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SCRUM: An Agile Method

Seminar Description

Scrum: An Agile Method Explores how projects that have solid, well-defined project plans encounter some degree of change and waste. Shifting market conditions, budget cuts, staff restructuring, or any number of influences will disrupt the best plan while contributing to customer dissatisfaction and staff discouragement. Moreover, projects that begin with changing or unclear requirements make it difficult to even establish project expectations. Scrum is the agile development process that allows teams to deliver usable software periodically throughout the life of the project, absorbing change and new requirements as the project proceeds.

Beginning with the history of agile development and moving through the disciplines promoted by Scrum, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the Scrum methodology while specifically reviewing the behaviors expected of a the various roles played in Scrum. 

Who Should Attend

Project managers, project analysts, methodology architects, business users,  developers, and technology architects. 


This course has no prerequisites. 

Seminar Length

2 days 

Seminar Outline     

1. Agile Thinking
In order for us to understand the benefits of Scrum and the nuances behind its framework, we begin with the history of agile methods and how relatively new thoughts in software development have brought us to Scrum.

a. How manufacturing has influenced software development
b. The origins of agile thinking
c. The Agile Manifesto
d. The complexity of projects
e. Theoretical Vs. Empirical processes overview
f. The “Iron Triangle” of Project Management

2. The Scrum Framework
Here we’ll ensure that we’re all working from the same foundational concepts that make up the Scrum Framework.

a. The different Scrum roles
b. Chickens and Pigs
c. Iterative Development vs. Waterfall
d. Self Management concepts
e. Full disclosure and visibility
f. The Scrum Framework Overview

3. Implementation Considerations
Moving beyond Scrum’s foundational concepts, we’ll use this time to dig deeper into the reasons for pursuing Scrum. The key concepts of “empirical thinking” and “done” will be presented. We’ll also use this time to begin a discussion of integrity in the marketplace and how this relates to software quality.

a. Why change our current development methods?
b. Traditional Defined methods explored
c. The “unveiling effect”
d. Empirical Methods explored
e. The Agile Skeleton
f. A Scrum launch checklist

4. Scrum Roles. Who are the different players in the Scrum game? We’ll review checklists of role
expectations in preparation for further detail later in our session.

a. The Team Member
b. The Product Owner
c. The Scrum Master

5. Exercise: The 59-minute Scrum Simulation. This popular exposure to Scrum asks us to work
on a short project that lasts for just 59 minutes! We’ll walk through all of the key steps under the
Scrum framework as we work in project teams to deliver a new product.

6. The ScrumMaster Explored. It’s easy to read about the role of the ScrumMaster and gain a
better understanding of their responsibilities. The difficulty comes in the actual implementation.Being a ScrumMaster is a hard job, and we’ll talk about the characteristics of a good ScrumMaster that go beyond a simple job description.

a. Who is the ScrumMaster?
b. Characteristics of a ScrumMaster candidate
c. The ScrumMaster as a change agent
d. Effective listening
e. Scrum’s success depends on common sense

7. The Scrum Team Explored. Since the ScrumMaster is looking to protect the productivity of the
team, we must investigate team behaviors so we can be prepared for the various behaviors
exhibited by teams of different compositions. We’ll also include small exercises to help
participants understand how to handle difficult situations.

a. The agile heart
b. Bruce Tuckman’s team life cycle
c. Team ground rules
d. Patrick Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team
e. Getting Human Resources involved
f. The MetaScrum
g. The impact of project switching
h. The Scrum of Scrums
i. The importance of knowing when software is “done”
j. “Done” for multiple team integrations divided by function
k. “Done” for multiple team integrations divided by skill
l. “Done” for unsynchronized technologies

8. Meetings and Artifacts. During this time we will review the different Scrum meetings, understand
the importance of planning under Scrum, and continue with the agile estimating and planning

a. Overview of the different Scrum meetings
b. Sprint Planning
c. The Daily Scrum and the dysfunctional team
d. Burndowns and a warning about metrics
e. Sprint Review
f. Sprint Retrospective
g. Why do we need planning in Scrum?
h. The Ideal Team Day
i. Velocity
j. Scrum management tools

9. Exercise: agile estimating and planning. Although agile estimating and planning is an art unto
itself, the concepts behind this method fit very well with the Scrum methodology an agile
alternative to traditional estimating and planning.

10. The Product Owner: Extracting Value. The driving force behind implementing Scrum is to
obtain results, usually measured in terms of return on investment or value. How can we help
ensure that we allow for project work to provide the best value for our customers and our
organization? We’ll take a look at different factors that impact our ability to maximize returns.

a. The Product Backlog
b. Managing priorities
c. Estimation adjustments related to team factors
d. Fixed-date projects
e. Gating milestone-driven development
f. Refactoring
g. Management’s role in optimizing value
h. Managing the release
i. New ideas for earned value management

11. Advanced Considerations. This section of our class will touch on a variety of subjects in order to
provide insight into how Scrum can be implemented in different environments. We also revisit
the role of the ScrumMaster as the facilitator.

a. The ScrumMaster as referee
i. Helping to define “done”
ii. The Scrum of Scrums ScrumMaster
b. Large projects under Scrum
c. Dispersed teams
d. Scaling Scrum
e. Developing architecture under Scrum
f. Inter- and Intra-project dependencies
g. Multi-team Resourcing
h. Scrum and CMM
i. Scum and XP

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