What is the Agile Scrum (Sprint) Process?
Before getting into the details of this topic, it is important to understand the basic meaning of ‘Agile’, ‘Agile Development Process’, ‘Scrum’ and ‘Sprint’.
The meaning of the word Agile is “able to move quickly and easily.” The same applies when it comes to software development. Agile is a method of project management (mainly Software Development) that is characterized by the division of tasks into short phases of work and frequent reassessment and adaptation of plans.
What You Will Learn:
Agile Scrum (Sprint) Process
There is an Agile manifesto that says what approaches do and don’t work for software development.
Any development process that follows the concepts Agile manifesto is referred to as Agile development. Scrum is nothing but one such process only. It is a light-weight process framework for Agile development.
Scrum is a software development process based on Agile methodology. We can say that it is a subset of Agile. In today’s rapid world, stakeholders want an immediate return on their investments. They don’t want to wait for long periods to get the fully-featured product.
As a result, nowadays new Software Development and Testing frameworks are catching momentum i.e. Scrum approach. In Scrum, projects are divided into small tasks that are to be developed and tested in specific time-frames called a Sprint (small cycles).
Literally, the word Sprint means ‘run at full speed over a short distance’. The same concept applies here. In Sprint, we aim for rapid completion and review of specific planned tasks while maintaining high quality at the same time. The Agile scrum team is handled by the Scrum master.
Scrum is an iterative and incremental framework for projects, products and application development. Scrum has become a more and more popular software development and testing framework among organizations.
Many small to large-sized IT companies have embraced the Scrum framework as this creates excellent quality products in less time than other traditional methodologies like waterfall processes.
This framework can save both the company’s time as well as money. It significantly increases productivity and reduces time to benefits relative to the other processes of software development. It also allows organizations to cope up better with the change.
Having had a basic idea of the Agile Scrum(Sprint) process now, let us move towards having a look at the soft skills that can help you in delivering high-value software features in a short time period.
Soft Skills for the Scrum Team
What Soft Skills are required for a Successful Scrum Team?
When we start our regular (Agile) sprints (Cycles of work), we usually find some of the challenges with our team members. These challenges are not part of the technical difficulties. It usually occurs with the team member’s mindset or their soft skills.
Many successful Scrum projects have taught us that the success of a scrum depends on how team members are supported wholeheartedly towards Sprint.
Let’s discuss some of the pre-requisite soft skills for the Scrum Team.
Cross-functional teamwork is at the heart of Scrum. There is no “my work”, “I have finished my work” and “your work”. In a Scrum team, we find people saying things like only “Our work”, “we have completed our Sprint”.
Individuals will have a helping tendency for sharing technical knowledge. Scrum Members are always available to team members rather than being locked away behind closed doors. Scrum Master will always motivate the teams and create a Supporting Learning Environment.
The team will always be sprint-oriented and often discuss the smooth run of the sprint. A scrum team’s job is to self-organize around the challenges and the management’s job is to remove impediments to self-organization.
Good communication must exist among the team members of the development team, testing team, business analysts and stakeholders. There must be a highly collaborative interaction between the client and the delivery teams.
More client involvement implies more suggestions or changes from the client. It implies more bandwidth for communication.
Commitment is one of the core scrum values.
Agile Teams need periodic re-energization to renew their commitments to their purpose and to each other. Scrum Masters can help by ensuring that the team embraces the concept of whole-team responsibility and whole-team commitment to deliver working software at the end of each sprint.
With the whole team commitment, the team member who has completed his tasks will help the one who has not yet completed so that hopefully each team finishes the assigned tasks on time.
Scrum does not simply focus on developing just any type of end product. Instead, the Scrum method allows the team to focus on creating a product that fulfills the customer’s highest value priorities which are defined by product owners.
Transparency or openness among team members and management gives a real momentum to the scrum team.
Scrum Master encourages people to ask for help, surface roadblocks, and give recognition to those who help others and solve problems. At the same time, Scrum Master also understands the time wasted and the impact on the team when individuals sit ideally or ignore problems.
If the Scrum team follows the above said soft skills, the team velocity will tend to increase significantly. In turn, customers will appreciate the results or updates and also can react quickly to any potential problems.
The team can deliver high-value software features in a short time period and the team can contribute towards changing business conditions.
- Kanban Vs Scrum Vs Agile: A Detailed Comparison to Find Differences
- Getting Started with Agile Scrum Methodology: The Complete Guide for Software Developers and Testers
About Author: J.B.Rajkumar is a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) with rich experience in the Agile/Scrum framework. He has worked as Corporate Trainer, Project Lead, QA Manager and QC Manager. He has implemented Scrum in no. of projects in his current organization.
He is a frequent speaker on Agile/Scrum for International Conferences, Colleges, Universities and Software Industries. He conducts training on Scrum and Agile Testing. Presently he is with Automation Practice, one of the top MNCs.
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