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Certified Scrum Master Random Notes

Certified Scrum Master Random Notes

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04/07/2014

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Certified Scrum Master Training Random notes

• Agile Basics: o Adoption of Agile is not merely a Skill-set issue, more importantly it requires change in mindset. o Agile culture promotes the focus on problem and not the person. Basically calls to take the emotions out of discussion. o Agile is not a mini-Waterfall model. It usually takes 2-4 sprints to get convinced of benefits of Agile and embrace the benefits. o If you read Agile book and try and apply the same in the work place, it may or may not work. You have to adapt based on your organization culture, products, mission etc. Adaption is the key. o In Agile, Sprint duration is usually 4 weeks. Though 4 weeks is not a rigid timeline, it is usually 4,3, or 2 weeks atleast. o In Agile Customers need to be a part of Life cycle, not just one phase. o A general premise for using Agile in project is that if applied correctly, it helps most certainly to deliver projects on time, per Quality and within budget. o Another premise for using Agile, if you hire the best-Agile lets them be the best. o A full time product owner is necessary without which the Agile fails. o PMI Agile is going to be a new certification launched by PMI in the coming time. o A good book on Agile with Scrum- “Agile Software Development with Scrum” by Ken Schwaber Scrum Basics: o In its simplest form, Scrum is a Project Management framework with Agile umbrella. o Usually, the terms Scrum and Agile are used Interchangeably, though Scrum is just one form of Agile development. o The “Scrum” word came from Rugby game. In Rugby, the entire team’s goal is to take the ball and make sure it lands in the net. o Scrum usually follows Feature driven development whereas Waterfall usually go for Component driven development. Cake Analogy- The cake is usually cut from top to bottom and not horizontally. The Component driven development is like cutting a cake horizontally i.e. first create DB, Business Layer, UI and the features. The Feature driven development on the other hand is like cutting a cake vertically. o Scrum moves away from the notion of Heroism. More focus is on Team work. There is no one hero. Sense of accomplishment comes from the team achieving the great things together without having one hero.

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In Scrum, one needs to build the base components in first few Sprints. The Architects needs to start a couple of Sprints earlier than Development team. Its always a good practice to share the knowledge about Agile and Scrum to customer. You will need customer’s support to succeed. Scrum is CMM Level 3.

Some Scrum Terminology: o Product backlog(Requirements from the entire release) o Sprint Planning(usually happens in Day 1) o Sprint backlog (Outcome of Sprint planning) o Daily Scrum(Product Owner, team members and Scrum master should be a part of Daily Scrum) o Sprint Review (demo at the end of Sprint) o Sprint Retrospective(Postmortem at the end of Sprint) o Product domain expert is usually the Product owner. o Team Velocity is the number of stories created by Team in a Sprint. o In Scrum, the Product burn down chart is used to provide a “big picture” perspective on the progress of the project. There is one of the very few metrics used to track the project. This chart has “hours spent” in y-axis and “Sprint days” on x-axis. The progress is plotted on this. The Focus of this chart is on how much time is left and not actually on how much is spent. Role of Scrum Mastero Usually serve as a Servant Leader. o Acts as a Facilitator- Helps make sure that the team is following the Scrum properly. o Ideally, a Single Scrum Master should not handle more than 3 Scrum teams at a time. o Scrum Master should be a neutral person, not having any Conflict of Interest. o Scrum Master should have a role in setting up the team. o Scrum Master is a Influencer, Negotiator and Good at Persuasion. o Scrum Master should be accountable for the success of the project. o Scrum Masters can or cannot be Technically sound. It is more of a Servant Leadership role. More of a Leadership/Management role. Scrum Adoption points: o Definition of “DONE” should be clarified and understood before even estimating for the Sprint. o Before every sprint starts, there is a planning phase. You don’t have to go into sprint blindly. Sprints need to follow planning. o Customer validation should happen throughout the lifecycle and can be initiated by the team. o Testability is an important aspect in Scrum.

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It is a great practice to question the Customer appropriately to make sure that they know what they really want. Survey is a good means to get the Information. The general progress trend is that the team usually falls behind expectation in the first 2-3 days of Sprint. The idea is to use that data as opportunity to improve than punish. Scrum generally helps expose mess. If you are not able to show working Software at the end of the Sprint, Ask yourself- what issues are preventing the working Software to be seen (Sprint Retrospective). It will help expose Organization’s failures. Scrum is usually introduced as a change to the existing processes. Whenever the change is introduced, it goes through the rounds of resistance. Persistence kills Resistance. Testing is an integral part of Scrum. Adoption of automation is good but not mandatory. Unless there are business benefits, adoption of automation not necessary. Estimations are just that- “Estimations” usually never accurate. Generally the term “Sizing” is used as against Estimations. Some relevant techniques such as “Planning Poker” (http://www.planningpoker.com), Three point estimation, “Muscow” model etc. helps come with an accurate sort of sizing and value estimation. Usually not recommended to have different Sprint durations in the release. If one Sprint is 1 month, it is considered as viable to have other Sprints also be 1 month. The term- Backlog Grooming means that team spending 5 to 10% of time in planning for the next Sprint.

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Requirements handling in Scrum: o User Stories are generally a workable unit of requirement. o Each User Story has multiple Story points, which takes the requirement to even more granular unit. o Each Story point further has more Acceptance criterias, which should be met for the Sprint to pass. o The Focus while coming up with the requirements is on WHAT and WHY. General tendency for the people in the team is to start mixing WHAT with HOW, which is not a good practice. o Acceptance criteria should not be too long. If it is getting too long, ask your product owner to Split the User Story further. o User Story should cover WHO, WHAT and WHY of the requirement. o Acceptance Criteria is usually created by Product owners. If for some reason, Product owner does not create Acceptance criteria, he must be involved to Approve and Sign-off the existing criteria. DONE in Scrum:

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The definition of “DONE” should be agreed up by all the team members and Scrum Master and the Product Owner. The “DONE” criteria should be granular and should be interpreted properly and accurately by all the team members. Traceability can be one of the important “DONE” criteria, which means Traceability of implemented code to Design document and further down to Requirements level. Set “DONE” bar as realistic as possible. If its unrealistic, then morale of the team goes down. All Scrum teams in a project should ideally have the same definition of “DONE”.

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Agile in Offshore teamso Though not preferred but possible as long as regular Face-to-Face interaction can be managed. o Communication and proper facilitation of communication necessary for Agile to be successful in Offshore teams. Daily Scrum meetingso Focus of these meetings is only on Whats done the last day, the Plan for today and Impediments to the project. o The Focus is not to find solution to problems in this meeting. o Team should not address the status to Scrum Master but to the other team members. Important for Scrum Master to pass on this message by his Actions and facilitate the meetings in Accordance. CSM Certification process o CSM stands for Certified Scrum Master. o After attending the mandatory training from authorized provider, the Online exam needs to be passed. o Online Exam pattern 35 questions- usually multiple choice.  3 attempts are allowed. CSM certificate is valid for 2 years after which it needs to be renewed. A good reference- “The Scrum Papers” Pdf created by Jeff Sutherland, Ph.D., Ken Schwaber

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