SKILLS & TRICKS
Scrum Artifacts – results/products of our management activities – are designed to increase transparency of information related to the delivery of the project, and provide opportunities for inspection and adaptation.
There are six artifacts in Scrum:
Items 5 and 6 might look more like activities, but they are considered artifacts in the Scrum Guide, and therefore we will explain them as so. You can imagine their output (tracking information, burn-down charts, etc.) as the real artifacts and these two items as ongoing activities (like Product Backlog grooming) or part of the Scrum events (part of Sprint Review and Daily Scrum).
1. Product Backlog
In Part 1 we extensively covered the basics about Scrum, Agile Manifesto , the Principles, facts and myths about Scrum and the roles within the team.
In this post we will concentrate on understanding and will do a deep dive analysis of:
- Scrum Events
- Scrum Activity - Backlog Grooming
- Scrum Activity - Slack
Scrum events are designed to enable critical transparency, inspection, regularity, and adaptation. You must prefer to use these predefined meetings with fixed objectives and maximum durations instead of ad-hoc meetings, which most likely waste our time.
There are just five events in a Scrum Project:
1. Sprint: Each Scrum project is a set of Sprints. A Sprint is a container for the four other events (as represented in the above diagram), development effort, and the maintenance of the Product Backlog.
2. Sprint Planning: Sprint Planning is the first event inside a Sprint. The Scrum Team plans the items they are going to deliver in the Sprint and the way they will deliver them.
3. Daily Scrum: The Development Team starts working on the objectives of the Sprint as soon as Sprint Planning is completed. During the Sprint, the Development Team holds a daily meeting (normally 15 minutes) to coordinate the work for the next 24 hours. This meeting is called the Daily Scrum.
4. Sprint Review: Before the end of the Sprint, the Development Team presents (demonstrates) the outcome of the Sprint to the customer and receives feedback. This meeting is called Sprint Review (also known as Sprint Demo).
5. Sprint Retrospective: After the Sprint Review and just before the Sprint is over, the Development Team holds an internal meeting to review the Sprint and use it to improve the process (lessons learned) in the next Sprint. This meeting is called Sprint Retrospective.
Time Box Concept
Time Box is an essential concept in Agile methods, a predefined fixed maximum duration of time in order to maximize productivity in which we freeze the target and work with full focus on certain tasks or objectives. Time-boxed events repeat many times, until the final goal of the project is achieved. All the changes are applied only when one time-box is finished and we are ready to start the next one.
The duration of a time-box should be agreed upon and fixed. We are free to change the duration based on lessons learned, but not frequently, and never based on single occasions. For example, we are not allowed to say that “we have a lot to do this time, so let’s increase the duration for this particular case”.
What we are allowed to say is “based on the previous ten time-boxes, we realized that the duration of our time-boxes is not suitable, and a 30% increase in duration might better fit our needs. So, let’s increase them from now on”.