Agile… the road ahead….

Agile Software development is based on iterative and incremental development where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams. Each iteration is time-boxed and focuses on rapid and flexible responses to change.

Of all the agile methodologies, Scrum is unique because it introduced the idea of "empirical process control". That is, Scrum uses the real-world progress of a project – not a best guess or uninformed forecast – to plan and schedule releases. In Scrum, projects are divided into succinct work cadences, known as sprints, which are typically two to four weeks in duration. At the end of each sprint, stakeholders and team members meet to assess the progress of a project and plan its next steps. This allows a project’s direction to be adjusted or reoriented based on completed work, not speculation or predictions

Scrum explained….

Scrum encompasses different performing roles along with important ceremonies detailed out below:

Roles in Scrum

  • Product Owner: Person who present customer viewpoint through requirements and prioritization
  • Scrum Master: Person who acts as a facilitator between the Product Owner and TEAM. Scrum Master works to remove any impediments that are obstructing the TEAM from achieving its sprint goals
  • Team: the actual set of cross-functional individuals responsible for completing sprint goals

Scrum ceremonies

  • Sprint Planning: Prepare Sprint backlog from the Product backlog by looking at the details of time that will take to do that work with the entire team. Identify and communicate how many user stories is likely to be done during the current sprint
  • Daily Scrum (Standup): daily 15 minutes team meeting with a focus on answering 3 questions
    • What did the individual do since last 24 hours
    • What’s planned by each individual for the next 24 hours
    • Any stumbling blocks (impediments). This is recorded by the Scrum Master and he/she strives towards resolution outside of this meeting
  • Scrum review (Show-and-Tell): demonstrate the completed work with product owner. Ensure that this ceremony is planned on a weekly basis so that sprint can be closed within agreed timeline
  • Scrum retrospective: all team members reflect on the past sprint with an aim towards continuous process improvements. Scrum Master facilitates this meeting

Success with Scrum in Mphasis

Scrum is followed as a software implementation methodology for various Mphasis clients.

  • Sprint of 4 week duration (varies between 2-4 weeks) are run and include the activities as depicted below:

    Success with Scrum in Mphasis

  • Scrum ceremonies and frequency of occurrence
    • Daily Scrum Meeting (Standup) – 15 minutes consisting of TEAM along with onshore Product Expert, Product Owner, Technical Architect and demand Scrum Master
    • Weekly Sprint review (Show-And-Tell)
    • Scrum of Scrums (SofS) occurs every Monday-Wednesday-Friday of every week starting Day1 of sprint

We adopted the following approach towards implementing Scrum successfully:

  • Started with 2 teams – co-located with client in client location
  • Performed Proof-Of-Concept (POC) to de-risk technical and implementation challenges
  • Presented the learning through What-Would-It-Take (WWIT) workshops and gained client confidence on scrum process abilities and technical capabilities
  • Spread out to offshore by seeding a few Scrums and grew periodically
  • Scaled to 10 teams. Delivered 14 sprints every year since 2010, and going strong

Recommendations for going Agile:

  • Started with 2 teams – co-located with client in client location
  • Scaled to 10 distributed teams. Monthly deliveries since 2010 and going strong…..