5 Steps to Execute a Scrum Methodology in your Project

You already know that using Scrum in your team is a must-want scenario in every single new task. You want a more fluid workflow and it is a reality that you might find it difficult to not implement any of Scrum methodology.

“How can I start a Scrum move in my project”?, “How do I execute it and push my team to absorb Scrum methodology”? That’s what we will find out in this article and start right now Scrum in every project management.

Before we go further, you might want to read more about Scrum, right? Here are a few thoughts on Scrum principles:

5 Scrum principles to Increase your Team’s Productivity

Steps to start scrum in your project

Before we get to start, let’s remember briefly what is Scrum. It is an efficient and fast method of managing and planning projects. The work is focused so that, at each sprint, it is possible to have a small part of the project ready or a new functionality implemented.

With that said, we can look over an overview of at least 5 STEPS to introduce and then start a Scrum methodology in your project and get rid of pitfalls in every management process.

Here is what we can check and bring Scrum on!

1. Define your first Scrum Team

The team is made of 5 to 9 members. These members all have a combination of competencies and can include developers, testers, support, designers, business analysis, etc. All the members continuously work closely together.

The team is in charge of delivering variable product increments by the end of each sprint. As a whole, the team is responsible for delivering products in due of time and in a correct form at the end of each Sprint and incrementally.

The Product Owner (P.O) or the one responsible for the product is the person who has a clear vision of what are the tasks, what is going to be done or manufactured, and the goals that team will reach in short term.

Moreover, the Product Owner is the one who will take into account the risks, as well as what is feasible.  These functions will be critical to the successful implementation of Scrum if there is a clear understanding of those who meet the necessary conditions to perform well using Scrum.

The Scrum Master is the one who guarantees that the team is effective and progressive, removing all those obstacles that block satisfactory progress. Their role does not imply dictating what the team will do or follow, in an excessive way, to the smallest detail. Their main function is to lead the team through the Scrum work system.

It is necessary to define a window of time, known as a Sprint, which is generally between 1 and 4 weeks and maintains that duration throughout the entire project. In case you do not know how much time is the most appropriate,  you may start within 2 weeks and then find the best timing.

2. Implement and create a list of Backlog

The Product Backlog is a wish list of all of the user stories (requirements) that are expected to be completed in the project. The most important story should be at the top of the list, so the entire backlog is continuously ranked in order based on story importance.

A backlog will typically contain 3 types of work items:

  1. Epics – Over-the-top stories that are very roughly sketched out without much detail.
  2. Stories – Specific requirements for what should be done (be possible to do). An epic can typically be broken down into several stories.
  3. Tasks: You can split User Stories into tasks that will include in the Sprint the start of working on the product.

A story will typically again break into discrete tasks that the team can work and report time on. A story can in many cases have a type, such as development, bug/defect, chore, etc. New stories can be written and added to the product backlog at any time and by anyone.

As you go further down the backlog the items will typically be rougher with fewer details. As a story/epic rises in priority more details should be put on it so the team can start working on it.

It is important to have an idea of the amount of time the project will take, which is why it is absolutely necessary to make an estimation of the next tasks to be performed and understand if there is any crucial information that is not available and that could radically modify the times.

Many times, there will be a lack of information for accurate estimation, but it is good to know, at least, the dimension of these tasks using methods such as the succession of Fibonacci.

3. Plan Sprint Scrum in your Project

In this first meeting, the details of the tasks to be carried out will be refined so that the whole team has the necessary information to get the final product.

At this stage of the process, estimations are made, and commitments are established for the performance of a certain number of tasks and stories, always in accordance with the defined work time.

Keep in your mind that a sprint is a time-box that lasts between 7 and 30 days, and it typically remains the same length for the duration of a project. A sprint planning meeting proceeds each sprint where the work for the sprint is planned, and the team commits to completing this work.

At the end of a Sprint, the team can hold a meeting with a demonstration of the completed work. Here the teams review all improvements and mistakes and will work for the next sprint as planned. If you don’t have a clue of how long the time-box should be start with 2 weeks.

In order to do this, you can make joint planning. But if you have already worked some Sprint, the speed of the team will be counting, in order to make a more realistic estimation. The Scrum Master and the team itself will make sure to optimize this speed without losing the objective of fulfilling a realistic plan.

4. Review and Retrospective of the Scrum

Once the work time has been completed, it is essential to show real progress on the product. Scrum’s own iterative methodology requires visualizing the progress in the product and making decisions in those cases where reality is not in line with expectation.

To put this in practice, a review/demo is carried out in which everyone involved in the development takes part: Product Owner, Scrum Master, and the rest of the team, as well as any other interested party.

In this open meeting, the team shows only what is finished and can be shown. It may not b, but it should be a product that is ready to work.

Once the iteration is complete, the team reunites to reflect on what went well, what could be done better, and what could be perfected for the next Sprint.

The main thing here is to allow everyone to suggest improvements. In this way, the team takes responsibility for its process and outcome, thus analyzing the options to improve in a constructive way.

At the end of this meeting, the team and the Scrum Master should agree on at least one improvement to the process, which will be incorporated in the following Sprint.

In all this process you can document and notice all improvements that you and your team had during the application of the new Scrum methodology.

5. Finish and start immediately the next Sprints Cycle

Taking into account the previous experience of the team, with obstacles and the incorporation of improvements, the process begins again, and the changes will start to become visible.

When the end of the time-box is reached, the end of the current sprint, all planned work should hopefully be done. If this is not the case it’s up to the team to decide if the remaining work should transfer to the next sprint or be put back into the backlog.

The team now does a retrospective where they discuss what went well and what could be improved for the next sprint. After that, the sprint planning meeting for the next sprint starts, and the process is repeated.

There’s no limit for the number of sprints, except if they are set by a deadline (based on budget or time), or the entire backlog is completed. If none of these criteria are met, the sprints just keep going indefinitely.

Your team will only increase its productivity with practice. You may not understand how to use Scrum until you start and commit to the process, but once you do, it will radically change the way in which your team interacts during the whole process.

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Leonardo Salles

Copywriter for GitScrum.