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What is a Daily Scrum?

The Daily Scrum is a tool used by the Scrum team to inspect progress toward the Sprint Goal and assess how progress is trending toward completion of the work against the Sprint Backlog. The Daily Scrum is an important agile ceremonyat the heart of the Agile framework. The Daily Scrum is a 15-minute time-boxed event for the Scrum team. The Daily Scrum is held every day of the Sprint. At it, the Scrum team plans work for the next 24 hours. This optimizes team collaboration and performance by inspecting the work since the last Daily Scrum and forecasting upcoming Sprint work. The Daily Scrum is held at the same time and place each day to reduce complexity. Scrum Guide 2017 The Team meets daily, preferably at the start of the day in a meeting called the daily scrum. This is strictly time boxed to 15 minutes. This keeps the discussion brisk and relevant. All team members are required to attend the meeting including scrum masters.Product ownersand Manager are optional; if they attend, they are advised to be silent listeners. In this article, we understand  Purpose of the Daily Scrum During the daily scrum, each team member should answer the following three questions: What did you do yesterday? What will you do today? Are there any impediments in your way? By focusing on what each person accomplished yesterday and is planning to accomplish today, the team gains an excellent understanding of what work has been done and how much work remains.  During the Daily Scrum, the main question should be about impediments; if any of the team membersfacing any impediments, they are required to bring it to the fore and someone from the team will volunteer to help out. The discussion about the impediments will happen offline, so that the 15-minute window is not disturbed. In most cases, the team will figure out the solution themselves. If it is beyond the ability of the team, thenit becomes the prime responsibility of the Scrum Masterto listen, understand and remove the impediments standing in the way of the team’s delivery.Scrum Master and impedimentsWho runs the Daily Scrum meeting?While the Scrum Master ensures that the Scrum team meets daily at the specified time,it is the Scrum team who is responsible for conducting the daily meetings.The Scrum Master coaches the Scrum team to keep the daily scrum meeting timeboxed to 15 minutes. This is a step towards making the agile team self-organized. Inspection and adaption at the heart of Scrum The Scrum team uses the Daily Scrum to inspect the progress towards the Sprint Goal. The daily scrum increases the probability of the Scrum teammeeting the Sprint Goal. The goal is to make the team self-motivated and self-organized. The discussion in daily scrum should be limited to the three questions mentioned above, if there are any further discussions required, the team can meet outside of this call and set up separate meetings with other team members. This meeting improves communication and collaboration, eliminates other meetings, removes impediments, improves the health of the sprint, and promotes quick decision-making. It is a key “inspect and adapt” meeting. What are the basic rules of the Daily Scrum? The Daily Scrum is not a status update meeting The daily scrum meeting is not a status update meeting in which a manager is collecting information about who is behind schedule. Rather, it is a meeting in which team members make commitments to each other. By virtue of this meeting, the team gets an idea about where the sprint is heading – is it behind schedule or ahead? Accordingly, corrective steps can be taken. The Daily Scrum is not a problem-solving meeting This meeting should not be considered as a problem-solving opportunity. Issues that are raised must be taken offline right after the scrum meeting with the specific group of people concerned with the issues. Some Anti patterns for Daily ScrumAnti-patterns for Daily ScrumChanging the time of the scrum daily This is not a good practice and Scrum Master should ensure that the team meets at the same time daily with minimal exception. Daily Scrum is used to discuss new requirements or technical tasks This will again hijack the purpose of the daily scrum; such discussions should be taken offline, outside of the daily scrum meeting. Daily Scrum changed to status report In many instances, a senior person other than scrum team member joins the daily scrum and in some sort of fear, this changes to a status meeting; Scrum master is required here to help the Scrum team. Ageing of work item age Scrum team is facing difficulty in getting one issue resolved from so many days and no one is offering help. Scrum Master should intervene here and remove the impediment. Allowing one person to lead This meeting is for the team and no one should lead here. A key tenet is to move the teams towards becoming self-directed and self-organized. Cluelessness or not listening Sometimes, team members are so keen for their turn and their statuses that they will miss out important communication. Stating the same daily task on every consecutive day We need to think about why the same status is continuing and whether there is anything that is holding a team member up; the team should work on that immediately to remove the impediment. Why a stand up? A stand up is typically a short, time-boxed meeting of 15 minutes. When the team members are co-located, the discomfort of standing up during the meeting will serve to keep tab on how long the meeting runs for and helps it to be short and time boxed. Importance of the Scrum Board Scrum board is highly recommended in the daily scrum meeting. It gives better visibility to not only the team but other stakeholders too. In case somebody missed the daily scrum, meeting can quickly go through the scrum board and gather updates from there. It is recommended that scrum board not only has the data of the sprint progress but it should also have sprint burn down chart also so that the team will have updates on the health of the sprint. On top of the board, the Goal of the sprint should also be mentioned along with Definition of Done list.Ideally, one should not book the conference room for daily scrum meeting. Conducting the meeting as a stand-up keeps the meeting short. In many instances, team members are not on time for the Daily Scrum and also tend to skip it. Here, it is the responsibility of the Scrum master to make sure that all team members understand the responsibility of the meeting and try their best to attend the meeting on time. If the situation doesn’t improve, then teams can employ different tactics such as daily fines or penalties so that team members do not skip the meeting.It ultimately depends on the team how they want to cultivate a discipline of culture within the team. Who are the participants of a Daily Scrum? The entire team which includes Developers,Testers, Business Analyst, Architects, Dev leads/Tech leads. Product owner are welcome to attend the Daily scrum, though this is not mandated. Managers should generally avoid these meetings,as there are high chances of losing focus and the meeting turning into a status check meeting. What are the responsibilities of the three Scrum roles during the Daily Scrum? Scrumteam’s responsibility Individual responsibility Each team member must answer the three important questions: (1) What you have done?(2) What will you do today? (3) Are there any impediments? Not only must the individual team members pay attention to others’ updates, but also listen to see if there is any impediment that they can help solve. Team responsibility Together, the team bears the responsibility to ensure that they meet daily for 15 minutes and provide the updates. The Scrum team is collectively responsible for conducting daily scrum meetings. Scrum Master’s responsibility Scrum master ensures Scrum team meets daily within a 15-minute time box. The daily scrum meeting is an internal meeting; if other stakeholders are present, then the scrum master must make sure they do not disrupt the meeting. Product Owner’s responsibility While not a mandatory attendee, the Product owner is welcome to attend, listen and observe. It is good for a product owner to attend the Daily scrum as it will give them the opportunity to guide the team if any team members deviate from the Sprint Goal or if there is change in the scope or goal of the sprint. What should the Daily Scrum approach be for virtual, distributed, and co-located teams? First and the foremost thing that needs to be kept in mind that we should respect each other timings. Few hours of overlap is definitely required when the teams are not collocated. Video conferencing or any tools like skype meeting or team meetings can be used to do daily scrum meetings. We have seen non-collocated teams to be more loosely coupled than collocated teams. Here are some measures that teams can take to increase the effectiveness of the remote daily scrum. Team should institute the following measures. Install video camerasand speakers: While carrying out the Daily Scrum remotely, investingin the right set of web cameras andspeakershelps retain the effectiveness of collocated Scrum meetings; privacy aspects would need to be carefully considered before enforcing this. Consider time zones: Respect the time zones of all the remote teams and have considerable amounts of overlap between the teams. Invest in tools: Organizations must invest in good tools such as JIRA and Visual Studio Onlineto help the team speed up work and by syncing up easily. While such tools are not meant to replace the physical daily scrum meeting,they help the team see the daily progress happening across locations. Travel: Even the scrum guide says that travel budget should be kept aside for successful delivery with offshore teams. Let people gather at one location, hang out, discuss, make good friends, understand, and share their cultures and build trust. It helps to build the collaboration, communication, and richness. What is the outcome of the Daily Scrum? The Daily Scrum is basically a health check of the sprint deliverables. The outcome of the Daily Scrum is that the team learns early of any impediments to any individual’s work, which can be immediatelyaddressed. If there are any deviations from the original plan, then this can be tracked easily through the Daily Scrum. What are the challenges in running the Daily Scrum? Distributed teams If the team is geographically collocated,then there might be challenges in running daily scrum due to different time zones. Here, the teams must find some overlap in timing across the time zonesamong the teams. Although a physical scrum board is not possible in such cases, agile tools like Jira andVisual Studio Online canfulfil this to some extent. Resistance to change A change of mindset from the waterfall to the agile model will have some challenges initially. Scrum team members should have the mindset to adjust the change in requirements as well as change in priorities.Invest some time in inculcating Agile mindset and principles along with Scrum values. Team stands still and thinks it is the waste of time A few team members may have the attitude that this meeting is just a waste of time and will therefore not pay any attention to the updates from other team members. Such team members are hindrances to the delivery of the project. Their concerns must be addressed,and mindset corrected on an immediate basis. Discussion on urgent scope change, defect or integration testing In some instances, team members may starta discussion on burning topics such as an escalation on high priority defects. However, even in such cases, the team should adhere to the guidelines for the scrum meeting and all other items right after scrum meeting. Long technical discussions in the daily scrum is the waste of time of other team members Long technical discussions should be strictly avoided in scrum meetings as this may not be relevant for other team members. Such discussions must be had in smaller forums at other times than the daily scrum meetings. How can we make the Daily Scrum more effective? For the Daily Scrum to be used effectively, teamsmust understand its importance and adhere to the timings and be punctual for this meeting. The team must always keep the scrum board up to date, have meetings around it, and let each team members update the board. If distributed teams are using the board (with online tools likeRally or Jira), then these must be maintained up to date before the daily scrums.  Teams must use the “parking lot” for any other technical discussion that need to be conducted outside of the daily scrum.Burn down charts and theSprint Goalmust always be updated on the scrum board. It is always effective to have a standup meeting rather than sitting down. Some teams use a game like passing the ball or calling the other team member’s name to keep theenergy going rather than taking the same sequence repeatedly. Conclusion For the Daily Scrum to be used effectively, teamsmust understand its importance and adhere to the timings and be punctual for this meeting. The team must always keep the scrum board up to date, have meetings around it, and let each team members update the board. If distributed 
What is a Daily Scrum?
Shilpi
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Shilpi

Shilpi Jain

Blog Author

Shilpi is an experienced Scrum Master have 9+ years of experience in IT industry. She worked in companies like GE Healthcare and Nokia Siemens and currently working as a freelancer where she has contributed in many Technical Articles on Scrum/Agile, Project Management Tools (Atlassian, Jira and Rally), Project Management, Scrum Agile Certifications Questions and Answers (Test Paper Writing). She carries certifications like Certified Scrum Master, Fundamentals of Scum, Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB). She always shares her personal experiences in her Articles. She is a passionate writer and blogger about the Scrum and Agile Methodology.

Posts by Shilpi Jain

What is a Daily Scrum?

The Daily Scrum is a tool used by the Scrum team to inspect progress toward the Sprint Goal and assess how progress is trending toward completion of the work against the Sprint Backlog. The Daily Scrum is an important agile ceremonyat the heart of the Agile framework. The Daily Scrum is a 15-minute time-boxed event for the Scrum team. The Daily Scrum is held every day of the Sprint. At it, the Scrum team plans work for the next 24 hours. This optimizes team collaboration and performance by inspecting the work since the last Daily Scrum and forecasting upcoming Sprint work. The Daily Scrum is held at the same time and place each day to reduce complexity. Scrum Guide 2017 The Team meets daily, preferably at the start of the day in a meeting called the daily scrum. This is strictly time boxed to 15 minutes. This keeps the discussion brisk and relevant. All team members are required to attend the meeting including scrum masters.Product ownersand Manager are optional; if they attend, they are advised to be silent listeners. In this article, we understand  Purpose of the Daily Scrum During the daily scrum, each team member should answer the following three questions: What did you do yesterday? What will you do today? Are there any impediments in your way? By focusing on what each person accomplished yesterday and is planning to accomplish today, the team gains an excellent understanding of what work has been done and how much work remains.  During the Daily Scrum, the main question should be about impediments; if any of the team membersfacing any impediments, they are required to bring it to the fore and someone from the team will volunteer to help out. The discussion about the impediments will happen offline, so that the 15-minute window is not disturbed. In most cases, the team will figure out the solution themselves. If it is beyond the ability of the team, thenit becomes the prime responsibility of the Scrum Masterto listen, understand and remove the impediments standing in the way of the team’s delivery.Scrum Master and impedimentsWho runs the Daily Scrum meeting?While the Scrum Master ensures that the Scrum team meets daily at the specified time,it is the Scrum team who is responsible for conducting the daily meetings.The Scrum Master coaches the Scrum team to keep the daily scrum meeting timeboxed to 15 minutes. This is a step towards making the agile team self-organized. Inspection and adaption at the heart of Scrum The Scrum team uses the Daily Scrum to inspect the progress towards the Sprint Goal. The daily scrum increases the probability of the Scrum teammeeting the Sprint Goal. The goal is to make the team self-motivated and self-organized. The discussion in daily scrum should be limited to the three questions mentioned above, if there are any further discussions required, the team can meet outside of this call and set up separate meetings with other team members. This meeting improves communication and collaboration, eliminates other meetings, removes impediments, improves the health of the sprint, and promotes quick decision-making. It is a key “inspect and adapt” meeting. What are the basic rules of the Daily Scrum? The Daily Scrum is not a status update meeting The daily scrum meeting is not a status update meeting in which a manager is collecting information about who is behind schedule. Rather, it is a meeting in which team members make commitments to each other. By virtue of this meeting, the team gets an idea about where the sprint is heading – is it behind schedule or ahead? Accordingly, corrective steps can be taken. The Daily Scrum is not a problem-solving meeting This meeting should not be considered as a problem-solving opportunity. Issues that are raised must be taken offline right after the scrum meeting with the specific group of people concerned with the issues. Some Anti patterns for Daily ScrumAnti-patterns for Daily ScrumChanging the time of the scrum daily This is not a good practice and Scrum Master should ensure that the team meets at the same time daily with minimal exception. Daily Scrum is used to discuss new requirements or technical tasks This will again hijack the purpose of the daily scrum; such discussions should be taken offline, outside of the daily scrum meeting. Daily Scrum changed to status report In many instances, a senior person other than scrum team member joins the daily scrum and in some sort of fear, this changes to a status meeting; Scrum master is required here to help the Scrum team. Ageing of work item age Scrum team is facing difficulty in getting one issue resolved from so many days and no one is offering help. Scrum Master should intervene here and remove the impediment. Allowing one person to lead This meeting is for the team and no one should lead here. A key tenet is to move the teams towards becoming self-directed and self-organized. Cluelessness or not listening Sometimes, team members are so keen for their turn and their statuses that they will miss out important communication. Stating the same daily task on every consecutive day We need to think about why the same status is continuing and whether there is anything that is holding a team member up; the team should work on that immediately to remove the impediment. Why a stand up? A stand up is typically a short, time-boxed meeting of 15 minutes. When the team members are co-located, the discomfort of standing up during the meeting will serve to keep tab on how long the meeting runs for and helps it to be short and time boxed. Importance of the Scrum Board Scrum board is highly recommended in the daily scrum meeting. It gives better visibility to not only the team but other stakeholders too. In case somebody missed the daily scrum, meeting can quickly go through the scrum board and gather updates from there. It is recommended that scrum board not only has the data of the sprint progress but it should also have sprint burn down chart also so that the team will have updates on the health of the sprint. On top of the board, the Goal of the sprint should also be mentioned along with Definition of Done list.Ideally, one should not book the conference room for daily scrum meeting. Conducting the meeting as a stand-up keeps the meeting short. In many instances, team members are not on time for the Daily Scrum and also tend to skip it. Here, it is the responsibility of the Scrum master to make sure that all team members understand the responsibility of the meeting and try their best to attend the meeting on time. If the situation doesn’t improve, then teams can employ different tactics such as daily fines or penalties so that team members do not skip the meeting.It ultimately depends on the team how they want to cultivate a discipline of culture within the team. Who are the participants of a Daily Scrum? The entire team which includes Developers,Testers, Business Analyst, Architects, Dev leads/Tech leads. Product owner are welcome to attend the Daily scrum, though this is not mandated. Managers should generally avoid these meetings,as there are high chances of losing focus and the meeting turning into a status check meeting. What are the responsibilities of the three Scrum roles during the Daily Scrum? Scrumteam’s responsibility Individual responsibility Each team member must answer the three important questions: (1) What you have done?(2) What will you do today? (3) Are there any impediments? Not only must the individual team members pay attention to others’ updates, but also listen to see if there is any impediment that they can help solve. Team responsibility Together, the team bears the responsibility to ensure that they meet daily for 15 minutes and provide the updates. The Scrum team is collectively responsible for conducting daily scrum meetings. Scrum Master’s responsibility Scrum master ensures Scrum team meets daily within a 15-minute time box. The daily scrum meeting is an internal meeting; if other stakeholders are present, then the scrum master must make sure they do not disrupt the meeting. Product Owner’s responsibility While not a mandatory attendee, the Product owner is welcome to attend, listen and observe. It is good for a product owner to attend the Daily scrum as it will give them the opportunity to guide the team if any team members deviate from the Sprint Goal or if there is change in the scope or goal of the sprint. What should the Daily Scrum approach be for virtual, distributed, and co-located teams? First and the foremost thing that needs to be kept in mind that we should respect each other timings. Few hours of overlap is definitely required when the teams are not collocated. Video conferencing or any tools like skype meeting or team meetings can be used to do daily scrum meetings. We have seen non-collocated teams to be more loosely coupled than collocated teams. Here are some measures that teams can take to increase the effectiveness of the remote daily scrum. Team should institute the following measures. Install video camerasand speakers: While carrying out the Daily Scrum remotely, investingin the right set of web cameras andspeakershelps retain the effectiveness of collocated Scrum meetings; privacy aspects would need to be carefully considered before enforcing this. Consider time zones: Respect the time zones of all the remote teams and have considerable amounts of overlap between the teams. Invest in tools: Organizations must invest in good tools such as JIRA and Visual Studio Onlineto help the team speed up work and by syncing up easily. While such tools are not meant to replace the physical daily scrum meeting,they help the team see the daily progress happening across locations. Travel: Even the scrum guide says that travel budget should be kept aside for successful delivery with offshore teams. Let people gather at one location, hang out, discuss, make good friends, understand, and share their cultures and build trust. It helps to build the collaboration, communication, and richness. What is the outcome of the Daily Scrum? The Daily Scrum is basically a health check of the sprint deliverables. The outcome of the Daily Scrum is that the team learns early of any impediments to any individual’s work, which can be immediatelyaddressed. If there are any deviations from the original plan, then this can be tracked easily through the Daily Scrum. What are the challenges in running the Daily Scrum? Distributed teams If the team is geographically collocated,then there might be challenges in running daily scrum due to different time zones. Here, the teams must find some overlap in timing across the time zonesamong the teams. Although a physical scrum board is not possible in such cases, agile tools like Jira andVisual Studio Online canfulfil this to some extent. Resistance to change A change of mindset from the waterfall to the agile model will have some challenges initially. Scrum team members should have the mindset to adjust the change in requirements as well as change in priorities.Invest some time in inculcating Agile mindset and principles along with Scrum values. Team stands still and thinks it is the waste of time A few team members may have the attitude that this meeting is just a waste of time and will therefore not pay any attention to the updates from other team members. Such team members are hindrances to the delivery of the project. Their concerns must be addressed,and mindset corrected on an immediate basis. Discussion on urgent scope change, defect or integration testing In some instances, team members may starta discussion on burning topics such as an escalation on high priority defects. However, even in such cases, the team should adhere to the guidelines for the scrum meeting and all other items right after scrum meeting. Long technical discussions in the daily scrum is the waste of time of other team members Long technical discussions should be strictly avoided in scrum meetings as this may not be relevant for other team members. Such discussions must be had in smaller forums at other times than the daily scrum meetings. How can we make the Daily Scrum more effective? For the Daily Scrum to be used effectively, teamsmust understand its importance and adhere to the timings and be punctual for this meeting. The team must always keep the scrum board up to date, have meetings around it, and let each team members update the board. If distributed teams are using the board (with online tools likeRally or Jira), then these must be maintained up to date before the daily scrums.  Teams must use the “parking lot” for any other technical discussion that need to be conducted outside of the daily scrum.Burn down charts and theSprint Goalmust always be updated on the scrum board. It is always effective to have a standup meeting rather than sitting down. Some teams use a game like passing the ball or calling the other team member’s name to keep theenergy going rather than taking the same sequence repeatedly. Conclusion For the Daily Scrum to be used effectively, teamsmust understand its importance and adhere to the timings and be punctual for this meeting. The team must always keep the scrum board up to date, have meetings around it, and let each team members update the board. If distributed 
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What is a Daily Scrum?

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All you need to know about Certified Scrum Product Owner

Scrum as a framework describes roles and rules that help and facilitate people in their own way. As each team consists of people of different skill sets, each project is different. Every company has its own policies, so there are no stringent rules for any type of team or project. It is a simple framework which gives us the boundary to manage complex and unpredictable projects.The best part of Scrum is that during the process, the customer can change the requirement which he wants to see in the final product and Scrum team should be flexible enough to embrace it.“A good team needs both Scrum Master and Product Owner to succeed.”Who is a Product Owner?Product Owner can be any person from the team who has a very strong knowledge of Program Management, Business skills, knows Agile, and Scrum Methodologies as well as has good communication skills to deal with the stakeholders. He/She is a person who makes sure that the team is aimed at the right goal, sets the correct target, and provides a vision for the product. Product Owner is clearly responsible for defining and prioritizing the product backlog which expresses the goal.Responsibilities of a Product OwnerLet's take a look at the responsibilities of the Product Owner:Product Backlog prioritization: Product Owner is clearly responsible for defining and prioritizing the product backlog which expresses the goal.Maximizing ROI: Responsible for ensuring that a project earns a good return on the investment (ROI) made in it.Providing a vision: Responsible for establishing and communicating the vision of the product. Questions could be, what is unique about our product? To whom are we selling? What about other competitors?Sharing a vision is important for motivating a team and creating a long-term connection between those who are developing the product and those using it. Not only Business Analysts, but the Product Owner writes the product backlog as well. Irrespective of who is writing the Product backlog, it is only the Product Owner who is responsible for the product backlog, backlog prioritization, and making sure that the PO delivers the quality products satisfying the customers’ needs.Addressing questions: Product Owner is responsible for answering the questions if the team has any queries related to a user story.For example- Why is this task on high priority? Why are we doing this user story? The Product Owner (PO) can also delegate the questions to someone else but he/she should make sure all the team queries are addressed.Providing boundaries: Vision and boundaries are competing aspects of the project. The vision shows what a product can be. The boundaries describe realities within which the vision must be realized. Boundaries are provided by the Product Owner and often comes in the form of constraints as:It needs to be completed by JulyIt can use only half the memory of the current versionReduce the per unit cost but with the same functionalityRuns at twice the speedThe role is all about giving enough scope to the team so that they feel motivated to solve difficult problems while working on a project. But one should refrain from providing the team with so many boundaries that it becomes impossible to solve the project problems.If this role appeals to you and you like to work as a Product Owner, then you can go for CSPO certification. Here is everything about the Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) that you need to know:What is a Certified Scrum Product Owner® ?CSPO®- Certified Scrum Product Owner®The Certified Scrum Product Owner® Certification from Scrum Alliance is a validation of your commitment to ongoing excellence in your Agile journey and makes you eligible to take on Product Owner responsibilities and lead successful projects. The Product Owner is a key member of the Scrum Team and holds the responsibility of leading the project strategically, collaborating with the customers and team on a daily basis, and managing the business value.Accreditation Body for CSPO®-Scrum AllianceTwo-day Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO®) training classes are delivered by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers® (CSTs®), which combines classroom study, group discussions, and hands-on practice exercises. The program will provide you with a deep understanding of Scrum from the perspective of a Product Owner, enabling you to be an effective customer to the Scrum team and at the same time maximizing ROI.Key Takeaways of the courseEnhance your skills as a Product OwnerLead Agile teams and motivate your team membersFacilitate smooth communication channel between the Stakeholders and the Scrum teamIncrease Scrum functionalityCreate practical and efficient plans and schedulesReduce risk by pre-planningImprove ROIEnsure maximum delivery.“Defining the boundaries is a debatable topic but it is important to be done by a Product Owner for the success of the product.”Is CSPO® = Future?As the popularity of SCRUM is increasing, there is a high demand in the market for professionals with the Scrum Experience. According to Glassdoor salary website, the salary of the Certified Product Owner ranges from $2,110 - $20,090 per year making an average of $114,130 annually.   CSPO® certification is advisable for individuals who are already in project or product management and now wish to adapt to the new methodology under Scrum. This is for the aspirants who want career growth in project management area with Scrum experience. CSPO® certification is very helpful in gaining the following:You can globally increase your career opportunities across all industry sectorsIt eases you to prove your achievement of core Scrum knowledgeYou will learn the basics of Scrum and the scope of the Product Owner roleEngage with Agile practitioners committed to continuous improvementAccess to local groups, networks, and resources available only to Scrum Alliance members.Who can be CSPO®?Following is the target audience who can take up CSPO® Certification:Project ManagersDevelopersProduct OwnersManagers-Software developmentArchitects-Software developmentProduct ManagersSoftware developersSoftware codersSoftware testersTeam Leads or Team Members who are interested in learning more about Scrum and leading Agile projects.Prerequisites to become a CSPO®The first step needed to become a CSPO®  is to get familiar with the Scrum framework. Then,  attend an in-person two-day (16 hour) CSPO® training course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST®) to become eligible for the CSPO® certification.Step-by-Step Process to becoming a CSPO®Step 1: Attend an in-person 2-day CSPO® training taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST®).Step 2: After successfully completing the course, you will be asked to accept the CSPO® License Agreement and complete your Scrum Alliance® membership profile.Step 3: Login to your Scrum Alliance® account and fill the details.Step 4: Congratulations! You are now CSPO® certified and your certificate is valid for two years.Step 5: Download your CSPO® certificate from Scrum Alliance®.Step 6: Certification renewal process: You can maintain your CSPO® certification by earning Scrum Education Units® (SEUs) and renewing your certification every two years. For more details on CSPO certification renewal process, check the Scrum Alliance® website.Benefits of CSPO® CertificationThe benefits of CSPO certification are so many. Mentioned below are the benefits explained with the statistics of different countries.Most Popular Job for Employees with a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO®) CertificationThough many certifications of SCRUM are getting popular nowadays. CSM® and CSPO® are one of them. The popular designation with Scrum certifications for India, US, and UK are mentioned below.CountryDesignationIndiaProduct Owner, Product Manager, Business Analyst, Senior Product Manager, Project Manager, Senior Business Analyst, Lead Business Analyst.USProduct Owner, Product Manager, CSM, Senior Product Manager, Project Manager, Senior Business Analyst, Software Development Manager, Agile CoachUKProduct Owner, Senior Product Manager, Senior Business Analyst, CSM, Product Manager, Software Development Manager, Senior Product ManagerCSPO® salary by countryThe survey conducted by the Payscale regarding the salary range of Product Owner in different countries is as given in the table below.CountryAverage PayRangeIndia (Rs)1,424,014708,139-2,670,022US ($)83K58K-117KUK (€)40K28K-64KCSPO® salary by experienceYearsIndia RsUS $UK €Less than 1 year-61K36K1-4 years887,23378K38K5-9 years1,195,642100K51K10-19 years2,014,207116K61K>20 years3,000,000127K75KMost popular Employers Name who prefer CSPO® certification.IndiaUSUKOracleAmazonTescoGE General ElectricFidelityPearsonHoneywellIBMCEBDellCapital One financial corpExperianAccentureNikeRegisters of ScotlandEY Ernst & YoungGECambridge University PressWhat next after CSPO® certification?The career path of a Scrum Product Owner® can vary according to the interests of an individual. It could be higher in a Product Management role.So, Are you ready to become a CSPO®?On a Scrum team, individuals are asked to look beyond their explicit role to find ways to help the team accomplish its goals.Product Owner is a very special role in SCRUM and can stand out as the CEO of the product. Certification CSPO® will be an added advantage if somebody is planning to seek this role. The Scrum Product Owner plays a key role in the Scrum team and leads the project strategically, collaborating with the users and team regularly to manage the business value.
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All you need to know about Certified Scrum Product...

Scrum as a framework describes roles and rules tha... Read More

How to Write A Well-Formed User Story

Bill Wake has given us the mnemonic INVEST which help us in writing a well-formed User Story.   Working with User Stories may be easy, but writing effective User Stories can be hard.Top challenges in Writing User Stories:Getting teams engaged.Adding too much or too little detailSplitting stories.            Reminder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Story writing workshop is important to understand the User Story in details and who are the users of that particular functionality and what the users do to use the product.Conduct a Story writing workshop Quarterly.Three tips for a successful story writing session are:Set the single objective for the meeting.      Objective should be MVP (Minimum Viable Product.) and engage the team in various discussions on top user Stories with the Product Owner.Have the right participants,       Scrum master, Product Owner and other stakeholders, Development team (Agile coach) (optional) may be User Roles.Ask the Product Owner about the top requirement/features to be delivered.In MVP, Brainstorm the requirements in detail which will help in a more innovative solution.Visualize the relationship between stories.User Story Mapping technique:Document each step in the process. Writing the sequence of steps needed to complete the user  story will make it clearer which may have been overlooked and easier to estimate. The chances of missing any functionality can be minimized.We can read the below functionality is Login and enter credentials, you may also click on “forgot password” and then submit.Another advantage of using mapping is that we can get the prioritized list of user stories as mentioned in the below diagram by lanes.SPIDR has come to our rescue. Beautiful concept given by Mike Cohn.How to Split a User Story: Biggest challenge…Spikes: -The user story is large and difficult to split when there is a spike activity involved in it. Spike doesn’t lead to any working functionality but it just for the knowledge enhancement for the team for example-Investigation of new technologies and investigating different tools etc.Paths: - The user story may be large because of the different paths associated with it. See the flowchart below to understand the example: In an e-commerce website, after selecting the items the payment method cart, the payment method can be visa card, mastercard or PayPal.So, it is recommended to split the user story based on the number of paths taken.It can be easily logically split into small stories as:As a I want to pay using credit card orAs a I want to pay using PayPalHere, there is no need to split using visa card or mastercard, as both come under the category of credit cards.Interfaces: - Split a story across multiple interfaces (mobile OS or browser) or data interfaces.Example: As a I want to display in Android device.As a I want to display in IOS device.As a I want to display in web browser.So, it can be split into 3 different logical user stories.Same is the case with the browser also. Split by different browsers example: Chrome, IE, Mozilla etc, because working in all browsers will take time and the efforts would be large.There are a few scenarios in which there are complex interfaces. A perfect example will be a sign-up form (with the details) but blank UI. It means the functionality is fully working with buttons and links but no color and proper UI/UX image. The UI can be built in subsequent sprints with a different user story. So, separating the UI work with functionality is also a good way to split the user story.There is a similar case when the user story says- As a import data from a file and note says (Must support: CSV, Excel and XML) Split each supported file format with different user story as-As a I want to import data from a CSV.As a I want to import data from an Excel.As a I want to import data from an XMLData: - Develop an initial story with a subset of data.Example: Suppose I need to buy a car.As a car buyer I want to know what is the best car in the market.To come up with this decision, we need to investigate many things example consider mileage, cost, big, small, comfort, features etc. as a separate user story.As a car buyer I want to buy a car with minimum cost.As a car buyer I want to buy a car with good mileage.So, a functionality is developed incrementally with different data inputs to buy a car.Rules: - Relax business rules or technology standards in an initial version of a story.Sometimes a user story is considered as large because of the different business rules or business standards.Example: I want to buy something online for my kid’s birthday party, at least 15 items.But website shows there is a limitation of 2 items per buyer.Relaxing a rule is sometimes followed by a user story which is a great way to split.For example, in a project, we develop some functionality (sort the employees with their skill set). This will be a database query and may take quite a few seconds depending on the load. So, there is a performance issue which is very important to consider. Better to split this as a separate user story.Add the right amount of detail to the user story. Not too much detail not very less…The right balance is required… But how to find out if the details are in correct proportion or not?The answer is “Retrospective”. Ask each team member if the detail that was given was enough to complete the user story in one iteration.JUST ENOUGH AND JUST IN TIMEThe reason is that if the information provided by the BA is not sufficient to complete the user story in one iteration, then there will a delay in the project delivery and customer will not be happy. Similarly, if the detail is too much then a lot of work in upfront needs to be done and the project delivery will be on time and with the exact functionality which was decided before the start of the sprint more like a waterfall modelA very important aspect while defining the user stories is about user roles. Avoid writing user stories from the perspective of a single user, identify different user roles who will interact with the software. Write stories for a single user.Create constraint cards or write tests to ensure the constraints are not violated.Keep the user interface out of the stories for as long as possible.Let us see some examples of user stories which look fine but can be written in a much effective way.1) As a Product Owner, I want to display my ratings on my webpage.Issue/Drawbacks- It is not only about “you”. Focus on End users and stakeholders.Correct: As a trainer, I want to display my ratings on my web page so that the visitor can choose wisely.2) Design Brochure LayoutDrawbacks: Not independent, No business value.Correct: As a restaurant owner, I want to design Brochure Layout so that the visitor gets order from it. “Identification of who what and Why are the key factors”So, the user story suggested format/template is:As a , I want so that .Few more examples:StoryDescriptionThe user can run the system on windows xp and LinuxGood user story, but still suggested to split into three(Windows,XP and Linux)The user can undo up to 50 commandsGood user storyAll graphing and charting are done by third party library.Not a good  user story as user will not care how graphing and charting are done.The system will use log4j to log all the messagesNot a good  user story and log4j should not be written as logging mechanism.The user can export data to XMLGood user storyA user can quickly master the systemNeither quickly and master should be defined.Needs to be changed
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How to Write A Well-Formed User Story

Bill Wake has given us the mnemonic INVEST which h... Read More

Does Scrum Apply To All Types Of Projects?

Scrum, undoubtedly, is one of the potentially viable approaches to managing software development projects. Scrum is just a development methodology which delineates the processes and practices that help in managing software development activities.However, before adopting any methodology one should ask these questions -Is the use of Scrum being forced upon you to fit into the project?Has the research been done to predict its success rate?Have you analyzed the risks associated with this adoption?What types of projects fall into the purview of Scrum framework?I worked in the IT industry for 9+ years on a wide variety of projects where the success rate of Scrum was very high. Hence, I got the impression that it works for all types of projects. Here is my experience with one of the projects that threw away all my misconceptions about Scrum and changed my opinion.My team worked on a huge, multi-dimensional project, that included distributed teams.Multiple versions of the product were already out in the market and customer satisfaction was running high. Then we decided to switch to Scrum for this particular project. As the software product was already out in the market, customer issues and complaints piled up that were assigned a priority level in order to be resolved.The team working on the newer version was also required to support the older versions as a part of the contract with the customer.  Therefore, the same team is working on new versions of the product including enhancements and new features while also addressing the customer issues and bug fixes for the older version of the software.Now, since the product owner had already groomed the backlog for the software release, whenever any new issue from the earlier versions was raised by the customer, we took them on priority. This leads to these issues being constantly added in the midst of the sprint to the backlog and the whole team started working on the issue, leaving their current work behind.As a result of these mid-Sprint changes-All of a sudden, team had to shift their focus.No planning was done for this issue while grooming.Unplanned work being added to the backlogDelay in creating and delivering current project deliverables.Then comes the conundrum -Are we really using Scrum the right way? Is our project really getting any benefit by using Scrum?The answer is probably NOT. But the management still wouldn’t agree and will continue to force the use of Scrum for this project.Now, let us discuss the below scenarios.1) Sometimes there were too many issues from the earlier versions but the other times too few issues (but of high priority) were thereIn these cases, we need to immediately switch our focus to a high-priority issue and provide a possible solution to the customer as early as possible. The current sprint needs to be cancelled and pending tasks need to be transferred to the next sprint.2) Sometimes no issues at all.Continue the sprint.3) Sometimes issues need to be addressed but the current project is also in a critical stage.An example is the build failure of the current project and where testers weren’t able to continue the testing. This becomes a critical condition for any project which needs to be addressed and planned for.Because of this critical situation, management switched its stance and agreed to abandon Scrum for this project as it stalled both the projects and instead used the waterfall model.Few suggestions to avoid this scenario -Make two separate teams - one for handling the issues of earlier versions and one for the current project sprintsSlowly and steadily we should stop giving the support to the earlier versions (End of life) and this should be clearly communicated to the customer in advance so that they can also prepare themselves. It should be coded in the contract at the time of signing. However, this is not always possible due to complex nature of projects that run big manufacturing and production plants which may adversely affect their productivity/throughput.The above two solutions can be addressed in the following ways:Plan and allocate budget to provide support to the earlier versions of the product instead of hiring the new team. In case of no issues, the team can continue to work on the current project.For such projects, Scrum and Kanban both methodologies should be used.Conclusion:In my opinion, before adopting any methodology we should always deep dive into it and understand its success rate in different scenarios of the project. We should not impose any methodology on any project by giving justification that it is already used by other projects.Also, start off with small (maybe internal) projects having few sprints and few team members just to predict the success rate of the methodologies and frameworks.“It’s better to fail first than at the end”.So, for the projects where there is high unpredictability (don’t know when new tasks will come), chances are there that Scrum may not work; so it is better to use Kanban in those situations.Inappropriate application of Scrum can lead to its doom – Scrum is not a prescriptive method, but a suggestive approach to software development. So, the way it is implemented makes all the difference.
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Does Scrum Apply To All Types Of Projects?

Scrum, undoubtedly, is one of the potentially viab... Read More