The beginning of a sprint is marked by an 8 hour marathon meeting called the sprint planning meeting or sprint kick-off meeting. It has two parts of four hours each. The first part is used to identify the features that are to be included in the sprint. The Product Owner and team hold a Sprint Planning Meeting to negotiate which Product Backlog Items they will attempt to convert to working product during the Sprint. The second half is used to make rough estimates of time required for each of the features for analyzing, designing, coding, testing and documentation.
The team breaks the selected items into an initial list of Sprint Tasks and makes a final commitment to do the work. Total time required to complete all the features in a sprint is calculated. If it does not seem possible to complete all the selected features in that sprint, a priority list of the features are made. Then the important features are retained and the less important ones are dropped from that sprint. Product owner come up with a set of features to discuss with intent to add into sprint backlog so team could work on it during the sprint. Usually those features have a specific theme attach to them, that theme is also called sprint goal.
Following are a few examples of the sprint goal :
Improve the performance of the current system.
Build the UI of certain component.
Create API of the product so other application could access some specific information.
Daily Scrum Meeting
Daily scrum meetings are the most important part of Scrum Methodology. The team gets together at the beginning of the day for 15-20 minutes.
Following are some of the best practices we can follow.
Don’t exceed more than 15 minutes.
Only scrum team speaks, product owner can attend the meeting as silence participant.
Fix the time for the meeting.
Don’t discuss anything out of three questions mentioned above.
The conversation is about stuff that matters to most people, individual issues are postponed. Anyone can lead the meeting, not just the Scrum Master / Team Coach. The meeting is the starting point for the day, afterwards everyone feels energized and can start working right away.
Three Questions from the Scrum master :
Each team member answers three questions from the Scrum master which are:
Have you completed yesterday’s task?
What challenges did you face?
Which task will you take up today?
If any team member faces a problem, then the others will help him to solve it. If they are unable to, then the Scrum master will get it resolved. These questions helps bring everyone up to date on the information that is vital for coordination.
Sprint Review Meeting
Sprint Review Meeting is a live demonstration, not a report. Once sprint is completed Sprint team present a demonstration of the features completed during the sprint. The Product owner and customer review the features and give their comments on the completed features. Product owner may accept or reject the feature or point out the deficiency or bug in the work completed during the sprint. Features that fulfill the definition of done, provided by the product owner are accepted. The fate of those features that are not completed or partially completed decided during next sprint planning meeting.
Based on this meeting, some user stories will be accepted. Incomplete user stories will remain in the product backlog and new user stories will be added to the product backlog. Both sets of stories will be ranked and either estimated or re-estimated in the next sprint planning meeting. It Provides opportunity to inspect and adapt the product as it emerges and iteratively refine everyone’s understanding of the requirements. After this meeting and the retrospective meeting, your team will plan the next sprint.
The purpose of Retrospective meeting is to discuss with team what processes or practices went well during the sprint? and what process and practices need to be improved? In this meeting only scrum team and scrum team participate. This is the last meeting of the sprint and is mandatory for everyone to attend.
Team should focus on three areas:
What should they start doing?
What should they stop doing?
What should they continue doing?
Following are some of the examples.
Smaller task work well than larger ones.
Definition of done need to be clearer.
Information radiators need to be placed where everyone could see them.
Daily meeting were restricted to 15 minutes. This meeting should require minimal preparation time as it is more of a “lesson learned” exercise. In this, team members share the challenges that they faced in the sprint and how they overcame them.
From this the lessons they learnt can be detailed which will help them and others in improving their performance going forward. It will also undoubtedly ensure that there is more effective project management resource allocation on the next project.