SAD12 - Agile and Scrum


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This is a lecture on Systems Analysis and design. It focuses on Agile methodologies with particular reference to Scrum.

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SAD12 - Agile and Scrum

  1. 1. + Agile Development - Scrum Systems Analysis and Design Michael Heron
  2. 2. + Introduction  We have already touched upon the basic principles behind Agile Programming.  Lightweight  User Centric  In this lecture we’re going to look at how it can actually be used as a project management technique.  There are several flavours of this, with several techniques for each.  Most do not formally incorporate a project management role.  It’s considered the purview of all members.
  3. 3. + Agile - Scrum  One flavour of agile development is known as Scrum.  It’s a framework upon which you can build your own specialised process.  It is usually not proscriptive in terms of how things should be done.  Instead, it gives a way in which things can interrelate.  Core at the heart of Scrum is the idea that individual teams know best about the problems they will have and the best things to do to deal with them.  It relies on a team of motivated and multitasking members.  There’s no such thing as a team leader or project manager.
  4. 4. + Scrum  The entirety of the team decides on how projects will be completed.  And who is going to be responsible for completing parts of them.  A large project may involve several largely autonomous teams each tackling a subset of the problem.  Teams are supported by two specific individuals.  A Scrum Master  The Product Owner.  The latter is the ‘client’, who is involved in making sure the thing developed is what is actually needed.
  5. 5. + The Scrum Master  The Scrum Master <fanfare> is the one responsible for making sure the Scrum framework is being appropriately used.  He/she is also responsible for balancing the teams between their internal work and product owner requirements.  The Scrum Master is responsible for facilitating the process, allowing teams to work at their highest level of productivity.  Removing roadblocks  Facilitating meetings  Managing the ‘Product Backlog’  Organising and managing product ‘Sprints’
  6. 6. + The Sprint  Work in Scrum progresses through a series of ‘Sprints’  A block of work, usually no longer than a month or so.  Smaller projects may have smaller sprints.  Sprints are ‘timeboxed’  They are restricted to a specific duration. You can’t delay or rechedule them.  Sprints occur after a planning meeting.  Tasks for the upcoming sprint are identified and allocated.  At the end is a review meeting.  Where progress is evaluated against commitments.
  7. 7. + Velocity  Scrum often incorporates a measure of team capacity known as velocity.  This is how much work a team can do in a particular period based on how much work has been done in other periods.  Two things are used to determine this.  The Unit of work (days, hours, ‘story points’)  Each user story in a backlog can be estimated in terms of this.  The interval  The most meaningful duration of work that can be done. Usually a week.  Velocity is calculated by units of work completed per interval.  Initially unreliable, but with successive intervals becomes more effective.
  8. 8. + Velocity  Within the Scrum team, each user stories gets allocated a certain number of units of work.  Story points are often used as an abstract scale – a fibbonaci sequence, size of clothes, etc.  This combined with velocity gives a reasonable idea of how much can be done during an interval.  Some teams may break it down further into velocity per individual.  Tasks are allocated within the planning meeting until the planned units of work match velocity.  The projected velocity over a project lifetime gives a useful way of determining what is likely to eventually be completed.
  9. 9. + The Timebox  In some project management systems, project slippage is anticipated.  Often represented as ‘slack’ or ‘float time’  Within Scrum, phases are timeboxed.  Each time box comes with its own deliverables, deadline (which is immovable) and allocation of resources.  Timeboxing helps limit feature creep and scope creep.  You don’t really have the time to mess around with that kind of thing.  As such, it is largely built on task prioritisation.  MoSCoW being a common example of such a system.
  10. 10. + The Product Backlog  During a timeboxed sprint, the Product Backlog is adjusted.  The Backlog is a prioritized feature list that is incrementally refined during each Sprint.  To begin with, a backlog consists of everything that can be thought of regarding required features and tasks.  This gets successively modified as the project changes, requirements shift, and mastery over the project builds.  Typically, the backlog consists of four things:  Features to add  Bugs that exist  Technical Options  Acquired Knowledge
  11. 11. + The Product Backlog  Some characterise the backlog as having DEEP qualities.  Detailed appropriately  Estimated  Emergent  Prioritized  Detailed Appropriately – higher priority items are described in more detail than lower priority items.  This keeps the backlog tractable and focuses attention on the higher priority tasks.  Estimated – Each task contains a realistic estimation of the time required to complete them.
  12. 12. + The Product Backlog  Emergent – As the understanding of a project changes, the backlog will alter accordingly.  New items get added, old items get shuffled around, detail is added (or removed) as needed.  Prioritized – The backlog is ordered with the highest priority tasks shown first. oduct-backlog
  13. 13. + User Stories  The simplest and most reliable way for teams to list features is by user stories.  These are simple descriptions of features as told from the perspective of someone using it.  There is a standard template  As a <type of user> I want to <do something> so that <some outcome>  As a customer, I want to browse the catalog so that I can decide what I want to buy.  These are usually written on index cards or post-its and arranged on walls to help facilitate the organisation of a project.
  14. 14. + User Stories  User stories that cover large amounts of functionality are known as epics.  ‘As a user, I want to manage my account so that I have control over how the system knows me’  Since epics are too large to be completed in a single sprint, this gets subdivided into more manageable stories.  Sometimes dozens or hundreds depending on how epic.  ‘As a user, I want to change my payment details so that my payments come from the right account’  ‘As a power user, I want to set up email notifications for alerting me when new things are entered into the catalogue, so I don’t need to keep checking the site’
  15. 15. + User Stories  User stories become detailed enough to work with by two mechanics.  Splitting them up into multiple user stories.  Adding conditions of satisfaction.  This is a high level acceptance test that will be true after a story is complete.  ‘Make sure the account can be accessed on the website’  ‘Make sure the account can be accessed via a mobile phone’  These get specified early by the product owner for the project.  After negotiation with the Scrum Master and scrum teams.
  16. 16. + Writing User Stories  User stories should ideally have the following characteristics.  Written for specific users.  While ‘As a User’ is appropriate for an example, it’s not detailed enough for an actual user story.  As a consequence of this, this aren’t written for Product Owners.  ‘As a product owner…’  An owner must be viewed in the context of their interaction of the system.  Similarly for ‘as a developer’  Identify a value or benefit.  They need to have the ‘because’ listed.  Answer the questions: What if, Where, When, How.
  17. 17. + The Structure of a Sprint  A sprint has a certain typical structure to it.  Planning meeting at the very start.  Deciding on the highest priority tasks, committing to which can be done, and then developing a Sprint Backlog accordingly.  Daily sprint scrum meetings.  Very short duration, usually timeboxed.  Attended by all members, including the Scrum Master and product owner.  A sprint review at the very end.  During this, the functionality developed during the sprint is demonstrated.  Feedback is obtained from the product owners and other stakeholders.
  18. 18. + Daily Scrum Meeting  Several things get covered during the daily meeting.  Everyone updates the team on what’s been done during the last day.  Everyone updates the team on what they’re planning to do today.  Everyone reports on anything that is causing problems.  It is the job of the Scrum Master to resolve these outside the meeting.  For effective time management:  Meetings occur at the same time and place every day.  Meetings start on time, even if people aren’t there.  Normally only those involved in the project speak, although everyone is welcome.
  19. 19. + Project Burndown  As people work on tasks within Scrum, they update the Project Burndown chart.  This shows the amount of work that remains in the current Sprint and the overall project. e:SampleBurndownChart.png
  20. 20. + Why Use Scrum?  There are several well documented benefits.  Lightweight – not document free, but document light.  Improves productivity significantly in projects where the appropriate features are in place.  User centric – the system involves users at all parts of the development process.  High visibility of progress – project burndowns and scrum meetings all work together to create an understanding of how the project is proceeding.  Projects are highly adaptable – agile.  Problems are identified early.  Work done better meets the needs of the product owner as a result of the backlog.  Can deliver at any time.
  21. 21. + Why Not Use Scrum?  Scrum works best with experienced, motivated developers.  While you can have a few newbies ‘normalised’ by exposure to veterans, there is a limit to how many can be dealt with.  Scrum works best with small, autonomous groups.  Five to ten people are a working, realistic maximum. If you can’t subdivide a project into teams of this size, Scrum may not be appropriate.  Scrum works best with management and product owner buy-in.  Some organisations are averse to these kind of techniques because they don’t ‘feel’ meaty.  Scrum works best when projects can be effectively subdivided into sprints.  Multi-month monolithic phases, or extremely changeable circumstances, don’t work well.
  22. 22. + Who Is Using Scrum?  Lots of companies are using Scrum now.  G82SlhmUVRhOEk0REtrdmthNWc#gid=0  Some examples:  Adobe  American Express  The BBC (for iPlayer)  Google  Linkedin  Microsoft  They are usually not the only method used.  But Scrum teams are embedded into many products, projects and departments.
  23. 23. + Conclusion  Scrum is an agile project management technique.  One you can profitably consider using during the module for your assessments.  It doesn’t do away with the need for documentation, although it does change the emphasis.  More emphasis is placed on meetings, scheduling and user interaction than in other methodologies.  Such as the waterfall model, vanilla or iterative.  However, it is a specialised technique best used in the real world by experienced teams.