FAQ on Agile and Scrum

What is Agile?

Agile is a set of principles for software development under which requirements and solutions evolve through the collaborative effort of self-organizing and cross-functional teams.

How does Agile work?

Agile encourages adaptive planning, evolutionary development, early delivery, continuous improvement, and encourages flexible responses to change.

What is Scrum?

Scrum is an Agile framework that helps teams work together, encouraging physical co-location or close online collaboration of all team roles, and daily face-to-face communication among all team members and disciplines involved.

How is Scrum different from Agile?

Scrum is a framework that is used to implement Agile development. So while Agile is the set of principles, Scrum is the process to implement those principles.

What are the key roles in a Scrum team?

The key roles in a Scrum team are the Product Owner, Scrum Master, and the Development Team.

What is a Product Owner's responsibility?

The Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product resulting from the work of the Development Team. They manage the Product Backlog and work with the team to ensure the best possible job is done to delight the customer.

Recommended: Guide for New Product Owners

What is the Scrum Master's role?

The Scrum Master is responsible for promoting and supporting Scrum by helping everyone understand Scrum theory, practices, rules, and values. They also help remove obstacles that the development team might be facing.

Who are part of the Development Team?

The Development Team is a group of professionals who do the work of delivering a potentially releasable increment of "Done" product at the end of each Sprint.

What is a Sprint?

A Sprint is a set period of time during which specific work has to be completed and made ready for review.

What is Sprint Planning?

Sprint Planning is an event in Scrum that defines what can be delivered in the upcoming sprint and how the work needed to deliver that will be achieved.

What happens in a Daily Stand-Up?

During the Daily Stand-Up, each team member provides a quick update and covers what they did yesterday, what they plan to do today, and identifies any impediments to progress.

What is a Sprint Review?

A Sprint Review is held at the end of the Sprint to inspect the Increment and adapt the Product Backlog if needed.

What is a Sprint Retrospective?

The Sprint Retrospective is an opportunity for the Scrum Team to inspect itself and create a plan for improvements to be enacted during the next Sprint.

What is Scrum Poker?

Scrum Poker is an estimation technique used by Agile teams to estimate the effort or relative size of development goals.

How does Scrum Poker work?

In Scrum Poker, team members make estimates by playing numbered cards face-down on the table, instead of speaking them aloud, to avoid cognitive bias.

Can you play Scrum Poker online?

Yes, you can easily play online Scrum Poker and have your team members to participate to make estimates. It is free and you don't need to register, just go to my online scrum poker and get started with your online poker planning.

What are User Stories?

User Stories are short, simple descriptions of a feature told from the perspective of the person who desires the new capability, usually a user or customer of the system.

How to write a User Story?

A User Story is typically written in the following format: As a (type of user), I want (some goal), so that (some reason/ value).

What is a Product Backlog?

The Product Backlog is an ordered list of everything that is known to be needed in the product and is the single source of requirements for any changes to be made to the product.

What is a Sprint Backlog?

The Sprint Backlog is the set of Product Backlog items selected for the Sprint, plus a plan for delivering the product increment and realizing the sprint goal.

What is the Definition of Done?

The Definition of Done is a shared understanding within the Scrum Team on what it means for work to be complete, to ensure transparency.

What is Velocity in Scrum?

Velocity is a measure of the amount of work a Team can tackle during a single Sprint and is the key metric in Scrum.

How is Velocity calculated?

Velocity is calculated by summing the estimates of the User Stories, Product Backlog Item, or other pieces of work completed in a Sprint.

What is Burndown Chart?

A Burndown Chart shows the actual and estimated amount of work to be done in a Sprint.

How are obstacles handled in Scrum?

The Scrum Master is responsible for removing obstacles, or impediments, that obstruct a team’s pursuit of its sprint goals.

Can Scrum methodology be used for non-software projects?

Yes, while Scrum was initially designed for managing and developing products, it has been widely used in fields like marketing, operations, and other areas.

What is a Spike in Scrum?

A Spike is a story that cannot be estimated until a development team runs a time-boxed investigation.

What is Scrum of Scrums?

Scrum of Scrums is a scaled agile technique that offers a method of synchronizing work across teams in larger agile organizations.

How often are Scrum of Scrums meetings held?

Scrum of Scrums meetings are usually held daily, or as often as your organization's daily Scrum meeting.

What is a Scrum Board?

A Scrum Board is a tool used by Scrum Teams to visualize the work planned for the current Sprint and track its progress.

What are the components of a Scrum Board?

A Scrum Board typically contains columns like "To Do," "In Progress," and "Done."

What is an Epic in Scrum?

An Epic is a large user story that needs to be broken down into smaller stories, or story points.

What are Agile principles?

Agile principles are the key insights that highlight Agile’s effectiveness. They include customer satisfaction, welcome changes, frequent delivery, collaboration, motivation, face-to-face conversation, working software, sustainable development, technical excellence, simplicity, self-organizing teams, and reflecting on how to become more effective.

What is a Timebox?

A Timebox is a previously agreed period of time during which a person or a team works steadily towards completion of some goal.

What is the duration of a Sprint?

The duration of a Sprint is typically 2 weeks, but it can be as short as one week or as long as one month.

Who attends the Daily Scrum?

The Daily Scrum is an internal meeting for the Development Team.

What is Technical Debt?

Technical Debt is the implied cost of rework for uncompleted changes to be added to the system in the future.

What is a Cross-Functional Team?

A Cross-Functional Team includes members with different kinds of expertise and, as a unit, is self-sufficient to deliver the product increment.

What is Test-Driven Development (TDD)?

TDD is a software development process that relies on the repetition of a very short development cycle: requirements are turned into very specific test cases, then the code is improved to pass the new tests.

What is Behavior-Driven Development (BDD)?

BDD is a methodology for developing software through continuous example-based communication between developers, quality assurance analysts, stakeholders, and other parties involved in the project.

What is Extreme Programming (XP)?

XP is a type of Agile software development framework that aims to produce higher quality software, and higher quality of life for the development team.

How does Planning Poker aid in Estimation?

Planning Poker is an effective method of making estimations because it avoids anchoring, where the first number spoken aloud sets a precedent for subsequent estimates.

What is the role of the Scrum Master during the Sprint?

The Scrum Master serves to remove any impediments that are obstructing the development team from achieving its sprint goals.

What happens during the Sprint Review?

During the Sprint Review, the Scrum Team and stakeholders collaborate about what was done in the Sprint and adjust the Product Backlog if needed.

How does a Sprint Retrospective aid in Continuous Improvement?

The Sprint Retrospective allows the team to inspect itself and create a plan for improvements to be enacted during the next Sprint, fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

What is Pair Programming?

Pair Programming is an agile software development technique in which two programmers work together at one workstation.

What is a Story Map?

A Story Map is a visual exercise that helps Product Owners, developers, and designers understand the user’s journey through the product.

What is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?

An MVP is a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers and to provide feedback for future product development.

What is Lean Software Development?

Lean Software Development is an iterative agile methodology originally developed by Mary and Tom Poppendieck. It focuses on delivering high-quality software in a timely manner.

What is the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)?

SAFe is a set of organization and workflow patterns intended to guide enterprises in scaling lean and agile practices.

What is Feature-Driven Development (FDD)?

FDD is an iterative and incremental software development process driven from a client-valued functionality (feature) perspective.

What is a Standup Meeting?

A Standup Meeting is a short organizational meeting to ensure that everyone on the team is aligned with what’s been done and what needs to be done.

What is the difference between Waterfall and Agile methodologies?

In Waterfall, each phase must be completed before the next phase can begin, whereas in Agile, the phases overlap.

What is Continuous Integration?

Continuous Integration is a development practice where developers integrate code into a shared repository frequently, preferably several times a day.

What is Continuous Delivery?

Continuous Delivery is a software development discipline where you build software in such a way that it can be released to production at any time.

What is Continuous Deployment?

Continuous Deployment is a software development practice where code changes are automatically tested and prepared for a release to production.

What is DevOps?

DevOps is a set of practices that automates the processes between software development and IT teams, allowing them to build, test, and release software more rapidly and reliably.

What is Kanban?

Kanban is a popular framework used to implement agile software development. It requires real-time communication of capacity and full transparency of work.

What is the main difference between Scrum and Kanban?

While Scrum is based on sprints, Kanban is based on continuous flow and minimizing cycle time.

What is Lean Manufacturing?

Lean Manufacturing or Lean Production, often simply "lean," is a systematic method for the elimination of waste within a manufacturing process.

What are the 12 Principles of Agile?

The 12 Principles of Agile are customer satisfaction, welcome changes, frequent delivery, collaboration, motivation, face-to-face conversation, working software, sustainable development, technical excellence, simplicity, self-organizing teams, and reflecting on how to become more effective.

What is the Agile Manifesto?

The Agile Manifesto contains four key values: Individuals and Interactions over processes and tools, Working Software over comprehensive documentation, Customer Collaboration over contract negotiation, and Responding to Change over following a plan. You can find the Agile manifesto at agilemanifesto.org.

What is a Theme in Agile?

In agile software development, a Theme is a collection of user stories.

What is the difference between a Theme and an Epic?

While a theme is a collection of user stories, an epic is a larger body of work that can be broken down into a number of smaller stories.

What is the purpose of a Sprint Zero?

Sprint Zero is used exclusively for planning the first Sprint and no work product is delivered at the end of Sprint Zero.

What is Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD)?

ATDD is a development methodology which promotes good collaboration between the business and technology group.

What is Refactoring?

Refactoring is the process of restructuring existing computer code without changing its external behavior.

What is Scrumban?

Scrumban is an Agile management methodology that is a hybrid of Scrum and Kanban.

What is velocity in Agile?

Velocity in Agile is a measure of the amount of work a Team can tackle during a single Sprint.

What is burn-down chart in Scrum?

A burn-down chart is a graphical representation of work left to do versus time.

What is the difference between Product Backlog and Sprint Backlog?

The Product Backlog is a list of the new features, changes to existing features, bug fixes, infrastructure changes or other activities that a team may deliver to achieve a specific outcome. The Sprint Backlog is a list of tasks identified by the Scrum team to be completed during the Scrum sprint.

What are the key responsibilities of a Product Owner?

The key responsibilities of a Product Owner include managing the Product Backlog, ensuring that the team has items to work on for their next Sprint, and working with stakeholders to determine the features and functionality to be added to the product.

What does a Scrum Master do?

The Scrum Master serves the team by removing impediments to their progress, mentoring them in Scrum practices, facilitating meetings, and helping them maintain their Scrum artifacts.

What is the role of the Development Team in Scrum?

The Development Team's role in Scrum is to deliver potentially shippable increments of software at the end of each Sprint.

What is Agile Coaching?

Agile Coaching is the practice of helping individuals and teams adopt and improve Agile methods and practice.

What is the purpose of a Definition of Done?

The Definition of Done provides a shared understanding of what it means for work to be complete and ensures that everyone on the Team knows exactly what is expected of everything the team delivers.

What is the difference between Scrum and Agile?

Scrum is a specific implementation of Agile. Agile is a broad spectrum, a mindset, and a philosophy, while Scrum is a specific methodology for how one can implement the philosophy.

What are the principles behind the Agile Manifesto?

The principles behind the Agile Manifesto include satisfying the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software, welcoming changing requirements, delivering working software frequently, collaborating with customers, trusting individuals to get the job done, face-to-face communication, working software as the primary measure of progress, sustainable development, maintaining technical excellence, simplicity, self-organizing teams, and reflecting on how to become more effective.

What are some popular Agile methodologies?

Some popular Agile methodologies include Scrum, Kanban, Lean (software development), Extreme Programming (XP), and Feature-Driven Development (FDD).

What are the roles in a Scrum team?

The roles in a Scrum team are the Product Owner, the Development Team, and the Scrum Master.

What is "Shift Left" in Agile?

"Shift Left" refers to a practice in software development where teams focus on quality, work on problem prevention instead of detection, and begin testing earlier than ever before.

What is a Sprint Backlog?

A Sprint Backlog is the set of items from the Product Backlog that a Team commits to completing in a Sprint.

What is the purpose of a Sprint Retrospective?

The purpose of a Sprint Retrospective is to provide an opportunity for the Scrum Team to inspect and adapt their process.

What is Burndown Chart?

A Burndown Chart is a graphical representation of the work left to do in the Sprint Backlog against time.

What are Agile metrics?

Agile metrics are a way of measuring and monitoring how well a team is doing in their adoption of Agile practices.

What are some common Agile metrics?

Some common Agile metrics include Velocity, Burndown Charts, Burnup Charts, Cumulative Flow Diagrams (CFD), and Cycle Time.

What is SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework)?

The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is a set of organization and workflow patterns for implementing Agile practices at enterprise scale.

What is LeSS (Large Scale Scrum)?

Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS) is a product development framework that extends Scrum with scaling rules and guidelines without losing the original purposes of Scrum.

What is Nexus?

Nexus is a framework consisting of roles, events, and artifacts that bind and weave together the work of approximately three to nine Scrum Teams working on a single product backlog to build an Integrated Increment.

What are some Scrum anti-patterns?

Some common Scrum anti-patterns include the Product Owner not being available, the Scrum Master acting as the team manager, the team not sitting together, the team overcommitting in Sprint Planning, and the team treating Sprints as mini Waterfalls.

What is ScrumBut?

ScrumBut is a term referring to a situation where a team claims to be doing Scrum, but is actually making modifications to the framework and not following it as designed.

What are some common reasons for Agile transformation failure?

Common reasons for Agile transformation failure include a lack of executive sponsorship, culture at odds with core Agile values, lack of training and education, insufficient change management, and low tolerance for failure.

What is the role of QA in Scrum?

In Scrum, QA responsibilities include designing and executing test cases, reviewing and evaluating features before release, and confirming that features meet the requirements defined in User Stories.

How does Scrum deal with scope creep?

Scrum deals with scope creep by developing and delivering products in small, usable increments and by using a prioritized Product Backlog. Changes are added to the Product Backlog and then prioritized and pulled into upcoming Sprints.

How does Scrum improve product quality?

Scrum improves product quality by promoting early and frequent testing, close collaboration between developers and stakeholders, use of incremental development, and allowing for quick response to changes.

How can an Agile/Scrum Coach help a team?

An Agile/Scrum Coach can help a team understand the Agile mindset and Scrum practices, remove impediments to the team's progress, and help the team improve their processes and performance.

What are some signs of a mature Agile team?

Signs of a mature Agile team include self-organization, ability to handle changes smoothly, consistent delivery of high-quality software, and continuous improvement.

How do Agile and Traditional Project Management differ?

Agile and Traditional Project Management differ primarily in their approach to quality and scope. Agile allows for changes in scope and focuses on continuous quality and feedback, while Traditional Project Management focuses on a defined quality and scope and tends to resist changes.

What is Incremental Delivery in Agile?

Incremental Delivery in Agile refers to delivering a product in parts, incrementally, with each part adding to the capabilities of the product.

What is a Tracer Bullet in Agile?

A Tracer Bullet in Agile is a spike with the current architecture, current set of best practices, current understanding of the business, and a commitment to improve the system with feedback.

What are some effective ways to gather requirements in Agile?

Some effective ways to gather requirements in Agile include User Interviews, Questionnaires, User Story Mapping, Use Case Diagrams, and Personas.

About Alfa Sommersol

MBA - Innovation & Change - Fractional CTO - I help businesses become agile to drive business and technology transformations.✨ Let's discuss how agile practices can propel your innovation, change, and scaling.

Seasoned C-level technologist, digital strategist, entrepreneur, leader, and mentor with a strong focus on agile. With a background spanning entrepreneurship and technical project development, I excel at bringing projects from concept to reality. My passion lies in simplifying complex ideas and turning them into practical solutions. I thrive in advanced problem-solving scenarios and thrive under pressure and tight deadlines.

Agile Methodology Expertise - Enabling seamless analog to digital transformation Agile Project Management - Applying technical know-how for successful project execution Agile Business Modeling - Driving concept development through iterative and adaptive approaches Creative Problem Solver - Employing agile strategies for effective marketing and growth Strong Analytical Skills - Leveraging data-driven insights for agile decision-making Socially Responsible Approach - Promoting ethical and sustainable practices within agile frameworks

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