Keeping it Agile with Scrum: Leveraging your Project Management
As the traditional workplace goes remote, businesses of all sizes are looking at new, innovative ways to leverage their project management to keep productivity and morale high among the team. With large-scale development projects, such as SaaS tools, apps, or video games, it’s natural for teams to feel bogged down by the massive scope of a project. In other cases, it’s common that new, unprioritized features creep in, causing teams to lose focus of their development targets.
One way businesses are facing these challenges head-on is by utilizing the Scrum method for planning and structuring their product development, with the help of Agile Project Management Tools. But, what exactly is Scrum?
Scrum and its Juicy Benefits
In a nutshell, Scrum is an Agile method for project planning and software development that adds energy, focus, clarity, and transparency. The Scrum framework helps teams of all sizes sharpen their focus to develop, deliver, and sustain complex projects. And of course, it offers a whole lot of benefits, including:
Improved Transparency and Productivity
Daily check-in meetings, called standups, keep the whole team in the loop on who is doing what and why, reducing misunderstandings and confusion.
Each team member has their tasks clearly lined out, eliminating blockers and increasing quality of life.
Faster Implementation of Changes
Through shorter development cycles, changes can be quickly implemented based on user feedback, which keeps customers happy.
Constant communication allows the team to be aware of issues and changes instantly, which lowers costs and increases product quality.
The Key Information Glossary
As part of Scrum, key principles known as Scrum Artifacts are used to detail what’s in development, what’s planned for the future, and the tasks already completed within the project.
The primary Scrum Artifacts are:
The Product Backlog
A prioritized list of tasks to be completed by the development team that stem from the product roadmap and its requirements, such as new features, bug fixes, and enhancements.
The Sprint Backlog
A set of product backlog tasks that are prioritized to be developed during the next sprint. The development team creates these to plan for future increments.
These are the usable end-products produced by completing product backlog tasks during a Sprint. There is always one increment per Sprint, which is decided during Sprint Planning.
The Definition of “Done”
An important Scrum Artifact is having a clear definition of “done” to ensure quality. This is usually when all conditions or acceptance criteria are successfully met.
The Roles and Responsibilities of Scrum
Within Scrum, there are three common roles, each having its own set of important responsibilities. Let’s take a look:
The Product Owner is responsible for the Product Backlog and managing priorities to ensure that the value of the product and the development team’s work is at peak performance.
The Scrum Master makes sure that the Scrum framework is applied correctly and consistently.
The Development Team works towards delivering a releasable Increment of a “Done” product at the end of each Sprint.
It’s A Sprint, Not a Marathon
At the heart of Scrum are Sprints, a time-boxed period where a defined set of tasks are to be completed. These short phases allow development teams to iterate and ship product updates and features regularly. Sprints are comprised of four-steps:
- Sprint Planning, where the Sprint scope is planned out and the tasks needed to achieve specific goals are laid out and created in an Agile Project Management Tool. Sprint Planning also kicks off the forthcoming Sprint.
- Daily Standups keep the team up-to-date every day on each individual’s progress and product changes, elaborating on what was worked on the previous day, what will be worked on next, and whether there are any blockers.
- A Sprint Review takes place once per Sprint, which showcases the entire team’s hard work and demonstrates the project’s progress.
- A Sprint Retrospective, which is a time to reflect on the previous Sprint and layout any challenges to improve future Sprints.
Agile Project Management Tools: The Tools of the Trade
To ensure Scrum is efficient and managed correctly, organizations need to implement Agile Project Management Tools into their development planning and structure, such as Jira and Miro.
Jira puts your backlog at the center of your Sprint planning, allowing you to estimate the time it’ll take to complete tasks, check their velocity, track bugs and issues, adjust the scope of the Sprint, and re-prioritize issues in real-time. Scrum boards are used to visualize all the work in a given Sprint, which can be easily customized to fit your team’s unique workflow.
Miro is an online collaborative whiteboard that allows teams to work together in both real-time and asynchronously. A vital tool in remote working, Miro enables teams to conduct remote standups, sprint planning, and retrospectives. Create user story maps, prioritize backlogs, and organize tasks into Sprints using customizable Kanban boards.
Turn Your Scrum Remote Today
To help you kick start Scrum and Sprint Planning with Miro and Jira, we have put together a workshop template on adapting to Scrum and an Agile way of working. You can view this over on the Miroverse here.
Get started with tmnxt as your Miro Partner
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