Scrum Rules of the Game in 2001

Scrum : an iterative, incremental process for developing software in chaotic environments. Scrum consists of a series of 30 day sprints, each sprint producing an executable. Between sprints, all interested parties evaluate progress and reevaluate technical and business requirements. Work is reestablished and the team enters into another sprint.

The pulse of Scrum is the key to its success … management determines what should be done prior to every sprint, their determination influenced by prior deliverables and requirements. During the sprint, the team is left alone and produces the best software possible : let in chaos, keep out chaos, let in chaos, keep out chaos, let in chaos, keep out chaos … etc.

Backlog : a prioritized list of all work to be completed prior to releasing a product:

  • Only one person maintains and prioritizes the backlog list.
  • Any interested party can request that backlog be put on the list.

Between sprints, all involved parties and the engineering team meet to determine which work can be completed in the next sprint, and what the executable will be.

Sprint : a short burst of work lasting approximately 30 days during which an executable and other deliverables are built by an engineering team, as indicated by the assigned backlog.

  • A sprint lasts no more than 30 days.
  • A sprint is undertaken by a cross functional team consisting of no more than 9 members.
  • Every sprint has a specific goal.
  • An executable demonstrating the goal will be completed by the team during the sprint.
  • The sprint team has final say in estimating and determining what they can accomplish during the sprint.
  • Once the sprint is underway, new backlog cannot be added to the sprint except that, if the scrum master determines that a new backlog item will enhance the viability of the product, is in alignment with the sprint, builds on the sprint’s executable, and can be completed within the sprint’s time frame, the backlog item can be added. Examples are building a demonstration of the executable for a specific purpose, such as a trade show or prospect.
  • If external forces determine that the sprint is working on the wrong thing, a sprint can be halted and restarted with new backlog and purpose.

Scrum Meeting : A short daily meeting where the team shares status.

  • During the sprint, the team conducts daily scrum meetings.
  • The meetings are held in the same place at the same time every work day.
  • The meetings don’t last for more than 30 minutes.
  • A scrum master is appointed.
  • The scrum master is responsible for asking every team member the following three questions:
    1. What have you done since the last scrum meeting?
    2. What has impeded your work?
    3. What do you plan on doing between now and the next scrum meeting?
  • Conversation is restricted to the team members answering the above questions.
  • Meetings can be established for immediately after the scrum meeting based on answers to the above questions.
  • The scrum master is responsible for making decisions immediately, if required to remove impediments to progress.
  • The scrum master is responsible for noting impediments that must be resolved external to the meeting and causing them to be removed.
Terms: Scrum
scrum guide


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