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A Layman’s Guide to Agile & Scrum1

A Layman's Guide to Agile & Scrum

By : Anirudh Zala

If you are remotely associated with IT then you must have heard terms like Agile and Scrum. Today we are going to uncover what they are. This will help you to have a better understanding of both the terms and the context in which they are used. Here, we have provided definitions in a visualized way so that you can grasp these concepts in a better way.

What is Agile?

What is Agile

Agile offers flexibility to explore around unknown constraints to reach the destination.

Agile principle

In the above illustration, you can see how some vehicles are blocked due to a fallen tree (road block). They are stuck there because it’s the only path that the map is showing and also they are used to it. On the other hand, you can see how other vehicles are taking another road to explore the alternate route and to determine whether it merges ahead to the original path or not (to reach the destination or to achieve the goal). Here, the vehicles taking route 2 are applying the Agile principle.

What is Being Agile?

What is Being Agile

What is an Empirical Process?

What is an Empirical Process

What is the Agile Manifesto?

The Agile movement is driven by the Agile Manifesto as shown below

What is the Agile Manifesto

Source

Agile vs. Waterfall

Let’s try to understand the differences between Agile and Waterfall.

Agile vs Waterfall

What is Scrum Framework?

Scrum is a framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.

Scrum can easily be remembered using 35353 style i.e 3 Agile values, 5 Scrum values, 3 Scrum roles, 5 Scrum ceremonies/events, and 3 Scrum artifacts as shown below diagram.

Scrum Framework

5 Scrum Values

Scrum Guide mentions about 5 Scrum values based on which a team’s success depends. They are commitment, courage, focus, openness, and respect.

Courage

The courage value helps the Scrum team feel safe enough to say no or to seek help as well as to try new things. Whenever Agile teams feel that their success is hampered, they must be brave enough to question the status quo.

Commitment

This value suggests that teams should only agree to take on those tasks that they think they can complete, to avoid over-commitment. This value is essential to building an Agile mindset. Since scrum teams are expected to work as a single unit, they should make sure they are going to follow up on what they say about their deliverables. For the same, they should trust each other. It is also desirable that team members should ask whenever they are not sure.

Focus

The scrum team should remain focused from start to finish of the sprint by limiting their work-in-progress items (WIP). This is a very important skill to develop.

Openness Allows Scrum Teams to Be Agile

With respect to Courage, Scrum teams should be open to trying new ideas and opportunities to learn. They should also be honest in seeking help from anywhere.

Respect Allows Scrum Teams to Be Agile

Agile teams know their strengths and weaknesses, hence they should respect all team members regardless of the roles each member is playing.

Each member should respect other team members’ ideas and opinions with respect to achieving sprint goals no matter what differences they have.

3 Scrum Roles

 

Product Owner

Product Owner

The Development Team

Development_Team

Scrum Master

Scrum Master

5 Scrum Events

 

Sprint Planning

Sprint Planning

Sprint

Sprint_and_why_time

Daily Scrum

Daily Scrum

Sprint Review

Sprint_Review

Sprint Retrospective

Sprint_Retrospective

3 Scrum Artifacts

3 Scrum Artifacts

Other Definitions

Definition_Of_Done_and_Velocity
Product Backlog Refinement

If you have reached here after reading the entire guide then I am sure that Agile & Scrum are no longer alien terms to you. Here, we have explained these complex concepts in the easiest of manners. The detailed and orderly graphics make it easy for you to understand them in a quick and easy manner. Having a basic understanding of these concepts can help you greatly to understand how teams in the IT field operate and manage projects.

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