Wednesday, November 01, 2006


At SpiderLogic, we have Spider Tuesday meetings were we all get together and one of us leads a discussion on a topic. Last night a co-worker lead us in a discussion on SCRUM.

Scrum is an Iterative and Incremental Development (IID) methodology that emphasizes a set of project management values and practices, rather than those in requirements, implementation, and so on. As such, it is easily combined with or complimentary to other methods.

This is how it works.

First there is a backlog of project work items. During the project you are allowed to add and remove work items. work items are also prioritized regularly.

Then, during a sprint/iteration the scrum team will decide what work items they will complete. Theses work items are removed from the backlog and broken down into 8 - 16 hour tasks. Scrum members then will take task as they need. During a sprint, that normally lasts 30 days, work items can never be added, however they can be removed. If a work item does not get completed at the end of a sprint it is added back to the backlog list.

During the sprint there is a daily meeting or scrum, where the scrum members all answer three questions:
1) What have you done since the last meeting.
2) What are you going to do before the next meeting.
3) Are there any road blocks to completing your tasks.

The scrum master runs these meetings. The master is in charge of removing road block in a timely matter, and also making sure the scrum meeting is not to long.

Scrum enables the creation of self-organizing teams by encouraging verbal communication across all team members and across all disciplines that are involved in the project.

A key principle of Scrum is its recognition that fundamentally empirical challenges cannot be addressed successfully in a traditional "process control" manner. As such, Scrum adopts an empirical approach - accepting that the problem cannot be fully understood or defined, focusing instead on maximizing the team's ability to respond in an agile manner to emerging challenges.

Some key practices include:

  • Self-directed and self-organizing teams
  • No external addition of work to an iteration, once committed
  • Daily stand-up meeting with special questions
  • Usually 30-calendar day iterations
  • Demo to external stakeholders at end of each iteration
  • Each iteration, client-driven adaptive planning
So that is what I learned Yesterday. As you can see there are some similarities to Agile, and XP. Were it differs most though is agile and xp will delve more into the implementation of the product as well.

Hope you all have a great day.


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