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Scrum Methodology: Its Basic Concepts, Benefits, and the Ways of Correct Implementation

23-Sep-2022

Scrum Methodology: Its Basic Concepts, Benefits, and the Ways of Correct Implementation

Scrum Methodology

For those who are new to software testing services and IT in general, the terminology used by colleagues is not always easy to understand. And of course, it may cause some difficulties in their communication. To avoid such problems, it's necessary to become familiar with the most popular concepts. Let’s consider the following examples. 

One of the representatives of flexible approaches to software development is Agile. It is based on twelve principles, where the key ones are:  

  • "People and communication are far more important than process and tools",  

  • "A functioning product is far more important than perfectly exhaustive documentation",  

  • "Willingness to improve the product is more important than following the original plan". 

A great example of this approach is Scrum and Kanban. 

Scrum is a structured approach when a cross-functional, universal team leads the project. The time period varies from a week to a month. 

Kanban is an approach, the task of which is to balance the work of the team and its specialists. 

Suggested Read: Difference between Scrum and Kanban

Important Terms of Scrum Methodology Are the Following: 

Development team: 

  • Develops the functionality; 

  • Works on the product at all stages. 

Product Owner:  

  • Controls the fulfillment of commitments made to the customer; 

  • Defines the goals and develops the product; 

  • Makes the list of work tasks (backlog) in the order of priority and delivers it to the development team. 

Scrum master (coaches, agents): 

  • Resolve issues that prevent teams from accomplishing their objectives; 

  • Provide training on scrum concepts; 

  • Act as an intermediary in communication with the client. 

Types of Events of Scrum Methodology 

Iteration or sprint is a certain cycle of tasks or a set time frame (from a week to a month) during which a team develops a product ready for testing. 

The sprint statuses: 

  1. Sprint planning: involves starting a sprint with a process of planning work tasks and setting goals; 
  2. Daily Scrum: inspection of work on the project through daily meetings of QA lab participants; 
  3. Sprint Review: presentation of results with analysis of achieving progress while working on the project; 
  4. Sprint Retrospective: analysis and determination of sprint performance, planning for quality improvement for the next sprint.  

Completion of tasks during the sprint and their number are determined by the team. During the sprint, no changes can be made that threaten the final goal. A sprint is cancelled if its goal is not relevant. Cancellations must be coordinated with the client. 

Also, quite important concepts are: 

  • The product backlog is a list of improvements;  

  • The sprint backlog is a work plan prepared by developers for their needs; 

  • Product Increments are backlog items in the "Done" state; 

  • Timebox is a well-defined amount of time (no possibility of extension); 

  • The Burndown chart is a scale of task burnout. Ability to monitor the amount of work left in the sprint; 

  • A Burn-up chart is a scale of team progress that indicates the team's completed task volume; 

  • Ideal hours/days: determining the team's work capacity; 

  • Release planning: an approach to organizing work; 

  • Story point: a tool to estimate the amount of time needed to complete a task, as well as it's level of complexity; 

  • User Story: a tool of product descriptions from the user side; 

  • Velocity is a diagnostic measure of the amount of work a team does in a single sprint. 

The use of this terminology should help not only to communicate with colleagues but also to further study the methodology of Scrum to improve the technical level of the specialist. 

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Why Do We Need All This? 

The first reason is to increase efficiency. 

The second reason is job satisfaction. People want to realize their creative potential at work, and not just be a small part of big machines. 

The third reason is the ability to quickly develop and deliver complex, completely new products. When there is no finished product, but only an idea or the first working prototypes, then no one can give a clear plan of where the development should go. Scrum allows you to gradually dispel this uncertainty by moving in small iterations and constantly checking: are you doing what customers need? Is it a benefit? 

How to Properly Implement Scrum and Improve the Effectiveness of Your Workforce?  

First of all, remember that if you are going to implement Scrum methodology unexpectedly, be ready for a decrease in the team's efficiency. The best option is to first learn the characteristics of the team members to adjust the processes to them. And then gradually switch to Scrum. Then the efficiency of the team will decrease only slightly. 

To achieve the maximum result, it is necessary to follow certain principles. 

1. Sprints. Break project preparation into several phases, each with a different goal and lasting 1-2 weeks. This way the team focuses on one specific goal during that time frame and works to achieve it. 

2. Backlogs. Break each sprint into backlogs - a set of tasks, by completing which the team moves towards achieving the goal of the stage. 

3. Scrum Master who knows what the final product should be and how to lead the team to this result. Together with the team, he forms the tasks for the sprint, helps to distribute them, and monitors the priority of implementation. To do this, it is important to have tet-a-tet meetings with each team member and learn about their problems, motivation, and support. 

4. Hold daily meetings. In these meetings or calls, each team member talks about the current status of their tasks. You can come up with your reference questions or use a cheat sheet.  

  • What did I do yesterday to get the team to achieve the goal? 
  • What will I do today to make the team achieve the goal? 
  • Why couldn’t I do some tasks? 

5. Poker Planning. This is a great gamification tool that is used in Scrum. It helps to objectively assess the task, prioritize and dive into the very essence. For example, you have a task. Each member of the team throws out a card with a number, which indicates the priority of the task or the number of hours to complete it. Those who gave the biggest and smallest number argue for their choice. In this way, you can decide as a team what is most important for this sprint. 

Suggested Read: Agile, DevOps, & Digital Transformation

Conclusion 

The productivity of a Scrum team grows not due to the very fact of framework implementation but due to the continuous development of people and the team (to which the framework itself undoubtedly contributes). Personal experience and adequate perception of the situation, rather than mindless adherence to instructions, help in the work process. 

At BugRaptors with a team of 250+ ISTQB certified testers, we bring you all the proficiency you need to out rule your competition with adaptive Agile and DevOps testing solutions.  

For more information, feel free to reach us through info@bugraptors.com  

 

author

Ashish Sethi

works as QA Engineer at BugRaptors. He has good experience in manual testing, web application testing, mobile application testing, regression testing, smoke testing, sanity testing, and database testing (Back-End). Also he is able to create required documents for testing like test case checklists, time estimation required for the new projects etc.

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