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Agile Software Development And Scrum

22 Oct

Scrum is used in agile software development. Rather than a full process or methodology, it is a framework. So instead of providing complete, detailed descriptions of how everything is to be done on the project, much is left up to the software development team. This is done because the team will know best how to solve the problem they are presented. This is why, for example, a sprint planning meeting is described in terms of the desired outcome (a commitment to a set of features to be developed in the next sprint) instead of a set of Entry criteria, Task definitions, Validation criteria, and Exit criteria (ETVX) as would be provided in most methodologies.

Scrum relies on a self-organizing, cross-functional team. The scrum team is self-organizing in that there is no overall team leader who decides which person will do which task or how a problem will be solved. Those are issues that are decided by the team as a whole. The scrum team is cross-functional so that everyone necessary to take a feature from idea to implementation is involved.

These agile development teams are supported by two specific individuals: a ScrumMaster and a product owner. The ScrumMaster can be thought of as a coach for the team, helping team members use the Scrum framework to perform at their highest level. The product owner represents the business, customers or users and guides the team toward building the right product.

Scrum projects make progress in a series of sprints, which are timeboxed iterations no more than a month long. At the start of a Scrum sprint, team members commit to delivering some number of features that were listed on the project’s scrum product backlog. At the end of the Scrum sprint, these features are done–they are coded, tested, and integrated into the evolving product or system. At the end of the sprint a sprint review is conducted during which the team demonstrates the new functionality to the product owner and other interested stakeholders who provide feedback that could influence the next sprint.

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