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Scrum vs Kanban: Deciding The New Agile Benchmark

Today in the rapidly changing market, software development is changing its list of requirement every now and then. As we all know, Agile is one form of software development methodology which mainly focuses on the continuous delivery of project with client satisfaction. Agile always accepts the change and works on complete specifications to turn the project into a deliverable product.In the recent times, Kanban software development methodology is in the limelight for its ability to enable DevOps. Many of the organizations are moving from Scrum to Kanban for better results. So the question arises, which Agile methodology works better?And  Scrum vs Kanban becomes the essential question today. The key differences between Kanban and Scrum depend on the rules for using the Scrum methodology and the Kanban workflow.When the organization implements any methodology which is not flexible and useful, this can make the organization inefficient. This leads to the introduction of an Agile methodology in the organization. So, the first step while implementing the Agile methodology in the organization is to decide which Agile framework will be the best for you and your team.Suppose, you have chosen a Scrum framework and Kanban workflow, then what is the difference between Scrum and Kanban? Is Kanban Agile? What is Scrum vs Agile? And so on.GOLDEN RULESBoth Scrum and Kanban have a list of mandated and optional rules for their implementation. According to the Agile advice list for implementing Scrum, there are around 23 mandatory and 12 optional rules. Here are the few examples:Teams are functioning in a  cross-functional mannerDuring sprints, Interruptions are strictly avoidedWork is always time boxedScrum meetings are held on a daily basisTo measure the progress a burndown chart is usedFirstly, the problem arises when organizations follow “Scrum-But”- which is basically ignoring some specific set of rules for internal reasons. The next issue arises with timeboxing, which forms the core of Scrum. It allows the developer to define milestones for the Stakeholders to evaluate and guide their project.Now, in the case of Kanban, the rules are comparatively less restrictive. The principal rules are-Limiting the work in progressTo Visualize the workflowKanban is a flexible and an open methodology that can add rules as needed, borrowed from Scrum depending upon the requirement. In Kanban, the focus is mainly on the flow and not on the timebox. This feature makes Kanban a very appealing choice to use with DevOps.WORKFLOW METHODOLOGYFor Scrum:If we take the case of Scrum, every feature is decided before and it is ensured that it will be completed by the next sprint. After that, the Sprint is locked and work is finished over a couple of weeks, that is, usual sprint duration. The locking of the sprint is done to make sure that the team is getting enough time to make last minute changes depending on the requirement. There is a feedback session for reviewing the work accomplished. This helps to ensure that the delivered amount of work is approved by the stakeholders and is enough for directing the project as per business requirement.Implementing Scrum is not as easy as learning its principles. It requires to change the team members’ habits. The team members have to raise the quality of coding, take up more responsibilities, increase a speed and many more factors need to change. Scrum allows team commitment as the team commits to the Sprint goals, they always stay motivated to get better and fast results as per the user requirements.  For Kanban:In the case of Kanban, the priority is to focus on the workflow and not on the time. The limitation is only regarding the size of the queues. The main aim behind implementing Kanban is the productivity and efficiency of the product. This allows them to deliver superior quality work items. In addition to this, concentrating on the workflow will keep things moving. In Kanban, there is an extended feature known as stakeholder participation.In Kanban board, it is mandatory to define a “Work-In-Progress-Limit (WIP Limit)”. This helps to know the status of the work items to be delivered. If a status reaches the fixed WIP-limit, no new task is allowed at that state. This board helps to resolve the bottlenecks, as it makes the progress visible for further improvements. So, these WIP Limits acts as a change agent in Kanban.The Workflow of the KanbanComparison of Scrum and KanbanScrum vs Kanban: Deciding between the duosIf your team is responsible for enhancing the feature development feedback of the Stakeholder, then go for Scrum. But, if your team is in charge of maintenance and requires to be more reactive, you have to consider Kanban. Eventually, the need for every team is different and depending upon the requirements, methodologies need to be decided for the achievement of the goals.
Scrum vs Kanban: Deciding The New Agile Benchmark
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KnowledgeHut is a fast growing Management Consulting and Training firm that is a source of Intelligent Information support for businesses and professionals across the globe.

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Scrum vs Kanban: Deciding The New Agile Benchmark

Today in the rapidly changing market, software development is changing its list of requirement every now and then. As we all know, Agile is one form of software development methodology which mainly focuses on the continuous delivery of project with client satisfaction. Agile always accepts the change and works on complete specifications to turn the project into a deliverable product.In the recent times, Kanban software development methodology is in the limelight for its ability to enable DevOps. Many of the organizations are moving from Scrum to Kanban for better results. So the question arises, which Agile methodology works better?And  Scrum vs Kanban becomes the essential question today. The key differences between Kanban and Scrum depend on the rules for using the Scrum methodology and the Kanban workflow.When the organization implements any methodology which is not flexible and useful, this can make the organization inefficient. This leads to the introduction of an Agile methodology in the organization. So, the first step while implementing the Agile methodology in the organization is to decide which Agile framework will be the best for you and your team.Suppose, you have chosen a Scrum framework and Kanban workflow, then what is the difference between Scrum and Kanban? Is Kanban Agile? What is Scrum vs Agile? And so on.GOLDEN RULESBoth Scrum and Kanban have a list of mandated and optional rules for their implementation. According to the Agile advice list for implementing Scrum, there are around 23 mandatory and 12 optional rules. Here are the few examples:Teams are functioning in a  cross-functional mannerDuring sprints, Interruptions are strictly avoidedWork is always time boxedScrum meetings are held on a daily basisTo measure the progress a burndown chart is usedFirstly, the problem arises when organizations follow “Scrum-But”- which is basically ignoring some specific set of rules for internal reasons. The next issue arises with timeboxing, which forms the core of Scrum. It allows the developer to define milestones for the Stakeholders to evaluate and guide their project.Now, in the case of Kanban, the rules are comparatively less restrictive. The principal rules are-Limiting the work in progressTo Visualize the workflowKanban is a flexible and an open methodology that can add rules as needed, borrowed from Scrum depending upon the requirement. In Kanban, the focus is mainly on the flow and not on the timebox. This feature makes Kanban a very appealing choice to use with DevOps.WORKFLOW METHODOLOGYFor Scrum:If we take the case of Scrum, every feature is decided before and it is ensured that it will be completed by the next sprint. After that, the Sprint is locked and work is finished over a couple of weeks, that is, usual sprint duration. The locking of the sprint is done to make sure that the team is getting enough time to make last minute changes depending on the requirement. There is a feedback session for reviewing the work accomplished. This helps to ensure that the delivered amount of work is approved by the stakeholders and is enough for directing the project as per business requirement.Implementing Scrum is not as easy as learning its principles. It requires to change the team members’ habits. The team members have to raise the quality of coding, take up more responsibilities, increase a speed and many more factors need to change. Scrum allows team commitment as the team commits to the Sprint goals, they always stay motivated to get better and fast results as per the user requirements.  For Kanban:In the case of Kanban, the priority is to focus on the workflow and not on the time. The limitation is only regarding the size of the queues. The main aim behind implementing Kanban is the productivity and efficiency of the product. This allows them to deliver superior quality work items. In addition to this, concentrating on the workflow will keep things moving. In Kanban, there is an extended feature known as stakeholder participation.In Kanban board, it is mandatory to define a “Work-In-Progress-Limit (WIP Limit)”. This helps to know the status of the work items to be delivered. If a status reaches the fixed WIP-limit, no new task is allowed at that state. This board helps to resolve the bottlenecks, as it makes the progress visible for further improvements. So, these WIP Limits acts as a change agent in Kanban.The Workflow of the KanbanComparison of Scrum and KanbanScrum vs Kanban: Deciding between the duosIf your team is responsible for enhancing the feature development feedback of the Stakeholder, then go for Scrum. But, if your team is in charge of maintenance and requires to be more reactive, you have to consider Kanban. Eventually, the need for every team is different and depending upon the requirements, methodologies need to be decided for the achievement of the goals.
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1922
Scrum vs Kanban: Deciding The New Agile Benchmark

Today in the rapidly changing market, software dev... Read More

SAFe®️ 4.6 - The Latest Entrant In SAFe®️ Series With 5 Core Competencies

Scaled Agile Inc. (SAI) recently announced the latest version of SAFe®️, SAFe®️ 4.6 with the help of the whole Scaled Agile team and SAFe®️ Contributors. The SAFe®️ 4.6 version has underlined the introduction of ‘Five Core Competencies’ of the Lean Enterprise. The purpose behind incorporating those competencies is mainly to make the SAFe®️ organizations build a truly Lean Enterprise in a Lean fashion.  According to the Gartner report, SAFe®️ 4.5 is delineated as the world’s most widely used Agile framework at the enterprise level.This new way of working with SAFe®️ will open new avenues after the introduction of these competencies. At the same time, these competencies will become the primary lens for understanding and executing SAFe®️ in the organizations. Also, this new way of SAFe®️ working can make a big difference to the organizations that are struggling with their transformations.Here are the names of the five competencies introduced newly to build a better Lean organization in a Lean way. Lean-Agile Leadership Team and Technical Agility  DevOps and Release on demand  Business Solutions and Lean Systems Engineering  Lean Portfolio ManagementBenefits of SAFe®️ 4.6 competenciesHaving these five competencies allows organizations to-Navigate digital disruptionsRespond to the volatile market conditionsMeeting the varying customer requirements and latest technologiesLet’s explore each competency in details below.1) Lean-Agile Leadership:The Lean-Agile Leadership competency focuses on describing how the Lean-Agile leaders steer organizational change by encouraging the individuals and teams to reach their highest potential. The Lean-Agile leaders do this by learning, exhibiting, and coaching the Lean-Agile mindset, core values, principles, practices & features of SAFe®️.Changes made in Lean-Agile Leadership in SAFe®️ 4.6 versionThe SAFe®️ principles have been updated with a redraft of Principle #3 — Assume variability and preserve optionsA new advanced topic article, Evolving Role of Managers describes the changes and ongoing responsibilities of line management in the new way of working.2) Team and Technical AgilityThe Team and Technical Agility competency describe the critical skills and Lean-Agile principles and practices that are required to produce the high-performing teams. These high-performing teams focus on creating high-quality, well-designed technical solutions in accordance with the current and future business needs.Team agility – enables high-performing organized Agile teams to operate with the fundamental and effective Agile principles and practices.Technical agility – provides Lean-Agile technical practices to generate high-quality, well-formulated technical solutions that contribute to the current and future business needs.Changes made in Team and Technical Agility in SAFe®️ 4.6 versionThe new built-in quality practices that ensure that each Solution element meets the appropriate quality standards at every increment. These new built-in quality practices define 5 dimensions that permit quality- flow, architecture and design quality, code quality, system quality, and release quality.The roles in the Agile teams- Product Owner, Scrum Master, and the Development team are updated to reflect the new guidelines and thinking from the Team and Technical Agility competency and their responsibilities in Behavior-Driven development (BDD).Behavior-Driven Development is a test-first, Agile software development approach that has evolved from the Test-Driven Development. BDD provides a built-in quality by defining system behavior.Test-Driven Development (TDD) is a practice for developing and executing the tests before implementing a code or system’s component.3) DevOps and Release on demandThe DevOps and Release on Demand competency confer how the DevOps principles and practices allow the organizations to release value (in full or in part), at any time to meet the customers’ needs. This new competency enhances the in-depth level of guidelines on implementing a full continuous delivery pipeline.Changes made in DevOps and Release on demand in SAFe®️ 4.6 versionThe advanced Continuous Delivery Pipeline includes mapping the current Delivery Pipeline and improving the flow with the DevOps and Release on-demand health radar.The DevOps health radar is a tool to assess the progress and improve a flow of the program value with the help of Continuous Delivery Pipeline. This tool consists of 16 sub-dimensions (as shown in the figure below) programs that are used to assess the program’s maturity. It helps to identify our health-related dimensions (e.g. sitting, crawling, walking, running, and identifying the places where we can improve).4) Business Solutions and Lean Systems EngineeringThe Business Solutions and Lean Systems Engineering competency show how organizations can develop large and complex solutions and cyber-physical systems using a Lean, Agile, and flow-based, value delivery-model. This model makes the best of the activities necessary to specify, design, construct, test, deploy, operate, evolve and ultimately decommission solutions.Changes made in Business Solutions and Lean Systems Engineering in SAFe®️ 4.6 versionIn this competency, they have changed the eight practices for developing large and complex solutions. Following image shows the practices included in the Business Solutions and Lean Systems Engineering.They made changes in the Economic Framework with the following four primary elements:Operating within Lean budgets and guardrailsUnderstanding solution economic trade-offsLeveraging SuppliersSequencing jobs for the maximum benefit (using WSJF)The advanced Roadmap section introduces the multiple planning horizons and the Solution Roadmap that provides a longer-term- multiyear view, showing the key milestones and deliverable s required to reach the solution Vision over time. The roadmap also contains new guidance on understanding and applying market rhythms and events.5) Lean Portfolio ManagementThe Lean Portfolio Management (LPM) competency describes how an organization can implement Lean approaches to strategy and investment funding, Agile portfolio operations, and Lean governance for a SAFe®️ portfolio.Changes made in Lean Portfolio Management (LPM) in SAFe®️ 4.6 versionIn SAFe®️ 4.6, the changes are made in the organizational strategy formulation, the definition of the portfolio, and strategic themes.New Portfolio Canvas describes how a portfolio of solutions creates, delivers and captures value for an enterprise. The portfolio canvas defines and aligns the value streams of the portfolio and the solutions to achieve the organizational goals and provides a process on meeting the vision of a future state.The updated Lean Budget Guardrails ensures the right investments within the portfolio’s budget.Also, the changes are made in the Lean Budgets that provides a guidance on moving from the traditional budgets to Lean budgets, guiding investments by the horizon and applying participatory budgeting.The updated Value Streams includes a section for defining the value streams and a revised Development Value Stream Canvas that aligns better with the new Portfolio Canvas.Top-Level Government in SAFe®️ 4.6Another updated thing in SAFe®️ 4.6 is the SAFe®️ for Government. The top-level Government in SAFe®️ 4.6 describes a set of success patterns that support the public sector organizations in implementing the Lean-Agile practices. The SAFe®️ for Government also serves as a landing page for applying SAFe®️ in the national, regional or local government context. This provides the specific guidelines to address the following things-Creating a basis of Lean-Agile values, principles, and practicesBuilding the high-performing teams of Government teams and contractorsAligning technology investments with agency strategyTransitioning from projects to a Lean flow of epicsAdopting Lean budgeting aligned to the value streamsApplying Lean estimating and forecasting in cadenceModifying acquisition practices to enable Lean-Agile development and operationsBuilding in quality and complianceAdapting governance practices to support agility and lean flow of valueThe passion of always improving the art of software development based on the Lean-Agile best practices makes Dean Leffingwell the world’s foremost authority. The release of the SAFe®️ 4.6 version is an update to the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®️) which addresses the challenge of transitioning from the traditional model to the Lean-Agile Mindset. Moreover, the version provides the guidelines on XP, TDD, and BDD, and building a better Lean enterprise in the Lean way!You heard it right! Knowing the Lean fruits of SAFe®️ 4.6 to the organizations, KnowledgeHut is launching the course in the middle of November. Stay tuned to know more. Course arriving soon!
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SAFe®️ 4.6 - The Latest Entrant In SAFe®️ Se...

Scaled Agile Inc. (SAI) recently announced the lat... Read More

KnowledgeHut Celebrates 7 Years Of Continuous Learning And Knowledge Delivery

In its perennial pursuit of optimized learning and spreading the power of knowledge across industries, KnowledgeHut has grown a year older. Stepping into its 7th anniversary, the organization, widely looked upon as a towering body of knowledge and skills has turned out to be a stable and powerful hub for the industry elites. From its humble beginning in Bangalore, India, the organization has grown over the past 7 years to become a beacon for customized coaching and consulting. Right from its infancy, KnowledgeHut has been on an unfailing mission to upskill tomorrow's workforce.The directors of KnowledgeHut, Mandarapu Nagaraju, Mallu Subramanyam Reddy, are proud to celebrate the company’s 7th year anniversary.Innovation is part of the company’s story. Supporting the clients, KnowledgeHut has always applied value-adding innovative ideas with updated methodologies. The productive team with full of professional drive, innovative ideas and creativity have worked endlessly this whole time to successfully achieve KnowledgeHut’s key objective- becoming the standard of excellence in the market.Words by our Co-founder and Managing Director- Subramanyam ReddySubramanyam Reddy (Co-founder and Managing Director of KnowledgeHut), shared some experiences and flashbacks from the history of KnowledgeHut. “The company was founded on July 19th, 2011 with just 10 staff members. The past seven years have been very successful. We had a clear vision for the organization and knew our goals and where we wanted to stand one day. We were always able to deliver at the highest quality and had the equipment and skills to overcome the issues and risks when faced and are very much exultant about our future as the organization to go miles ahead as a Global education provider.”The journey so farAchievements we are proud ofKnowledgeHut has been active in India for 7 years with its headquarters in Bangalore. More than 240 professionals are based in the Bangalore and Hyderabad offices working primarily over 250 professional training courses for the software management and development.Over these past 7 years, as we have certified over 1,20,000 professionals with unique learning opportunities, our global footprint has grown considerably. With more than 500 subject matter experts across 70 countries, KnowledgeHut now conducts classroom training, online training, and corporate training facilities that serve professionals everywhere.Here is a glimpse of what our students said about KnowledgeHut and how our courses have helped them flourish in their careers.It was not devoid of challengesWhile KnowledgeHut is currently undergoing a major organizational change since partnering with many accredited bodies, it is certainly worth mentioning how our efforts are going thus far.  KnowledgeHut’s director, Mandarapu Nagaraju has reportedly been studying the way KnowledgeHut is organizing, both internally and externally, and made some major changes to how their training program works by analyzing all the things they are doing,.“Losses are part of trading, we learn something from them and move on. Definitely, there will be losses as long as there are risks. We believe that there will be no profits if the day ever comes when there are no risks at all” said Mandarapu Nagaraju.KnowledgeHut’s Vision for 2018Expand services and facilities into at least 100 countriesEnhance certification coursesContinue to focus on software trainingEnhance value-added servicesGrow business through staffing and recruiting platformCapital GrowthProfits are the key to a company’s success. They renew the capital and keep and attract the best people. It is our custom to share our profits with you all who helped in creating them as profitability is paramount to our future.Secrets to KnowledgeHut successIn the minds of people, delivering a consistent and uniform training is one of the most important secrets of the company success. The firm’s success has been laid solidly on three pillars: its leadership, its culture and its people.Great companies embrace great leaders who go on to secure a place in history. KnowledgeHut has been run by corps of extraordinary ability and vision. And while coming to competitors, clients, former employees, or partners, the conclusion is always the same i.e KnowledgeHut always recruits the highly talented people in the industry, seeking out the most ambitious and brightest employees who will fit into the province of its culture. That culture, widely replicated across the industry, has been the blueprint for the company’s success and has remained unique.KnowledgeHut LikelihoodsDuring the period 2018-2022, the global special education teacher training is poised to grow at a CAGR of around 3.77%.The global e-learning market is predicted to reach $325 billion by 2025 to reach approximately $325 billion USD.The fall in the training cost for employers is helping the corporate e-learning market develop consistently at a CAGR of around 11% by 2022.From the above statistics, it is predicted that KnowledgeHut might become the primary choice of all the major corporate clients for training and consulting services across the globe.Let’s celebrate this grand event togetherWe have reached yet another milestone in our journey of reinforcing your knowledge and skills on your professional career journey. And by ‘we’, we mean you and KnowledgeHut. It’s been 7 years and it’s time for us to celebrate together.On this event, the company has decided to offer some specials offers for you professionals and students. We are offering up to 10% cashback on all our courses. Avail the amazing offers before August 31, 2018, and become an expert in your dream field.Our discounts and couponsE-learning | Get 99% off on e-learning materials | Coupon Code: KHELEA7Seminar | Get 70% off on Live Conferences | KHCONF7Course | Get extra 7% off on all non-certification courses | KHCOUR7Webinar | Get free 7 months access to webinarsMeetups | Avail free meet-ups for 7 months (limited to India)Blog contribution | Participate in the contest and win rewardsSuccess story | Participate in the contest and win rewardsThe company truly appreciates the loyalty of the workforce and we are especially fortunate to have those personnel whose professional activity at KnowledgeHut lasted over 7 years. “Without the help of the best team, the best infrastructure, and the best SMEs, it is impossible to set up a successful training institute delivering services worldwide,” added Mallu Subramanyam Reddy.With astute business-mindedness and level-headed leadership running through its leadership team, KnowledgeHut’s success in the recent past is not surprising and is a force to reckon with in the race of training leadership worldwide especially in India and the US.
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KnowledgeHut Celebrates 7 Years Of Continuous Lear...

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A Definitive Guide To Understanding Essential Scrum Processes

Introduction:There is no one who is working on software development or any related field and didn't hear about the Agile methodology and its benefits over the traditional software development like Waterfall method.Agile allows us to collect feedback about the product which we developed and its feature very early from the customer or management so we can make changes, defect repair or add a new feature to the product. Also, we always  give the customer or management the most valuable features first before the less valuable features. These principles allow Agile teams to always introduce a valuable and shippable product. Agile has many frameworks that implement Agile principles but in different ways. The most popular among these frameworks are Scrum, XP, and Kanban.We will talk about the Scrum framework in many articles that will show its value, principles, and activities to facilitate it and give us some ways to implement all of these in real life.We will begin with these article as an introduction to Scrum and its main overview and benefits. So let’s begin.  The State of Scrum report 2017-2018, it represents how Organizations are implementing Scrum within their company. Below is the diagramatic view of Scrum usage.What Is Scrum?As described in "Essential Scrum: A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process" book by Kenneth S. Rubin:Scrum is an Agile approach for developing innovative products and services. But when we want to implement Scrum, we can't depend on a definition, we must depend on specific steps. So let us show in a high-level description all the necessary steps (you should remember that this is an introduction to Scrum).We will show all of these in details in the next articles :Creating a Product Backlog: A prioritized list of the features and other capabilities needed to develop a successful product.Prioritize the backlog items, important or highest-priority items first.Begin with the feature that can be completed even it is low-priority than other features that we can’t complete within that sprint.Collect some items from the backlog by implementing conditions on steps 2 and 3 and put it on a time box called sprint. We must select items that are suitable to our Capacity of work in one sprint (we will talk in the next articles about sprint planning and velocity).The work is done in sprints that can be between 1 week and 4 weeks but the most popular is the 2-week sprint.  In any sprint, we do all the work that allows us to produce a shippable product which is a product with completed and working features so we perform designing, development, testing and so on on the same sprint.At the end of the sprint, we conduct two activities: review meeting and retrospective meeting that we will describe below-a) Review meeting or a Demo:- In this meeting, we show our shippable product which has been ‘done’ in the sprint and collect feedback from stakeholders and perform any changes on existing feature or request for a new feature. Some books give a specific duration such as two hours on a two weeks’ sprint to these activities. But in my real life, some demos didn't take for my team more than 20 minutes.b) Retrospective meeting: The team discusses the work of the sprint and what went right so they can use it in the upcoming sprints. They also discuss ‘what went wrong’ so they can avoid it and think of ‘what can be done’ to improve work and cooperation between the team. It also can be short and you shouldn't make it more than half an hour even though a lot of books say it can also be about two hours on a two weeks’ sprint.Scrum benefits :As what was mentioned by Kenneth S. Rubin in his book "Essential Scrum: A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process", there are a lot of benefits coming from using Scrum in our work. Some of them are:1-Delight Customers: At the beginning of any product lifecycle, the requirements are not clear enough and sometimes there are a lot of requirements that the customer himself does not know well at this early time. So by using Scrum, we always show the customer a working product and collect his feedback. So in the end, we find that all requirements of customer are met in the final product.2-Improve Return on Investment:We don't have to wait till the end of product development to gain a return on investment. We gain a return on investment with every release3-Reduce Costs :We can reduce costs by eliminating the waste and dysfunction steps.4-Fast Results:The scrum sprint is short between 1 week and 4 weeks as often. At the end of each sprint, we deliver working, integrated, tested, business-valuable features. So the result comes very fast.  5- Confidence to succeed in a complex world :In the real world, we deal with  many parties such as competitors, customers, users, regulatory bodies, and other stakeholders and we always must take  quick and suitable actions as changing some requirements, adding some new features, using some new technologies or improving the quality standards to achieve stakeholders’ satisfaction and to provide a competitive product. 6- More Joy :The teamwork does not have to wait till the end of the product development to make a change in some features. They always gain feedback and always make corrective actions. These automatically bring more joy to work. The below figure shows the Scrum benefits.We now know what is the Scrum  framework, what is the difference between Scrum and the traditional software methodologies and what is the benefit of using Scrum. In the next article, we will look in depth at the Scrum team and roles and then we  will look in-depth in each specific area in scrum principles and implementation.  
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A Definitive Guide To Understanding Essential Scru...

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INFOGRAPHIC : The Power of Planning and Estimating in Agile

Estimating and planning is an important aspect of the Agile methodology. Every plan will help in building a platform to develop a project and estimation will help in filling the gap and remove the hindrances in the software development process. The Agile Methodology roughly provides an idea of how a project manager can plan and estimate to make project success. Estimating and planning are the two factors which influence the outcome of any project.Agile planning is all about measuring the speed at which a team can turn user stories into functional production-ready software. Estimating and planning are critical for the success of a software development project. It may involve various challenges due to estimation done by the wrong person which leads to mismatch in the process. It is a waste, if a team works without any specific requirement, and moreover if the tasks are not assigned properly, it may result in excess time and efforts.Agile planning bears a great significance when compared to Non-Agile planning.The step-by-step actions are taken through the user stories, whereas in case of Non-Agile planning, the focus is more on the problem. Often a question arises as to how one should implement Scrum for a large-scaled software development. It can be through 5 levels of Agile planning because they render flexibility on how you and the organization want to implement planning, based on teams, environment, and culture. The planning levels start with product vision which includes product owner taking care of the entire product right from the beginning with respect to the product structure as well. Product roadmap planning, which focuses on implementing the product involves product manager and the product owner. The next step is release planning where the project manager and his team involves and delivers the releasable product.Coming to Iteration Planning, it is basically an event where all team members determine how much of the team backlog they can commit to deliver during an upcoming Iteration and the entire work slots are determined. The team summarizes the work as a set of committed iteration goals. The end stage is the daily commitment planning where the team discusses the progress of the project and updates are given.Agile planning life cycle includes involvement of stakeholders, updating the status of the project and checking through what has to be improved for the further action and later improvements through Build-Measure-Learn cycle.The last phase deals with the Estimation step wherein the project expert’s opinions are taken into consideration for the development of the project growth, and breaking the bigger tasks into smaller units which helps in understanding the requirements better. Later, estimation is done through Retrospectives. This involves looking back at events that took place, or works that were produced, and at the end delivers a high quality software.Planning and Estimation is hard, estimates can be made as accurate as possible through a proper collaboration with the Product Owner.In summary, Agile estimation is a team sport where the team members-Estimate smarter not harderLearn from past experience.Only a right planning and estimation delivers the best product.
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Are You Writing The Best User Stories In Agile?

WHAT IS A USER STORY?A user story is a part of an Agile software development approach to present the details of a requirement from a customer’s point of view. A user story specifies what type of user you are, what you want and the reason behind it. A user story helps to create a simple and short description of a requirement told from the user’s perspective.They generally follow a simple approach for a user story:As a < type of user >, I want < a goal > so that < a reason >.Another approach includes:As a , I want because .Originally, Agile user stories were meant to be very short and simple to write on sticky notes or index cards. They were fixed on tables or walls to simplify their planning and discussions. Therefore, they actively shift the target from writing about features to explaining them. In reality, these explanations are more important than the story is written. We can know them prominently in any major Agile process.What does a user story mean? Let us try to understand with an example.Imagine you are using an app on your phone. Now, you like the app, but you would love to have an additional feature in this app. How would you describe your wish to the developer of the app? You will say something like-"I want to have X functionality so that I am able to get Y benefit."While creating a user story, you write in the exact same way, the only additional information which you need to provide is about the type of user you are.The advantages of user stories can be written at different levels in details. We can write a user story to cover a huge amount of functionalities. These large user stories are generally called ‘epics’. Let us clarify this with a few more examples-“As a user, I can view the license terms before purchasing or subscribing so that I know what I’m getting.”“As an app user, I can read FAQs, so I can get quick answers.”“As a website admin, I want all the offers to get unpublished on the website after 7 days of publishing so that the expired offers are not still listed if I forget to delete them.”In all these examples, it is clear who want the features, what they want, and what benefits they would get with the additional functionality.WHO WRITES THE USER STORIES?Business people are responsible for writing the user stories in a customer-specific language. We have to do this because we want user requirements to be clean and clear to both the development team and the business. The role of a development team is to satisfy the end-user acceptance criteria of the storyboard. In Scrum process, the product owner is responsible to represent the business as well as to finish the activity.WHEN TO WRITE USER STORIES?In an Agile project, User stories are generally written in the end. Usually, writing a user story workshop is held close to the beginning of the project in Agile. Everyone should participate in writing or adding the user stories to the product backlog at any time. If your team members are predicted to deliver the stories, then roughly we have to maintain 3 sprints of user stories in the backlog. The additional aspects of efforts and features are a superset of user stories. In these cases, the product owner team interacts with the development team to split user stories into enough levels.WHY ARE USER STORIES USED IN SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT?User stories are used because they provide many benefits in software development. Here are some of them.User stories help in delivering value to the customer.User stories talk about the immediate customer needs. Because of this, the features implemented and delivered to the end user is of  the highest value.User stories enable a project to be quickly adjustable.Since user stories help in adding small features one by one, it becomes easier for the developing team to steer towards new direction if it is required.User stories increase the collaboration of end user.Since user stories are short, the people involved in the project need more explanation from the end user to clearly understand the story. This increases user collaboration.User stories are followed by Acceptance Criteria. Acceptance Criteria clarifies the end user that in which situations the story will be fulfilled. They are a list of requirements. They are written in "Given, When, Then" format.Let us see an example for a clearer understanding of user stories. Suppose, there is a story for a website user which goes like this-"As a logged out user,I want to be able to sign in to the website,So that I can see my previous transactions."Now the acceptance criteria for this story can go something like thisScenario: The registered user signs in with a valid username and password“Given I am logged out of the websiteand I am on the Sign-In page.When I fill in the “Username” and “Password” fields with my valid credentialsand I click the Sign-In buttonThen I get signed in to the website”Acceptance criteria help in creating a clear understanding between the developers and the clients about when and how the features will work. The client understands what to expect from the project. And hence, the chances of miscommunication between the parties get reduced.
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Are You Writing The Best User Stories In Agile?

WHAT IS A USER STORY?A user story is a part of an ... Read More