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Agile best practices and what is Scrum - from a certified Scrum Master and PMP professional


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Summary of Agile best practices and common pitfalls using Scrum
With my experience in working with Agile Teams and as scrum master - I have encapsulated basics of both in a few slides along with common misunderstandings and pitfalls which beginners are prone to fall through. Keep these in mind and we are good to go Agile!

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Agile best practices and what is Scrum - from a certified Scrum Master and PMP professional

  1. 1. Agile Best Practices Akhil Munjal
  2. 2. The Concept of Agile Definition & Sample Sprint • Agile helps teams respond to the unpredictability of building software by using iterative and incremental development. Typically, requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between cross functional teams and clients • Agile promotes adaptive planning, evolutionary development and delivery, a time-boxed iterative approach, and encourages rapid and flexible response to change. 2 Project Initiation Sprint 0 Sprint 1 Sprint 2 Release Sprint 1 Integration Test Sprint 0  High-level project planning  Initial Stakeholder engagement  Define ways of working Project Initiation  High level requirement gathering  Commit to sprint lengths, team capacity  Delivery team roll-on Sprint 0  Reprioritise backlog with client  Commit to and deliver stories  Shippable product at the end of each sprint Sprints 1+ Product Backlog Sprint Backlog Sprint Backlog Product Fig: Sample Sprint Cycle
  3. 3. Agile Terminology Overview of Agile Approach Product Owner – ‘Voice of the Customer’ • Ensures end product delivers value to the business or customer • Sets and adjusts priorities and product backlog • Accepts or rejects work via showcases and pilots (review) Scrum Master • Accountable for delivering Sprint goals • Removes obstacles for team and keeps momentum • Coaches and provides motivation Team Members • Develop and deliver product on a daily basis • Self directed and self organizing • Cross functional (change, process, design, test) Design, Build Test Inception Prioritise Retros pective Plan Showcase & Deploy Iterative deployment • User Stories • Product Backlog • Sprint Backlog • Burndown Chart • Potentially shippable Product increments Roles Products Events • Product Owner • Scrum Master • Team • Sprint Planning • Daily Scrum (Daily Standup Meeting) • Sprint Review • Sprint Retrospective • Backlog Refinement
  4. 4. Agile Implementation Key Activities Advisory and Strategy Team • Understand the client drivers and motivation for Agile • Help the leadership and C-suite understand Agile Impact • Work along business divisional leads in rolling out Agile Program Manager • Establish and launch Governance Structure & Processes • Integrate project work plans and clearly capture milestones and dependencies • Confirm delivery processes each project should use Agile Coach • Co-ordinates with Agile Strategy Team to understand vision & roadmap • Work with Project Team to define Agile Delivery Model and Setup Agile Practices • Participates in all Key initiatives and fine tuning it
  5. 5. Agile Best Practices What works well Conduct early and regular Showcases • Provide early mock ups of the product / change deliverables to put theory into immediate practice • Pilot the product (including surveys, training or communications) prior to full deployment Involve the client/customer and stakeholders in continuous dialogue • Run Agile basics and refreshers at the commencement of the project • The review process should be streamlined: present only the executive summary Be flexible with hybrid Waterfall/Agile approaches • Agree in sprint 0 the Agile methods and ways of working with the client/customer • Agile projects commonly incorporate waterfall practices (such as code freezes and CRP), and change must adapt their models accordingly Plan differently • Change planning should feature only critical path change activities • Change planning should be flexible and adaptive to changes, while keeping aligned to the overall journey Change team in a silo and not immersed in scrum activity • Change team members must attend daily scrums and showcases • Change team members should adopt a major and minor role in the team Change team not focused on critical path activities • Change activities must always focus on business value and not become ‘top heavy’ • Change activities must be targeted on each sprint release date Change team not adapting rapidly to changes in product development • Change team should respond to changes in priorities with flexible planning • Change team should maintain and communicate a clear view of the impact of ongoing changes Change team too focused on delivery and not fostering engagement • Change team have a vital role to play in team well-being and recognition • Change team should ‘step back’ each sprint to take an active and driving role in retrospectives Change team not aligning sprints to the overall journey • Each sprint should align with the journey and business case as expressed in epic user stories • Agile is not an ‘excuse for poor planning’ – a change plan is required to set expectations What Can go Wrong in Agile What Works Well
  6. 6. Agile Best Practices Success Factors & Metrics Sponsorship • Actively engaged senior management sponsors to communication change, strategy and direction • A sponsorship strategy that builds and sustains support throughout phases Sponsorship • Measurable linkage to business objectives with cross-organizational focus • Accelerated implementation approach to quickly address known challenges Balance • Leverage of leading practices from the industry and our expertise • Focus on adopting leading practices while keeping in mind our clients’ realities, priorities, and constraints Team Compensation • The right resources at the right time, with pilot projects to insert ‘player-coaches’ on the ground • Effective knowledge transfer throughout the project Metrics and Measurement Burndown Chart for tracking Sprint progress • Automatically generated visual chart when electronic tooling is used • Represents development complete by stage or completed user stories • Includes Work in Progress Velocity • Estimate of rate at which team can do work (no. of points needed for each story x no. of stories estmated per sprint)