I completed the Certified Scrum Master Course offered by 3back a Scrum Alliance Registered Education Provider and taught by Dan Rawsthorne a Certified Scrum Trainer. Working in an environment where developers are consistently delivering quality code on time has an unmeasurable amount of benefits.
Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2012 will have a set of features that go hand and hand with the Scrum Approach to development, and becoming a Certified Scrum Master I felt could only complement the agile direction Microsoft is pursuing with TFS. Here’s a brief overview about the Scrum approach, and if you find the word “Scrum” to be somewhat nerve wrecking I would highly recommend taking a class to get a thorough understanding of the approach.
Team Foundation Server 2012 Agile Project Management
We broke down the basic Scrum project management cycle into the 3 highest priority activities:
- Backlog management – collecting the list user stories (requirements) and prioritizing them. The backlog is one of the central theories in Scrum.
- Sprint planning – choosing a set of user stories to implement in a sprint based on their estimated cost (story points) and the team’s capacity (velocity).
- Daily stand-up – reviewing the newly completed work, work in progress and newly started work along with any impediments.
Scrum Is an Innovative Approach to Getting Work Done
Scrum is an agile framework for completing complex projects. Scrum originally was formalized for software development projects, but works well for any complex, innovative scope of work. The possibilities are endless. The Scrum framework is deceptively simple.
The Scrum Framework in 30 Seconds
- A product owner creates a prioritized wish list called a product backlog.
- During sprint planning, the team pulls a small chunk from the top of that wishlist, a sprint backlog, and decides how to implement those pieces.
- The team has a certain amount of time, a sprint, to complete its work – usually two to four weeks – but meets each day to assess its progress (daily scrum).
- Along the way, the ScrumMaster keeps the team focused on its goal.
- At the end of the sprint, the work should be potentially shippable, as in ready to hand to a customer, put on a store shelf, or show to a stakeholder.
- The sprint ends with a sprint review and retrospective.
- As the next sprint begins, the team chooses another chunk of the product backlog and begins working again.
The cycle repeats until enough items in the product backlog have been completed, the budget is depleted, or a deadline arrives. Which of these milestones marks the end of the work is entirely specific to the project. No matter which impetus stops work, Scrum ensures that the most valuable work has been completed when the project ends.