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The Scrum Team

So, there are three roles in a Scrum Team:

  • The Product Owner – the business-oriented person who owns the Product Backlog and sorts the items to maximize the business value.
  • The Scrum Master – the Scrum expert who trains, coaches, and removes impediments.
  • The Development Team – all experts required in the project.

 

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The Scrum Master

We need someone to help the Scrum Team use the framework correctly. This person is called the Scrum Master. 

They are Scrum experts who ensure everyone has the right understanding of the framework. If not, s/he will train and coach them, and convinces them to do the right thing.

 

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Planning Poker

If developers start voting one by one, the first votes will anchor the rest. It reduces the quality of the estimates.

To avoid this cognitive bias, we usually use planning poker. Each person has a number of cards with numbers on them. Each person picks a card based on her/his opinion and keeps it face down. When everyone is ready, cards are shown.

 

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Velocity

Let’s say this was our output for the previous Sprints:

  • Sprint 1: 73sp
  • Sprint 2: 110sp
  • Sprint 3: 98sp
  • Sprint 4: 131sp
  • Sprint 5: 122sp

In this case, we can say that on average, we have delivered 107sp per Sprint. This is what we call “velocity”. Our velocity at the end of the 5th Sprint is 107sp per Sprint.

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Story Points

We use story points instead of man-hours and other time-based units. Let’s see how it works.

Defining the reference
We pick a simple, small user story that everyone understands, as the reference. It would be the definition of 1 story point in our project.

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Size Units

We prefer to use relativeeffort-based units for measurement, instead of time-based units such as man-hours. It is so, because when you start using man-hours, someone will be there to tell you: you’ve created 10 Product Backlog items this Sprint worth of 381 man-hours. You’re 6 people working in two-week sprints, which is 528 man-hours. Why is your output so low? What’s wrong?

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Estimation

Estimation should be done by those who are supposed to do the work. This is done by the Development Team.
The Development Team is the second role in Scrum (the first one was the Product Owner). There are 3 to 9 developers. “Developer” is a term referred to analysts, designers, programmers, testers, UI designers, and anyone else who has a part in the production of the solution.

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Sprint Planning

The first thing we do in the Sprint is to plan. Yes, we still have some forms of planning in Agile.
The Sprint Planning meeting is 8 hours in a one-month Sprint, and shorter proportionately for shorter Sprints.

 

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Sprint

Sprint is the Scrum term for iteration. Iterations are cycles during which we focus on a subset of features and create a usable product.

Sprints should be shorter than one month. We usually prefer shorter Sprints. Two-week or three-week Sprints are the most common choices.

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The Product Owner

The Product Owner is responsible for composing the Product Backlog items.

There’s only one Product Owner for one project; full-time or part-time. The person should be business-oriented. A qualified business analyst is a very good candidate for this role.

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