Don’t be a Scrumbut

December 6, 2013
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Do you really use Scrum, do you follow Scrum as it is or you use Scrum, but you do a few things differently?

This is a new term which has made its entry in the past few years. If you ask anyone if they have ever used scrum for their organization or project. You will hear the response, yes, we use scrum, But we don’t have Daily Stand up as every team member is not available all days. Or let’s say this sprint was 2 week and the next sprint was for 5 weeks.

Or I hear, that the development team reports its status to the Scrum Master. Or in your retrospective, you are more worried about who rather than what, went wrong.

Scrumbut means, one who uses the word “but” when answering the question “Do you do Scrum?”

You will not be a scrumbut, if you pass this 12 point Scrum test:

1. Use short iterations; fix the sprint size to two to four weeks

2. Appoint a Scrum Master who will remove impediments

3. Have an ordered sprint backlog, before the sprint which will include 100% inventory of all work: be it feature, defects and all tasks

4. make sure that the entire team is jointly accountable for the success of the project.

5. Have a Sprint Planning workshop where the team commits to sprint goals and fine-grain features and get ready to start the sprint

6. Fine-grain features are broken into tiny tasks. If any task estimates are over 4 hours, break them down further.

7. Do Daily scrum meetings: and answer the questions what did you do, what are you going to do, what may be blocking you from completing your work and what do you need from other team members

8. Do not do anything that is not estimated and is not in the sprint backlog

9. Establish the Done Criteria, publish it to the team and Meet the Done Criteria for each story and the Sprint.

10. Track Sprint Backlog by using Burn-down chart or the Burn-up chart on a daily basis

11. Keep the product owner in the loop at all times.

12. Hold Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective at the end of each sprint and work on what you can improve rather than fault finding.

Scrumbuts are the reasons why many scrum teams cannot take the full benefits of product development using Scrum.

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