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The Anti-patterns To Look Out For In The Daily Routine Of A Scrum Master

Scrum Master (SM) plays a very critical role in the success of Agile/Scrum implementations in an organization. The entire effort of transforming teams with Agile ways of working is bound to fail if the role of a Scrum Master is not understood clearly. Listed below are some of the anti-patterns seen in a Scrum Masters-  Unable to coach the Product Owner Scrum Master with Command and Control Leadership Style  Scrum Master taking updates from the development team during Daily-Standup as opposed to the actual purpose of Daily-Standup Allowing the spillover of work to subsequent sprints Taking partial credit for the unfinished work in the current sprint by splitting story points Allowing for burn out of Development Team Playing the role of Scrum Master without believing in Agile/Scrum values and principles Always conducting Sprint retrospective in the same fashion  Playing the role of SM without understanding the behavioural aspects needed to play the role Solving all impediments for the team Demonstrating the working software during Sprint Review to the stakeholders. Not creating awareness in the team with Agile Engineering Practices Not following Timebox Allowing Managers to attend Sprint Retrospectives Assigning tasks to Dev team members Trying to  influence the team estimates Forcing team to commit for Sprint deliverables SM doing planning for the team instead of facilitating Playing favourites, showing differences and bias among dev team members. Being authoritative Lack of knowledge on implementation of Agile/Scrum Providing solutions for the team Allowing dev team members to work on items other than what has been committed during the Sprint Planning. Hiding information from the dev team members Scrum Master playing the role of a Manager Not listening to the team issues during Sprint Retro and being biased and pushing his/her viewpoints Providing explanations for each point during Sprint Retro Micro-managing the team Creating poorly organized Minutes of Meeting for daily standup Ill-management of the Triple Constraints (Scope, Cost, and Schedule) Playing the role of Scrum Master for multiple teams despite not having the bandwidth Playing the role of Scrum Master in spite of not understanding the role of a Coach in the team   Anti-patterns in the Role of Scrum Master https://t.co/eerwT6ve9S — Sandeep (@sandeeps064) 20 February 2018 Exactly, what does a good Scrum Master do?  As indicated by the Scrum Guide, the Scrum Master is in charge of guaranteeing that the Scrum principles are comprehended and followed correctly. Scrum Masters do this by guaranteeing that the Scrum Team sticks to the Scrum ideas, practices, and guidelines. Basically, the Scrum Master is a Servant-leader for the Scrum team. Also, the Scrum Master helps the team to grasp an outside conversation and assist them in picking up the useful things.  The role of a Scrum Master is one of the numerous positions and assorted variety, and a great Scrum Master is the person who comprehends them and knows when and how to apply them as per the circumstances. Everything with the motive to help individuals understand and apply the Scrum framework better.  In his/her daily life, the Scrum Master acts as a:  Servant-Leader- Keeps focus on the necessities of the team members and on the client’s requirements, with the aim of achieving business objectives. Facilitator- Facilitates by providing clear confinements so that the team can work collaboratively. Coach- Trains the individual in the Scrum team to follow the Scrum principles appropriately.  Conflict navigator- Resolves conflicts to manage the unproductive mindsets and non-operating behaviors;   Manager- Manages the impediments, Scrum process, remove waste, confining limits of self-organization, and following the Scrum culture.   Mentor- Transfers the Agile knowledge and experiences to the team;  Teacher- Allows teams to understand and follow the Scrum related methods. A GREAT SCRUM MASTER…  Let us first take a quick tour of the daily life of an ideal Scrum Master.  The above infographic pretty much sums up the daily activities of a great Scrum Master. A successful SM essentially is one with the following traits-  Includes the team with setting up the Scrum processes: A good Scrum Master ensures the entire team adheres to the chosen Scrum process and understands the value of every Scrum event. Therefore, the Scrum meeting is always planned according to a suitability of all the team members. A common concern behind engaging all the team members in the meeting is to plan the process in the project for the future steps and discussion on the desired output.  Comprehending the team development:  As per the renowned psychologist Bruce Tuckman, there exist diverse stages of a team development- forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. A Scrum Master is great when he/she comprehends under which phase the team is suffering and when he/she knows the importance of a stable team composition clearly. Understands principles are more crucial than practices: Basically, without the concrete understanding of the principles, every executed Agile practice is worthless. So a great Scrum Master understands the Agile principles first to increase the usage of practices successfully.  Finds out and tries to sort out team conflicts: A great Scrum Master finds out the team friction at an early phase and tries to sort out the issues by applying numerous resolution strategies like healthy conflict and constructive disagreement.  Is aware of the organizational activities:  A great Scrum Master can have a profound impact on the culture of the organization so that the Scrum teams can flourish and sustain. He understands that changing people's behavior isn't all about changing people. He/she must be aware of the activities happening in the organization i.e. should aware of the climate of the place.   Is the Scrum Master needed or not? A great Scrum Master has upheld the development of teams in such a way they needn't bother if he/she will not be with them any longer on a daily basis. But due to his/her demonstrated commitment, the SM will get asked frequently. In fact, you can say that the SM’s role has changed as a periodical mentor and advisor to a daily coach and teacher.   Not preventing the team occasionally: A great Scrum Master has an idea of when to save a team from falling and failing. But sometimes, the SM lets the team fail, as the lessons can be learned better after a mistake. Encourages ownership: A great Scrum Master motivates his team to assume complete ownership of the tasks they are mapped to.  Should be self-organizing: The great Scrum Master comprehends the importance of a self-organizing team. They should be able to make their own decisions, manage own work, cooperate team members to achieve project target. Knows the power of silence: A great Scrum Master is always aware of the three levels of listening-  Level 1- internal listening Level 2- focussed listening Level 3- global listening   A great Scrum Master does not simply hear, he listens   A great Scrum Master is also a great listener. Less talking and more listening is something he follows on a regular basis. He is aware of all the three levels of listening and knows how to to make the best use of them. He listens carefully to what is said, and also to what isn't said.    Notices: The daily Scrum is arranged by the team for the team. The Scrum Master just observes that session and keeps a water clear view of what is being discussed, how and what the team members played the role in the session. Shares experiences: One of the unique traits of successful Scrum Masters is that they always share experiences and relevant information with their peers. This might either be intra-organizational or through seminars and conferences, which are great platforms to share experiences and garner knowledge. Undoubtedly, noting down and sharing the lessons learned is also highly commendable on the part of an SM.  Has a knapsack loaded with numerous retrospective designs: A great Scrum Master can apply numerous retrospective designs. This makes sure that the retrospective will be a leisure and functional for the team. A Scrum Master has an idea of which retrospective to refer to according to the team’s situation. Also, the SM allows the team to host their own retrospective.    Can guide professionally: An efficient Scrum Master comprehends the energy of expert training and has aced at this area of study. Books like Coaching Agile Teams and Co-Active Coaching don't have any privileged insights for Scrum Masters. He/she knows how to direct without recommending. He/she can close the vacant space between considering doing and really doing. Also, he/she enables the team members to comprehend themselves better so they can find out new approaches to benefit as much as possible from their potential. Has influence at an organizational level: A successful Scrum Master always motivates and influences team members at tactic and strategic level. Mostly, team members face difficulties at these levels. It is important that a Scrum Master knows how to act at the different levels within an organization.  Prevent impediments: A great Scrum Master resolves and also prevents the impediments for future. Based on his/her past experiences, the SM reads the situations and acts on them proactively.  Always available: An extraordinary Scrum Master isn't generally effectively present. He doesn't irritate the team unnecessarily and helps the team to get into the 'flow'. However, when the team needs him, he's constantly accessible. Forms an incredible pair with the Product Owner: An incredible Scrum Master has a remarkable pairing with the Product Owner. In spite of the fact that their advantages are to some degree extraordinary, the Product Owner 'pushes' the team while the Scrum Master secures them. This strong partnership is to a great degree significant for the Development Team. Together they can fabricate the establishment for outstanding outcomes. Allows leadership to grow: A great Scrum Master allows leadership within the team to develop and views this as a successful outcome of their teaching. They believe in the mantra "leadership isn't just a title, it's an attitude". This is something every single member of a Scrum team should maintain.  Knows about gamification: An incredible Scrum Master can utilize the ideas of game and consider game mechanics to connect with clients in taking care of issues and stick to the commitments made to the clients.  Comprehends more knowledge on Scrum related things: An incredible Scrum Master is likewise skillful with XP, Kanban, and Lean. He knows the qualities, shortcomings, openings, and risks of each technique/framework and how and when to utilize them. He tries to comprehend what a team needs to accomplish and causes them to turn out to be more viable from an Agile viewpoint. Leads by example: A great Scrum Master is somebody that team members need to take after. He/she does this by motivating them to release their inner potential and demonstrating to them the desired behavior. At troublesome circumstances, he/she demonstrates industry standards to the team members to follow up on it; he/she doesn't freeze, remains quiet and enables the group to discover the arrangement.    A good leader tells, a great leader leads, a Scrum Master sets examples Is a conceived facilitator: An incredible Scrum Master is a facilitator by nature. All the Scrum events are a delight to attend, and every other meeting is very much arranged, valuable and fun, and has a reasonable result and purpose.   Concluding Thoughts: There are a lot of conceivable outcomes to failing as a Scrum Master. Sometimes, the absence of an organizational support, unfair people for unsuitable job, people conflicting with their team members over trivial issues are some of the common instances. Some Scrum Masters basically need criticism from their Scrum teams and stakeholders. Whatever be the case, try and give credit to your Scrum Master for the times he has stood by his team. After all, Scrum, in the end, is a group activity.  
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The Anti-patterns To Look Out For In The Daily Routine Of A Scrum Master

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The Anti-patterns To Look Out For In The Daily Routine Of A Scrum Master

Scrum Master (SM) plays a very critical role in the success of Agile/Scrum implementations in an organization. The entire effort of transforming teams with Agile ways of working is bound to fail if the role of a Scrum Master is not understood clearly.

Listed below are some of the anti-patterns seen in a Scrum Masters- 

  • Unable to coach the Product Owner
  • Scrum Master with Command and Control Leadership Style 
  • Scrum Master taking updates from the development team during Daily-Standup as opposed to the actual purpose of Daily-Standup
  • Allowing the spillover of work to subsequent sprints
  • Taking partial credit for the unfinished work in the current sprint by splitting story points
  • Allowing for burn out of Development Team
  • Playing the role of Scrum Master without believing in Agile/Scrum values and principles
  • Always conducting Sprint retrospective in the same fashion 
  • Playing the role of SM without understanding the behavioural aspects needed to play the role
  • Solving all impediments for the team
  • Demonstrating the working software during Sprint Review to the stakeholders.
  • Not creating awareness in the team with Agile Engineering Practices
  • Not following Timebox
  • Allowing Managers to attend Sprint Retrospectives
  • Assigning tasks to Dev team members
  • Trying to  influence the team estimates
  • Forcing team to commit for Sprint deliverables
  • SM doing planning for the team instead of facilitating
  • Playing favourites, showing differences and bias among dev team members.
  • Being authoritative
  • Lack of knowledge on implementation of Agile/Scrum
  • Providing solutions for the team
  • Allowing dev team members to work on items other than what has been committed during the Sprint Planning.
  • Hiding information from the dev team members
  • Scrum Master playing the role of a Manager
  • Not listening to the team issues during Sprint Retro and being biased and pushing his/her viewpoints
  • Providing explanations for each point during Sprint Retro
  • Micro-managing the team
  • Creating poorly organized Minutes of Meeting for daily standup
  • Ill-management of the Triple Constraints (Scope, Cost, and Schedule)
  • Playing the role of Scrum Master for multiple teams despite not having the bandwidth
  • Playing the role of Scrum Master in spite of not understanding the role of a Coach in the team
     


Exactly, what does a good Scrum Master do? 

As indicated by the Scrum Guide, the Scrum Master is in charge of guaranteeing that the Scrum principles are comprehended and followed correctly. Scrum Masters do this by guaranteeing that the Scrum Team sticks to the Scrum ideas, practices, and guidelines. Basically, the Scrum Master is a Servant-leader for the Scrum team. Also, the Scrum Master helps the team to grasp an outside conversation and assist them in picking up the useful things. 

The role of a Scrum Master is one of the numerous positions and assorted variety, and a great Scrum Master is the person who comprehends them and knows when and how to apply them as per the circumstances. Everything with the motive to help individuals understand and apply the Scrum framework better. 


In his/her daily life, the Scrum Master acts as a: 

  • Servant-Leader- Keeps focus on the necessities of the team members and on the client’s requirements, with the aim of achieving business objectives.
  • Facilitator- Facilitates by providing clear confinements so that the team can work collaboratively.
  • Coach- Trains the individual in the Scrum team to follow the Scrum principles appropriately. 
  • Conflict navigator- Resolves conflicts to manage the unproductive mindsets and non-operating behaviors;  
  • Manager- Manages the impediments, Scrum process, remove waste, confining limits of self-organization, and following the Scrum culture.  
  • Mentor- Transfers the Agile knowledge and experiences to the team; 
  • Teacher- Allows teams to understand and follow the Scrum related methods.


A GREAT SCRUM MASTER… 

Let us first take a quick tour of the daily life of an ideal Scrum Master. 



The above infographic pretty much sums up the daily activities of a great Scrum Master. A successful SM essentially is one with the following traits- 



Includes the team with setting up the Scrum processes:

A good Scrum Master ensures the entire team adheres to the chosen Scrum process and understands the value of every Scrum event. Therefore, the Scrum meeting is always planned according to a suitability of all the team members. A common concern behind engaging all the team members in the meeting is to plan the process in the project for the future steps and discussion on the desired output. 



Comprehending the team development: 

As per the renowned psychologist Bruce Tuckman, there exist diverse stages of a team development- forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. A Scrum Master is great when he/she comprehends under which phase the team is suffering and when he/she knows the importance of a stable team composition clearly.



Understands principles are more crucial than practices:

Basically, without the concrete understanding of the principles, every executed Agile practice is worthless. So a great Scrum Master understands the Agile principles first to increase the usage of practices successfully. 



Finds out and tries to sort out team conflicts:

A great Scrum Master finds out the team friction at an early phase and tries to sort out the issues by applying numerous resolution strategies like healthy conflict and constructive disagreement. 


Is aware of the organizational activities: 

A great Scrum Master can have a profound impact on the culture of the organization so that the Scrum teams can flourish and sustain. He understands that changing people's behavior isn't all about changing people. He/she must be aware of the activities happening in the organization i.e. should aware of the climate of the place.  


Is the Scrum Master needed or not?

A great Scrum Master has upheld the development of teams in such a way they needn't bother if he/she will not be with them any longer on a daily basis. But due to his/her demonstrated commitment, the SM will get asked frequently. In fact, you can say that the SM’s role has changed as a periodical mentor and advisor to a daily coach and teacher.  


Not preventing the team occasionally:

A great Scrum Master has an idea of when to save a team from falling and failing. But sometimes, the SM lets the team fail, as the lessons can be learned better after a mistake.


Encourages ownership:

A great Scrum Master motivates his team to assume complete ownership of the tasks they are mapped to. 



Should be self-organizing:

The great Scrum Master comprehends the importance of a self-organizing team. They should be able to make their own decisions, manage own work, cooperate team members to achieve project target.



Knows the power of silence:

A great Scrum Master is always aware of the three levels of listening- 

Level 1- internal listening
Level 2- focussed listening
Level 3- global listening

 


A great Scrum Master does not simply hear, he listens

 


A great Scrum Master is also a great listener. Less talking and more listening is something he follows on a regular basis. He is aware of all the three levels of listening and knows how to to make the best use of them. He listens carefully to what is said, and also to what isn't said. 

 

Notices:


The daily Scrum is arranged by the team for the team. The Scrum Master just observes that session and keeps a water clear view of what is being discussed, how and what the team members played the role in the session.



Shares experiences:


One of the unique traits of successful Scrum Masters is that they always share experiences and relevant information with their peers. This might either be intra-organizational or through seminars and conferences, which are great platforms to share experiences and garner knowledge. Undoubtedly, noting down and sharing the lessons learned is also highly commendable on the part of an SM. 



Has a knapsack loaded with numerous retrospective designs:

A great Scrum Master can apply numerous retrospective designs. This makes sure that the retrospective will be a leisure and functional for the team. A Scrum Master has an idea of which retrospective to refer to according to the team’s situation. Also, the SM allows the team to host their own retrospective. 

 

Can guide professionally:

An efficient Scrum Master comprehends the energy of expert training and has aced at this area of study. Books like Coaching Agile Teams and Co-Active Coaching don't have any privileged insights for Scrum Masters. He/she knows how to direct without recommending. He/she can close the vacant space between considering doing and really doing. Also, he/she enables the team members to comprehend themselves better so they can find out new approaches to benefit as much as possible from their potential.


Has influence at an organizational level:

A successful Scrum Master always motivates and influences team members at tactic and strategic level. Mostly, team members face difficulties at these levels. It is important that a Scrum Master knows how to act at the different levels within an organization. 



Prevent impediments:

A great Scrum Master resolves and also prevents the impediments for future. Based on his/her past experiences, the SM reads the situations and acts on them proactively. 


Always available:

An extraordinary Scrum Master isn't generally effectively present. He doesn't irritate the team unnecessarily and helps the team to get into the 'flow'. However, when the team needs him, he's constantly accessible.



Forms an incredible pair with the Product Owner:

An incredible Scrum Master has a remarkable pairing with the Product Owner. In spite of the fact that their advantages are to some degree extraordinary, the Product Owner 'pushes' the team while the Scrum Master secures them. This strong partnership is to a great degree significant for the Development Team. Together they can fabricate the establishment for outstanding outcomes.



Allows leadership to grow:

A great Scrum Master allows leadership within the team to develop and views this as a successful outcome of their teaching. They believe in the mantra "leadership isn't just a title, it's an attitude". This is something every single member of a Scrum team should maintain. 



Knows about gamification:

An incredible Scrum Master can utilize the ideas of game and consider game mechanics to connect with clients in taking care of issues and stick to the commitments made to the clients. 


Comprehends more knowledge on Scrum related things:

An incredible Scrum Master is likewise skillful with XP, Kanban, and Lean. He knows the qualities, shortcomings, openings, and risks of each technique/framework and how and when to utilize them. He tries to comprehend what a team needs to accomplish and causes them to turn out to be more viable from an Agile viewpoint.



Leads by example:

A great Scrum Master is somebody that team members need to take after. He/she does this by motivating them to release their inner potential and demonstrating to them the desired behavior. At troublesome circumstances, he/she demonstrates industry standards to the team members to follow up on it; he/she doesn't freeze, remains quiet and enables the group to discover the arrangement. 
 

A good leader tells, a great leader leads, a Scrum Master sets examples


Is a conceived facilitator:


An incredible Scrum Master is a facilitator by nature. All the Scrum events are a delight to attend, and every other meeting is very much arranged, valuable and fun, and has a reasonable result and purpose.

 


Concluding Thoughts:

There are a lot of conceivable outcomes to failing as a Scrum Master. Sometimes, the absence of an organizational support, unfair people for unsuitable job, people conflicting with their team members over trivial issues are some of the common instances. Some Scrum Masters basically need criticism from their Scrum teams and stakeholders. Whatever be the case, try and give credit to your Scrum Master for the times he has stood by his team. After all, Scrum, in the end, is a group activity.

 

Sandeep

Sandeep Kshirsagar

trainer

Sandeep is an Agile mentor with more than 12 years of experience as a Developer, Test Engineer, Automation Engineer, Scrum Master and an Agile Coach. He is presently working as an Agile Coach at Knowledgehut Solutions Pvt Ltd. Up until this point, he has prepared 800+ programming experts and trained more than 450+ programming experts in Agile journey at different organizations.
 

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All You Need To Know About The Roles Of A Scrum Master

1. IntroductionHaving worked on Agile projects for a while, I was surprised to find out that “Scrum” came from the process word scrummage, a word used in rugby sports. In rugby, scrummage refers to restarting the game where the players are coming close to each other with their heads down and gaining a possession of the ball. The players work together in a unified manner relying on their strengths in order to overcome and break across their opponents, taking incremental steps collectively as a team.Traditional waterfall approach as a software development methodology is successfully practiced over many years as a structured and proven method. It emphasizes a lot on proper documentation and proper process control. In Traditional waterfall methodology, the entire stage is completed before moving sequentially to the next stage. The method, however, is rigid to changes during the software development cycle.Agile software development methodology, on the other hand, is quite the opposite, it looks into ensuring flexibility and incorporating regularly users inputs as a way to build better user products.Scrum software development methodology is a subset of the Agile methodology. “Scrum” methodology was the brainchild of 2 Japanese Hiro Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka. Who wanted to create “a flexible and holistic product development strategy where a development team works as a unit to reach a common goal.” 2. Who is a Scrum Master?A Scrum Master is a facilitator of the Agile development team. He is not the project manager nor the product owner. A Scrum Master is not a position but a role.However, having said that it doesn’t mean this role is less important than the role of a project manager. In fact, a scrum master is a crucial role in the success of an agile project.3. What does a scrum master do?Scrum Master is “A Servant Leader”.  The roles and responsibilities of the Scrum Master include:Making sure the team follows the agile processes.Shielding the team.Facilitating Scrum Ceremonies.Championing information radiators.Working with stakeholders to get tools and training for the team.4.  What Qualities does a Scrum Master have?A Scrum Master does not need a particular type of qualification to assume the responsibilities.  However, he or she should possess particular qualities necessary for the role.Traits of a good Scrum Master are-a) Influential - able to convince others, have empathy and respect for people and showing by exampleb) Collaborative - seek to collaborate with others in the organization and not for self-gloryc) Observant - alertness to identify issues and problem areasd) Knowledgeable - not only on agile processes but has some technical and project management knowledge5. Roles and Responsibilities of the Scrum MasterSome organization practices rotation of Scrum Master roles among the team members, this is up to each Scrum Team.However, the roles and responsibilities of the Scrum Master are common:SM is the Agile framework custodian and process owner for the team.SM is a facilitator and Servant Leader who never discourage but encourages and expects self-organization from the Agile development team. SM builds close collaboration across roles and functions in the organization, works on matters collectively and is not individualistic.SM protects the team from distractions which includes both external and internal.SM removes impediments, so the team can focus on the development work and tasks.SM is not typically a manager or lead, but he/she is an influential leader who does not do direct command and control.SM is a coach, give the bits of advice to the team and discussed issues encountered.SM is an adviser and is equipped with technical and project management know-how, this is so that he/she understands the problems and be able to provide a proper guidance and advice to the team.6. Scrum master skillsThese are the essential skills a Scrum Master should have:Encourage a self-organising teamRemove barriers and Shield the teamEncourage Collaboration and Resolve ConflictsCoach and Advises the teamEstablish partnerships (team, product owner, stakeholder)Facilitate and is a Servant Leadera) Encourage a self-organizing team - The scrum master needs to know when to hold his views and keep quiet to allow the team to be self-organizing. That said he should be actively listening attentively to the team members inputs and learning points and guide the team to perform better in subsequent sprints.b) Remove barriers and shield the team - The scrum master should shield the development team from outside distractions. At the same time, the job of the scrum master is to remove any project barriers and impediments including resolving resource issues. 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Imagine if the scrum master is not able to understand when a team member raise a project issue how will he provide guidance on the right course of actions? then be able to coach and guide the team effectively and run constructive meetings.e) Established partnerships (team, product owner, stakeholder) - The role of the product owner is to push the team to deliver fast, while the role of the scrum master is to protect the team. However, the scrum master needs to know when to strike a balance and to build partnerships with others.f) Facilitate and be a Servant Leader - The scrum master facilitates the daily scrum, sprint planning, sprint demo, and retrospective meetings. He has no particular authority over the team members and is not their manager. However, the scrum master should put the needs of the team members before himself and serve as a Servant Leader.7. What are the benefits of having a Scrum Master Certification?Why should you be interested in becoming a Certified Scrum Master?According to scrumalliance.org based on a survey with about 5000 people in February 2015, 87% agrees that Scrum improves the quality of work life for their team. 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All You Need To Know About The Roles Of A Scrum Ma...

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Top Agile Methods for Better Productivity

When a Scrum development team works on the productivity of a team using the Agile methodology, the first thing that comes to attention is the metric used to measure how much work the team does in an iteration: velocity. On the contrary, using velocity helps a Scrum development team to determine a team’s average capability on a normal sprint followed by how much they will agree to achieve in the next sprint iteration. The velocity is not preferred to determine the team’s productivity as it is just a simple indicator based on past sprints.The thing that matters at the end is the result and what the team has produced. A team is not recommended to be pushed to fasten its velocity. In the end, the outcome might be unpredictable as the team might economize on acceptance testing, avoid fixing bugs, or minimize restructuring to reach the target velocity. The key to increasing the velocity of the team is to resort to focusing on optimal velocity over time instead of maximized velocity. This also determines the overall quality of the finished product. Here are the top Agile methods involved in Scrum to allow the team to be more productive over time. 1. Eradicating obstaclesOne of the most important duties of a Scrum Master is to get rid of obstacles early and throughout the development process. This begins with asking appropriate questions while User Stories are being written. This gives developers space and time to do their work. While they are working, a Scrum Master also protects the development team from any disturbances from the stakeholders.In situations when the team does get interrupted, it is recommended for the team members to contact the Scrum Master to get their queries and issues resolved. Having a clear and focused mind is the key to operating at the highest level.The most obvious step is to avoid distractions as they are the primary reason for decreasing a team’s productivity. The team is unable to focus when they are asked to clarify why their productivity went down.2. Daily scrum meetings An efficient team always has a small group of professionals, the numbers can go to a maximum of 9. Anything more than that leads to communication issues and more consumption of time in meetings or huddles. A bigger team, in cases, can be split into two or more. A big team leads to more complications and misunderstandings and hence, is not a good idea. A larger team means more loss in information while exchanging thoughts and ideas and that will result in everybody in the team spending more time and effort to get any message or data across. 3. Team Capacity It is a known fact that all the team members must attend the daily scrum every day. The meeting can last for not more than 15 minutes every day to get an overview of the proceedings and the advancement of the undertaken work. All the concerns and ideas put across and need solutions during the meetings can be parked so that all of them can be addressed together. Any topic not related to the purpose of the meeting can be talked about at a fixed but separate time of the day.Furthermore, communicating with each other during the meeting will help in exchanging more information.4. Product backlog The backlog is the key to knowing where a product goes and what needs to be created on priority. So, everything in a project must be kept and properly maintained via a backlog. User Stories should have enough details and can be reordered in case of a change in priority. More accurate User Stories lead to less time consumption for the development team to understand them.An up to date and well-maintained backlog during an Agile project should have enough User Stories for at least one or two sprints.5. Constantly improving mindsetScrum is a continuous method that involves development because the whole method can be changed, not just the software. The point is to find something that requires alterations and to achieve it in the next sprint. This allows the team to tackle one issue at a time and move forward.Finding a clear move in the sprint retrospective to support the team is necessary. Someone must take ownership to act and make things work. This can be achieved by initiating small, easy actions that are less time-consuming first. During a sprint retrospective, it is recommended to take suggestions from each attendee and go for the most appropriate one. After that, a plan will be laid out to realize the chosen idea.6. Interruption bufferWhile running an application in production, it is necessary to keep maintaining and providing new features. However, there can be interruptions, like a bug that needs to be reported urgently or another team needing a developer for assistance. The point is, Sprints will be prone to interruptions, and provisions must be made to deal with these problems. A capable Scrum Master will log all these interruptions noting the number of interruptions, the time consumed in dealing with them and then add them to the next sprint.7. Have a vision of the task at handThe team works more efficiently in getting the deliverables when the Scrum Master already has laid out a blueprint to work on. This also includes having metrics and other relevant charts displayed, doing which will also let stakeholders and colleagues track the production rate.Refreshing the burndown chart daily and displaying the desired sprint result will reflect the customer or team satisfaction. Furthermore, a roadmap showing the working of the product will further enhance the vision of the team. There are multiple ways of sharing information to give everybody the idea of how things are going on while working on the product.To concludeWhen looking at the broader picture of the correct way to motivate a team to get the desired output, a successful team follows a very realistic and simple approach by using plain common sense that is instilled by the Scrum Master. Understanding how the team works and realizing the working style of each team member is one of the most important observations of an adept Scrum Master. It is a collaborative effort that cannot be done by one person but needs responsible efforts from every working member on the task. After all, it is not about ‘Me’ but ‘Us’ that helps in building a product successfully on time.
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Top Agile Methods for Better Productivity

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Advantages of Agile Testing Methodology

What is Agile Testing? As the name implies, agile course projects are executed very quickly and with flexibility. Agile methods involve tasks executed in short iterations or sprints.Agile Testing is also iterative and takes place after each sprint, rather than towards the end of the project. Testing courses iteratively helps to validate the client requirements and adapt to changing conditions in a better manner. As soon as the build is out, testing is expected to get started and  bugs if any should be reported at once. As a Tester, you must work with the team and share your thoughts on the client requirements at the beginning rather than towards the end of the project. Emphasis has to be laid down on the quality of the deliverable despite the short timeframe. This will further help in reducing the cost of development and your feedback will be implemented in the code which will avoid the defects coming from the end user. Advantages offered by Agile Methodology: The most significant advantage of Agile Methodology is the saving of time and money. There is less documentation required. Although documents help to a great deal in verifying and validating the requirements, considering the time frame of the project, this approach focuses more on the application rather than on documentation. Since it is iterative in its form, there is regular feedback from the end user so that any changes can be implemented as soon as possible. And because all phases of SDLC need to be completed very quickly, there is transparency with regard to the work done by each individual working on the project during each phase. Another advantage that Agile Methodology offers is that any changes or enhancements can be implemented without any budget constraint. These changes may necessitate some adjustment in the already allotted time frame which will not be difficult . Daily meetings and discussions on the Agile project  can help to determine any issues well in advance and work on addressing them. Quick coding and Testing makes the management aware of the gaps existing in the requirements or technology used, and they can try to find a workable solution for the same. Hence, with quicker development, testing and constant feedback from the user,  Agile methodology becomes the most appropriate approach for projects that are required to be delivered in a short span of time.
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Advantages of Agile Testing Methodology

What is Agile Testing? As the name implies, agi... Read More

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