Agile development is all about continuous improvement, and scrum — an iterative and incremental agile software development framework — helps get it done. Here are 10 tips for implementing scrum best practices.
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Agile Transformation Takes Time
Moving to an agile framework changes not only the way projects are implemented, but also an organization’s culture from managing contracts to delivering maximum business value in the shortest time. This shift will be gradual, but don’t let the time it takes discourage you from reaching your goal.
Principles Facilitate Scrum Best Practices
Successfully performing agile techniques means fully embracing agile principles and focusing on people, interactions and culture. This cultural shift will make the practices more sustainable in the long run.
Keep Your Rollout Simple
Agile tools shouldn’t be overemphasized. Don’t spend time getting a tool up and running instead of focusing on getting people to work together. The Agile Manifesto values individuals and interactions more than processes and tools.
Empower Your Scrum Team
Allow people on your team to make mistakes. They are more likely to learn from their errors if they have a sense of ownership over their work. Scrum masters exist to serve their team — not the other way around.
Maintain an Updated Backlog
Keep your product backlog up-to-date and filled with plenty of relevant work for your team. Because agile development is iterative, there is almost always something to improve or refine. More work will get done if your team has a robust list of high-value features to develop.
Don’t Hide Behind the Scrum Master
Your team members know their problems better than anyone else. Encourage them to articulate their issues directly to the Product Owner. This will help build a flatter, more efficient team structure and reduce miscommunications.
Designate a Product Owner
Ensure that your product owner is involved in the day-to-day activity of the project team early. The more engaged they are, the fewer changes and revisions will have to be made later.
Hold Consistent Daily Standups
Keep standups consistent, to-the-point, and respectful of your team’s time. When done correctly, a good standup will help increase transparency and communication — preventing issues from snowballing.
Open communication is the key to quick issue resolution. To encourage transparency, build a “free to fail” atmosphere in which team members feel safe enough to ask when they need help.
Sprint retrospectives are not optional. Agile is about continuous improvement. Progress cannot be realized without reflecting on how we work, what we do well, and what we can do better.