Scrum is a project management and software development methodology for managing work in small teams. It originated from Japanese manufacturing and was popularized by Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber in the 1990s. Scrum’s popularity has exploded over the last decade, with many companies using it as their primary method of project management. This project management tutorial talks about some of the best practices for Scrum project managers and developers to follow for Scrum to succeed in an organization.
What is the Scrum Development Process?
The Scrum development process is iterative and incremental, meaning that it is divided into small pieces with each iteration building upon the previous one. It is also characterized by a high degree of collaboration between Scrum team members, as well as constant feedback from customers or other stakeholders.
The first step in the Scrum development process is Sprint Planning, during which the product owner and Scrum team come together to identify the goals for the upcoming sprint. The product owner then creates a prioritized backlog of user stories for the Scrum team to work on.
Next comes the actual sprint, which is a time-boxed period of usually two weeks during which the Scrum team works on completing the tasks they have chosen during Sprint Planning. Daily stand-up meetings are held during the sprint to ensure that everyone is on track and to identify any impediments that need to be addressed.
You can learn more about Scrum by reading our Guide to Scrum.
Scrum Best Practices for Developers
Below are some of the best practices for incorporating Scrum into your software development project management processes.
Run Daily Scrum Meetings
The Daily Scrum meeting, as the name suggests, is held daily for a short duration (usually 15 minutes), at the same time every day to synchronize team members. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss what each team member has done since the last meeting, identify any impediments preventing them from completing their work, and plan for the next 24 hours.
Product Backlog Refinement
The Product Backlog lists all the features and requirements that will be implemented in the product. It is not a design document, but, instead, a way for teams to organize their ideas. A Product Owner manages the Product Backlog for users, stakeholders, managers, and other customers to focus on what needs to be built next.
When refining items from your backlog, ensure all stakeholders understand why the item was selected. During later iterations, scrum teams need to refine until they feel confident, they have chosen only those features worth their effort after getting feedback from actual users.
Conduct Sprint Review Meetings
Sprint reviews serve as a way for the team to showcase their accomplishments and receive feedback from stakeholders. The team will present its work, give demos of functionality that has been built, and answer questions from stakeholders. The QA team will also be present at this meeting so they can provide feedback on any issues that may arise during testing.
Adhere to Agile Scrum Ceremonies
If you are new to Agile Scrum, one of the first things you need to do is get familiar with the ceremonies. In this tutorial, we will take a deep dive into the three main ceremonies: Sprint Planning, Daily Stand-up, and Sprint Retrospective.
- Sprint Planning: Sprint Planning is a meeting where the team comes together to plan out the work for the upcoming sprint. The goal is to identify what can be delivered in the sprint timeframe, and to make sure everyone is on the same page about what needs to be done.
- Daily Stand-up: Daily Stand-up is a short daily meeting where each team member gives an update on what they did yesterday, what they are working on today, and any blockers or issues they are facing.
- Sprint Retrospective: After a sprint, the team gathers to reflect on what worked well, what could have been better, and how they can improve. As a continuous development process, this is a very critical aspect, since it ensures that the team is always learning and progressing in order to achieve their goals.
Promote Peer-to-Peer Collaboration
One of the most important aspects of Scrum is its promotion of peer-to-peer collaboration. By encouraging team members to work together and share knowledge, Scrum can help software development teams to be more effective and efficient. There are a number of ways to promote peer-to-peer collaboration within a Scrum team.
One of the ways to achieve this is by sharing your knowledge and expertise using training sessions. Another way to promote collaboration is to make sure that team members have the opportunity to work together on tasks. This could involve pair programming or working on joint projects. Lastly, you must foster a culture of respect, openness and promote collaboration and communication.
Automate Scrum Practices to Accelerate Enterprise-level Initiatives
When it comes to automating Scrum practices, there are a few key things project managers can do to accelerate enterprise-level initiatives. First, consider using a project management tool like Jira to help manage and track your project backlog. This will give you visibility into what needs to be done and when, and will help keep your team on track. You can read our Jira Project Management Review to learn more about this helpful PM tool.
Example of Jira Project Management Software
Another great way to automate Scrum practices is to use a tool like Trello to help with task management. Finally, consider using a tool like Zapier to automate some of the more tedious parts of the Scrum process, such as creating daily stand-up reports or sending reminders for upcoming sprints. You can learn more about the project management software Trello by reading our Trello Review.
Want to learn more ways to implement Scrum? Read our guide: How to Implement Scrum for more tips.
Final Thoughts on Scrum Best Practices
Scrum is an excellent framework for software development and project management, but it is essential to follow best practices to get the most out of it. In this tutorial, we discussed some of the best practices for Scrum, including setting clear objectives, promoting peer-to-peer collaboration, and continually improving performance. You can adhere to the tips mentioned here to set your team up for success.