Agile is a project management methodology which consists of development cycles or sprints. It’s totally based on iterative development. Not like waterfall methodology, here we do the testing concurrently. So the quality of the product would be really good. Basically we use this agile methodology in large projects only.
What is scrum? It’s a process framework we use in agile. As describe in the scrum guide, sprint is the heartbeat of scrum. It’s a predefined time to complete a set of tasks. Other than scrum, there are some other frameworks too. Eg: Kanban, XP, FDD
Basically in scrum, there are 3 roles. Product owner, Scrum master and Development team.
Product owner is the one who defines product backlog items. He decides what the final product should look like, behavior and what features it includes.
Scrum master supports the development team to perform at their best level. Also he facilitates/organize the meetings, boost the agile principles etc.
Development team decides how to accomplish e the product backlog items set by the product owner. They plan, organize their own work.
Now let’s see what are the best practices we should follow in agile.
Best practices in agile
Create a product backlog
Product backlog includes all the documented requirements. This is the main source of the requirements and it is updated according to the changes. We can create a sprint backlog taking items from the product backlog. Sprint backlog usually contains the tasks/user stories that the team is supposed to do in the relevant sprint.
Setup communication guidelines
In agile, seamless communication is really important. Because the requirements are changed based on client feedback. On the other hand, there might be new requirements too.
Therefore it can become a bottleneck if not managed efficiently. So formulating a set of communication guidelines would be a really effective way to ensure the seamless communication.
Planning the sprint
In the beginning of each sprint, should take a meeting and plan the sprint accordingly. Main purpose of this meeting is, prioritize the user story items in the product backlog and estimate them. After that we can create a sprint backlog for each sprint from those selected items.
Stand-ups are short meetings held with the team members daily. Usually we take 15–20mins for those meetings. This is really important since we can discuss or clarify the things. Also can monitor the current status or the progress of the work in the sprint.
Code reviews playing an important role. Doing code reviews in each sprint helps to reduce the bugs in the code before the next step and maintain consistent coding style in the company. The team members also gain good knowledge about the code base and can learn from each other. Especially from senior team members. Therefore this really matters for the career growth of the team members as well.
Use burn down charts for sprints
This is a great way of monitoring the progress of sprints. Graphically it shows the amount of work we have completed and the work remaining against the time. Using these kinds of mechanisms, we can understand that whether we are on the track or running behind. Also this helps to identify the risks associated with remaining tasks too.
Provide continuous feedback
This is also very important in agile. Providing continuous feedback from the team members is critical in order to understand whether the team is going along with the process correctly. Also those feedbacks help in identifying obstacles that occur in the product life cycle.
At the end of each sprint, should discuss that was the team able to complete all the assigned tasks as per sprint backlog or is there any remaining tasks which need to be carried forward to next sprint. Simply check out the status of all the tasks relevant to the sprint. It’s really important if you are following this kind of methodology.
This is the last thing done in the sprint. The team can discuss the things which should be improved in the next sprint. Also what went wrong in previous sprint. So it helps to plan the next sprint better than the previous one. The entire team, including the scrum master and product owner should participate.
Everyone in the team should help each other if needed. Teamwork makes the dream work. So rather than just completing our own work, think as a team and work on it. It helps to produce a better product at the end.
Hope you were able to learn something new from this article. Your comments/suggestions are welcome.
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