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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Explain Scrum - a type of an agile method?

Scrum as we all know is the agile software development methodology most in use nowadays for the development of many types of software systems and applications. It has been classified under the category of iterative and incremental development methodologies that works in an excellent way in managing the software products and projects. It also helps in management of the application development. 

Roles & Methods for Scrum Methodology

Some sets of predefined roles and methods have been defined for the scrum methodology:
1. The development team: It involves a team that is cross functional and self organized and takes care of the following processes:

          (a)    Analysis
(b)   Designing
(c)    Implementation
(d)   Testing and so on.  
At the end of each sprint, a shippable product is to be delivered by the development team. A typical development team may constitute of 3 – 9 members with self organizing skills which are required even though there is an interaction with the PMOs or project management organizations.

2. The product owner: The product owner is the representative of all the stake holders and sometimes may also represent the business. He/ she can also be regarded as the soul voice of the customer and he/ she is responsible for the following activities:
          (a)    Writing the customer centric items or user stories
(b)   Prioritizing the requirements based up on the user stories
(c)    Adding those identified requirements to the back log of the product.
This role is not supposed to be combined with the next one i.e., the scrum master.

3. The scrum master: The scrum master is responsible for ensuring that the whole process if followed and the impediments to the ability of the team are removed so as to make the delivery of the sprint goals easy and early. He is the one who facilitates the whole scrum development process. Scrum master as the name suggests should not be mistaken as the leader of the development team, he is in fact a buffer between the distracting influences and the development team. In a way he/ she make sure that the development process takes the intended route and enforces the rules to do so.
The above mentioned roles are called the core roles and there is another class of roles called the “ancillary roles” and as such they have no formal role but they have to be taken in to account. They have been mentioned below:
  1. The stake holders and
  2. The managers.

How Scrum is Useful?

- Scrum is quite useful when it comes to the management of the agile projects since it reinforces the interest in the agile development of the project. 
- The scrum and agile development method had come to challenge the conventional ideas regarding the agile project management. 
- Scrum methodology helps in the agile development at the steps where it becomes difficult to set the plan for upcoming processes
- The scrum and agile development methodology makes use of the concepts quite contrary to those used by the traditional development methods i.e., the mechanism of the empirical process control.
- Here the core management technique is constituted by the feedback loops. 
- The traditional development methods were command and control oriented.
- This mixed methodology of agile development and scrum has come to represent an entirely new radical approach that plans and manages the agile projects. 
- It has brought the level of the decision making authority to that of the operation certainties and properties.
- A project status meeting is held every day till the development continues which is called the “daily scrum”. 
- Below mentioned are some of the project management tools that support scrum:
  1. Banana scrum
  2. JIRA using Green Hopper plug-in
  3. Mingle by thought works studios
  4. Scrum Do
  5. Pivotal tracker
  6. Microsoft team foundation server

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