Sunday, July 15, 2012

Scrum, a new hope!

A long time ago in this universe not far away....
 A new hope!
 It’s the period of customer unrest. Most of the time development team is behind schedule. Product management department nagging all the time. Sales department promote a feature and promises on time release without development team having even the slightest clue what is the feature....

 Our company’s main methodology for software development is RUP.

 The whole thing started when a former colleague paid a visit. In our discussion he pointed out that they are developing based on Scrum. That was the start of the whole thing. Maybe that's the path to salvation for us! Salvation from what? Well, our customers were not satisfied by the way we delivered the change requests. The reason for that was, most of the new features were developed and delivered in one big iteration of 6 month to 1 year after the user had initiated the change request.
Although that delivery was a big release with many features but it was quite late. Time to market was the big issue. A very important factor fostering this late delivery was complication and the scope of the requested feature. Most of the time we miss calculate the actual time needed for the development. This miss calculation was the key for late delivery.

Common understanding can mitigate the risks involved in the production. Although we could have continued with RUP and tried to go through the elaboration phase more accurately but we decided to move to Scrum for the reasons I'm going to discuss.

We are now in our second sprint. Well, if I want to give you a summary of what we experienced in our first sprint I should say we failed to break down each user story into small tasks with maximum 16 hours per task allocation. We had tasks of about 40 hours. This was an indication that this task was composed of many smaller tasks and we should have broken it down. The burn down chart always showed us the deviation which was not acceptable.

There were also some positive result as well. For example, we collaborated with one another more often. Communication between team members flourished. And the last thing that we enjoyed was pair programming. By programming in pairs we shared our knowledge, we were more active and somehow we almost doubled our speed in some areas.

Overall, for the first sprint it was quite good experience.

If I want to conclude I should say there is much less stress in our team. We have high level of collaboration. By looking at the story board we can instantly know the state of the project. In our daily standup's everybody know about the state of each task. If there a complication in each task people can share and seek help. By this way, we can avoid move on faster.  Burn down chart represent how much work is left and how well we are progressing.


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