement (grooming)

There are a few crucial tasks relevant to backlog grooming:
  • Add or remove items/stories in the backlog.
  • Reprioritize items/stories in the backlog as needed.
  • Enhance/update existing items/stories in the backlog wherever necessary.

Task boards

A typical task board structure is straightforward and looks like this:

To Do In Progress Done
Task 1    
Task 2    
Task 3    
To Do In Progress Done
  Task 1  
Task 2    
Task 3    
To Do In Progress Done
    Task 1
  Task 2  
Task 3    

However, the ScrumMaster can add multiple status columns between “In Progress” and “Done” if necessary. For example:

To Do In Progress QA Customer Feedback Done
      Task 1  
    Task 2    
  Task 3      

Start days for sprints

Nothing in Scrum stipulates starting sprints on Mondays; the team could, for example, instead sprint planning meetings on Mondays. Actual sprints could start on Tuesdays. This level of detail is up to the team.

Pair programming

This is a widely accepted practice in which two developers sit at single system to work together. One person codes and the other watches the coding and debugs. They switch roles every hour (or other agreed-upon time limit).

Opinions represent those of the author and not of Scrum Alliance. The sharing of member-contributed content on this site does not imply endorsement of specific Scrum methods or practices beyond those taught by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers and Coaches.

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