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Scrum Jump Start

A talk by Tray Williams

About the Talk

January 30, 2012 1:00 PM

444 Appleyard Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32304-2815

444 Appleyard Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32304-2815

The traditional waterfall methodology often requires extensive meetings to produce very detailed software requirements at the beginning of a project. Those requirements are then set in stone and changes to those requirements are controlled very tightly throughout the project. This approach is based on the incorrect assumption that the project sponsor and stakeholders know exactly what they want up front. There is little to no room for risks such as missing requirements or changes in business process. Project managers try to mitigate these risks by requiring overtime, removing functionality, reducing testing, or extending the timeline. The development team is under constant pressure to plan detailed tasks months in advance and then adhere to those plans. The development team may deliver the project on time but at what cost? The team may become burned out. The project quality may suffer due to inadequate testing. After months of development, the project is finally delivered to the specifications that were detailed in the beginning of the project. Did the project sponsor get exactly what he wanted? Were there time and cost overruns? Did the development team’s company maintain a good reputation?

Developing projects using an agile methodology such as Scrum allows us to develop projects in an iterative and incremental fashion. The priority is placed on delivering high quality software in a short period of time instead of long requirements documents that are set in stone. Scrum provides opportunities every two weeks to a month to inspect and adapt both the product being developed and the process used to develop that product.

This class is designed to provide you with a solid understanding of the Scrum fundamentals. It is broken up into five sections, starting with an overview of the Scrum process that includes the reasons for using Scrum. The overview also defines the roles, meetings, and artifacts within the Scrum process. The second Section provides greater detail on the planning processes including Release and Sprint planning. User Stories and Estimation are covered in the third and fourth sections of the class. These sections also include exercises designed to reinforce the concepts. Finally, the workshop will cover the opportunities within the Scrum process to review both the product and the development process.

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