In my previous blog post, I was asked how to implement Scrum in the first steps. My personal experience is that it’s better not to directly begin with all the methods Scrum provides. Scrum requires changes in your internal business processes, so it’s better to move ahead step by step instead of trying to get everything done until tomorrow (you see, incremental steps :-).
The main obstacles we experienced is in projects where you have moving targets – requirement changes every day. It requires a very good shape of discipline of all stakeholders in the project. See how we started:
First of all, we created a very short planning meeting for our first sprint. We recorded all the requirements/tickets from the Mantis tracking system that the customer and our team are using into an Excel file. The Excel file had about the same format as shown for the Product backlog and the Sprint Backlog and was followed some weeks later by an integrated graph which visualized the burn down during the sprint.
Second, we decided to have a small sprint time – about 5 days. Unlike in theory, we didn’t start with answering the three main questions every day – instead, we just recorded every day which time is left in our current sprint for each task. This gives each developer a good structured overview about:
- which tasks are left
- how many hours (roughly) are left for a specific task
Some weeks ago, we switched to the full process within Scrum: answering the three main questions, having a bit longer planning meeting at the begin of every week, daily synchronisation inside the team by answering the three questions („What have you done yesterday?“, „What are you going to do today?“, „What have been your impediments?“). The developers maintain the times for each task on their own.
Of course we used some software which helps us to do all these things. It’s web based, and of course made with PHP. We implemented because there is currently no good web based software that implements the Scrum features. This software is GPL and currently in an Alpha/Beta stage – it’s integrated with our Groupware system PHProjekt V5 and provides a tight integration into the project management stuff.
You can go to the project page of the Scrum Addon. As it is Alpha/Beta software, it has bugs, of course. You can use the Bug/Feature tracker to record Bugs or request new features. We use it now in our daily work for the Scrum Master and The Team.