Lesson 03: What is Scrum?
So, we’ve talked about the meaning of Agile, and now we can talk about Scrum, and its relationship with the Agile concept.
- 00:05.500 – Welcome back In the previous lesson we talked about agile concept, what it means to be agile which is about having an adaptive development approach and that’s where we go on with the project, we create increments and use them to receive feedback.
- 00:20.500 – And with that feedback we will understand our environment and adapt.
- 00:26.500 – That’s instead of predicting everything which is the other approach.
- 00:31.500 – In order to be agile, in order to have an adaptive development system, we need to have a methodology or framework.
- 00:41.500 – We need know how to do that, because agile itself is only a concept, it’s very abstract.
- 00:48.500 – There are many different frameworks and methodologies for that including these.
- 00:53.500 – These are except for Kanban all the first generation agile systems.
- 01:00.500 – XP used to be the most famous one and probably the most influential one, that’s what really made agile what we know now a days.
- 01:12.500 – Most people don’t know about the XP now a days, but it’s had its impact in all of us and it stays there forever probably.
- 01:22.500 – But anyway XP is mainly about the development layer, and it’s really focused on practices and techniques, things like test driven development, pair programming, refactoring. Those things where the key parts of XP and the most important thing was that XP created a completely integrated set of those practices, something that is very effective, it’s more than having isolated practices.
- 01:55.500 – Some people now a days believe that Scrum was originally created to be a management layer above XP, because XP didn’t have any of those things.
- 02:07.500 – and that also why scrum doesn’t have any techniques and practices in it. But that’s only some people.
- 02:14.500 – The other thing is DSDM. DSDM is also one of the first ones and, by the way if you know the agile manifesto we won’t go through the manifesto in this course, but if you know about that people who created these the first four, and some other people who were those got to getter and created the agile manifesto and agile principles. all of them So DSDM is another methodology is very complete and includes everything, of many different roles and responsibilities, many different types of artifacts, many different processes and it really reminds you of prince 2, in case you know about prince 2, it’s a project management methodology.
- 03:06.500 – DSDM was created for more complex projects, larger projects with multiple teams, it’s still maintained. There are new versions of DSDM, and they have certification programs as well.
- 03:19.500 – Agile PM for example. Agile project management is a certification program based on DSDM, not based on scrum.
- 03:28.500 – The other thing that used to exist in the past was Crystal, which is a concept and a family of different methods each of them created for a certain type of project based on the complexity of it’s environment and size of project and so on.
- 03:47.500 – it was a very interesting concept, but it didn’t grow really.
- 03:53.500 – So practically all of them retired, except for scrum.
- 03:57.500 – and it continued up until now, it grew and a little bit after that we also had this concept of Kanban development which is a little bit different from the rest of them, because all of them have some form of iterations like the sprint in the scrum but Kanban development doesn’t have those iterations, and instead it has a continues flow of work which seems better to some people but on the other hand iterations really create that focus and adds more discipline to what we do, it’s very helpful.
- 04:38.500 – Although, in the recent changes to scrum the way they changed what it means to have sprint and the way you manage your sprint backlog and what it means to have an increment, it’s somehow means, it’s as if we don’t really have sprints, they wont to be as flexible as possible, they don’t want to be seen as something old fashioned in scrum, but anyway that’s different topic.
- 05:05.500 – Alright so, these are the different ways of being agile and scrum is one of them.
- 05:11.500 – Now if you think you may want to know about scrum, the first one is important when we talk about scrum, you should never mention the word methodology, they really hate it.
- 05:25.500 – They want to be referred to as a framework.
- 05:28.500 – Now if you ask them, they will like explain a lot of things on a difference between a methodology and a framework but in reality there is no clear definition and distinction between the two of them.
- 05:42.500 – The difference is more matter of degree not a matter of type or kind.
- 05:49.500 – Usually we refer to bigger things as methodologies and to smaller minimal things as frameworks.
- 05:57.500 – Frameworks are usually things that only explain the bare minimum that you must have and then you will add extra things to make it practical but methodologies also explain the optional things that you may want to have in your system plus, the things that you may want to add to them.
- 06:19.500 – Many people in the scrum community say that a methodology is prescriptive but a framework is not, but I really really don’t understand them, because scrum itself is prescriptive tells you what to do, that’s what it means.
- 06:33.500 – It doesn’t tell you as much as you have in DSDM for example which is a methodology or prince 2 which is a methodology, but it still tells you.
- 06:42.500 – it tells you that for example your sprint must be time boxed it’s telling you don’t extend the duration of the sprint. that’s prescription.
- 06:52.500 – But anyway, you need to know that if you say that scrum is a really good methodology, there will be some people who will just … be careful.
- 07:04.500 – Alright, the other thing some people refer to scrum as a process or technique but – scrum wants to be known as a wrapper for processes and techniques.
- 07:15.500 – Now there are lots of things to talk about here one of them is techniques and practices that you use, you may want to use, for example you may want to use pair programming or test driven development or other things it’s up to you, it’s up to the type of project you have, type of people you have in project and you can add it to your scrum project, that’s ok.
- 07:37.500 – Scrum doesn’t have any of those things, you may want to have planning poker, you may want to use user stories, story points none of these things are included in scrum.
- 07:50.500 – Scrum framework is just a bare minimum and it’s something you can use to form your project, when you add other things, when you add for example planning poker scrum helps you know where to use it, when to use it and how to combine with other things that’s a role of scrum.
- 08:15.500 – So it’s not a technique it’s a wrapper for techniques, when it comes to process again some of you who are more serious about these concepts, management concepts you may say that, well the whole scrum is a process or a set of processes were we talk about sprints going through them and so on, yeah, well process is practically one of those curse words, maybe .. this community some how they don’t really like it, like the way they don’t like methodology. each community has some taboos that’s a reality.
- 08:54.500 – Ok. There are two important bases for scrum one of them is what scrum explains as Empiricism, or previously they used to call it Empirical process control theory and this Empirical process control theory is alternative to defined process control theory.
- 09:18.500 – The defined process control theory is what I told you about in predictive approach that’s where you define everything upfront, almost not exactly.
- 09:28.500 – But the Empirical process is the one and they explain as an adaptive system that’s where you go on observe your environment and adapt to it based on empiricism.
- 09:43.500 – That what it means, so practically it means that scrum uses an adaptive system.
- 09:49.500 – but for those of you who want to take the exam you must know that the Empiricism is one of those important words for scrum.
- 09:58.500 – The other thing is a lean, the lean concept.
- 10:04.500 – It’s a concept started in manufacturing and it’s about minimizing waste, increasing value and so on.
- 10:13.500 – increasing quality of course, some people say that agile is lean in the projects, that’s a lean version suited for projects.
- 10:29.500 – but anyway scrum is influenced a lot by lean according to scrum.
- 10:36.500 – OK. There are two other characteristics, remember this so we have sprints and each sprint has a duration which is fixed later on I will tell you that those concept of having fixed durations, it’s called time boxing. ok but it’s not important now.
- 10:57.500 – So each sprint is for example a time box of two weeks, or three weeks, or four weeks we go on with the project and during the sprint we create newer version of our increments, newer version of product which we call increments.
- 11:14.500 – and each increment has more features It’s about the product as a whole and also subsets of the product, so for example you have .. I could think of examples before happened it’s still not too late, I can do it for example, you have CRM in your application, you want to have a CRM (customer relationship management) one way is to create all the features and then add them to your product in one go, in a big bang and the other is to add it gradually, you will first create a core features that you need for your CRM you add it there, you’ll see how it works, what other things you need and then you will add them in the next version and again the next version. So instead of having one big bang product you will have multiple increments of the product; each increment adds more to the previous one.
- 12:17.500 – This is called incremental delivery.
- 12:22.500 – which is characteristic we have in all agile systems, incremental delivery instead of big bang delivery; one at the end or one very infrequently.
- 12:34.500 – now when you think about it we don’t know what we are going to create in the future sprints because it’s an adaptive system, we want to create our increments, show them to the customer and end-users, receive feedback and use it to find our way, right?
- 12:53.500 – if we know everything upfront then it’s not an adaptive anymore.
- 12:57.500 – and therefore when we don’t know what we are going to create in for example five or six sprints from now we cannot design it right now, because it doesn’t exist, we don’t know the item.
- 13:08.500 – So what happens is that instead of like what we do in predictive projects where we go step by step we specify everything and then we go and design everything and then we build in everything and then integrate and so on we will repeat these development processes, these are called development process, we will repeat them for each item separately.
- 13:33.500 – when ever want to add an item, in each sprint we are working maybe for example on 20 items for each of them we will specify it, design it, build it, integrate it, test it and so on.
- 13:48.500 – instead of doing all of that upfront therefore what it means, is that we are repeating our development processes, we are repeating the designing activities, the specification activities, the integration we have continues integration it is repeated all the time.
- 14:09.500 – That’s called iterative development we have iterations where we repeat things.
- 14:14.500 – So these two are the two common characteristics of all agile systems including scrum; iterative development and incremental delivery Ok, so that was it these first three lessons were kind of introduction, the first one we had an over view of scrum, to use it as a foundation for the other lessons the real lessons, in the second lesson we talked about the concept of agile development which is very important to remember all the time, it helps you answer a lot of questions in your projects.
- 14:53.500 – and this lesson the third one was about a few things about scrum what it means to have scrum project.
- 15:02.500 – From now on we are going to go through the details in the next lesson we start by talking about scrum events.
We’ll start going into the details of the Scrum framework from the next lesson. We’ll start by talking about the Scrum events.
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