An Overview of Scrum

If you work for UPMC Enterprises doing any sort of development, you definitely will be using a form of scrum. Scrum is a development process derived from the methodologies of Agile, which, at its core, focuses on iterative development that can easily adapt to unpredictable requirement changes. Here’s a brief overview!

Sprints

Scrum consists of two week sprints. Sprints entail a set amount of work to be completed that is determined by the team’s ability. The workflow of each sprint is viewed on an agile board that depicts the progress for each story.

Stories            

In scrum, most of the work will be done in the form of stories. The stories are written by the client and include a description of the task, the requirements, and a design if needed.

Grooming

Before each sprint, the sprint must be groomed. The entire team must come together to review each story, to ensure understanding between the client and the development team. Additionally, the stories are “pointed” in which the team votes on the difficulty of the story; a simple text change might be pointed at a 1, while a large addition to functionality could be an 8. Traditionally, story points are on a base 2 scale, for example, 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, etc.

Daily Standup

Daily standup is exactly what it sounds like; every day the team meets and everyone quickly mentions what they did the previous day, what they will be working on in the future, and what may be preventing them from accomplishing certain tasks. Even on a large team this meeting rarely lasts longer than 15 minutes. The key here is brevity.

Retrospective

After each sprint, the team meets to discuss what was done well and what needs improvement, based on the sprint. Sprint retrospective works similarly to daily standup where everyone receives time to comment on the sprint. It’s important to note, retrospective looks at how the sprint was managed and not the performance of individuals.

William Botzer, Enterprises Summer Associate