Below is a complete index of all ScrumLab topics, including Premium and Open.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Agile Architecture

A key practice in Scrum is to deliver small slices of functionality each Sprint. These slices need to encompass every layer of a system, from what the customer sees to the darkest corners of the backend. This even includes the architecture itself. For architects used to working in a waterfall context this can seem impossible. “How can you develop architecture piece-by-piece? The entire purpose of architecture is to design the way the whole system hangs together. You can’t do that in iterations.”

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Agile Contracts

As Scrum and Agile practices become mainstream and fundamentally change the way companies work internally, it is only natural that the way companies work with each other will also change. Unfortunately, many procurement departments are ill equipped to contract in a manner friendly to incremental development. So how can Agile companies operate under a change control board? Fortunately there is a simple solution.

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Agile Defense

This online course will show you how Scrum has been used by war-fighters and in the corridors of the Pentagon. You will learn how to handle Agile procurement and contracts in a Defense setting. This course is for both contractors and acquisition professionals.

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B

Backlog Item (PBI)

Product Backlog Items (PBIs) are the elements that make up the Product Backlog. They can range from specifications and requirements, to use cases, epics, User Stories, or even bugs and chores.


Backlog Refinement

Product Backlog Refinement is not for PBIs selected for the current Sprint; it is for items in future Sprints. A good practice is to have at least two Sprints worth of work ready to go in the Product Backlog. Sprint Planning becomes relatively simple because the Product Owner and Scrum Team start the planning with a clear, well analyzed and carefully Estimated set of stories. If refining the Backlog is not being done (or not being done well) Sprint Planning will involve a significant amount of questions, discovery and or confusion.


Burndown Chart

The Sprint Burndown Chart makes the work of the Team visible. It is a graphic representation that shows the rate at which work is completed and how much work remains to be done. The chart slopes downward over Sprint duration and across Stories completed.

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C

Calculating Value

Calculating business value effectively and using that insight to prioritize the Product Backlog is one of the most important things an organization can do to drive higher profits and achieve a competitive advantage using Scrum. This is because the Scrum framework helps you to deliver product features independently, allowing you to focus on delivering high value functionality first.

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D

Definition of Done

Each Scrum Team has its own Definition of Done. What matters is that each Team has a shared definition that every one understands. The Team’s Definition of Done is used to assess when work on a User Story has been completed. Here’s one example: “Done means coded to standards, reviewed, implemented with unit Test-Driven Development (TDD), tested with 100 percent test automation, integrated and documented.”

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Definition of Ready

Having a Definition of Ready means that stories must be immediately actionable. The Team must be able to determine what needs to be done and the amount of work required to complete the User Story or PBI. The Team must understand the “done” criteria and what tests will be performed to demonstrate that the story is complete. “Ready” stories should be clear, concise, and most importantly, actionable.

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Distributed Scrum

Distributed Scrum Teams are inherently less efficient than Teams located in the same place. The reason for this performance difference is that people working far away and at different times creates a complex array of communication impediments. Distributed Teams almost always deliver product slower, with more bugs, and higher costs. 

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E

eXtreme Manufacturing

The term eXtreme Manufacturing (XM) was coined by Team WIKISPEED, a non-profit car manufacturer, to describe how it manufactures automobiles combining elements from the Scrum framework, eXtreme Programming (XP) and Object-Oriented architecture. Blending these three philosophies, WIKISPEED invented a new manufacturing process that can shorten time-to-market, reduce labor costs and spur innovation.

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H

Happiness Metric

The Happiness Metric is a simple, fast, and effective way of surfacing the kaizen, or process improvement, during the Sprint Retrospective. Everyone knows instinctively that happy people do higher-quality work, delight customers, and contribute to a better workplace. More and more, talented people simply won’t work in command and control environments based on punishment and blame, they’d rather be happy.

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Hyper Metrics

Hyper-Productive metrics are designed to help Scrum Masters carefully tune their teams into a hyper-productive state. Hyper-Productivity is defined as a 400% increase in Velocity over the baseline Velocity with corresponding quality. The best Scrum Teams average 750% gains with much higher quality, customer satisfaction, and developer experience. The baseline Velocity (100%) is established for a team during their first Sprint.

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I

Impediments

An Impediment is anything that keeps the Team from getting work Done. Impediments come in many different forms: a sick team member, a missing resource, lack of management support or even a cold team room. If it’s blocking the team from doing its work, it’s an Impediment. Most Impediments are a form of Waste and can be identified by understanding waste in all its forms. The slides have a list of common Impediments Teams often run into.


Innovate or Die

Innovation is increasingly the key to commercial success, with leading companies producing new products and new features at an ever faster rate. How many people still tote around a BlackBerry? Take print photographs? Enter an actual bank? Yet innovation is often seen as uncontrollable – the unexpected result of fortuitous happenstance. So how do top teams do it so consistently?

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L

Leadership Dashboard

How can Agile leaders use Scrum’s ability to make work visible to support informed business decisions and efficiently coordinate teams toward a focused goal? The key is getting the right information at the right time with Scrum Inc.’s Leadership Dashboard.

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M

Mapping Value

Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is a tool that helps analyze the system of how a product or service is delivered, from inception to the end user, and provides insights for designing a better, more efficient system. VSM allows your Team to visualize and socialize areas of efficiency and inefficiency across the whole process. The Team can then quickly identify and prioritize the most valuable improvements to customer visible value, while reducing cost and complexity.

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P

Points vs Hours

Estimation is a fundamental building block in Scrum. Without it Product Owners and Scrum Masters will struggle with securing a release date and showing velocity improvement. When adopting Scrum the tendency is to continue approximating in time. Unfortunately, reams of research shows that humans are inherently horrible at estimating in time. It turns out when we estimate jobs by how long they will take us to complete we have an error rate of 400%. 

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Potentially Shippable Product

Potentially Shippable Product is the sum of the Product Backlog Items delivered each Sprint. Delivering Potentially Shippable Product each Sprint is fundamental to the Scrum framework because when work is divided into simple pieces it can be finished in a short period of time. By accelerating the creative process and putting a functioning product in the hands of the user, the Team can gather feedback more quickly than it otherwise would have. To achieve this feedback loop on a Sprint-by-Sprint basis, Scrum Teams deliver Potentially Shippable Product at each Sprint Review.


Product Backlog

The Product Backlog is a prioritized list of everything that might be included in a product. The Product Owner creates, maintains, and regularly re-orders the Product Backlog. The Product Owner uses the Product Backlog to adapt to emerging requirements, customer feedback, and market changes. The Product Backlog is the manifestation of the vision and the business case for the product. The backlog is made up of Product Backlog Items (PBIs). PBIs can be anything from market requirements, to use cases, to specifications.


Product Owner

The Product Owner is the Team member who knows what the customer wants and the relative value of those wants. He can then translate the customer’s wants and values back to the Scrum team. The Product Owner must know the business case for the product and what features the customers wants. He must be available to consult with the team to make sure they are correctly implementing the product vision. Most importantly, he must have the authority to make all decisions necessary to complete the project.

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R

Release Planning

The key question everyone wants answered in any project is “When will it be done?” From a business perspective knowing the best time to release a product is crucial to success. In Scrum, the Team strives to create a potentially shippable product at the end of every Sprint. The key to Release Planning then is to figure out when just enough business value has been created to ship the product.

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S

Scaling Scrum

Scaling Scrum is a challenge that many large organizations face as they implement Teams across more and more of their operations. Coordinating multiple teams that are working on multiple projects can seem daunting. But Scrum was designed to scale because it is fractal in nature i.e. it works the same at scale as it does in a singular instance.

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Scrum and Management

Scrum and Management: the question is always the same: “How do I deliver the best product for the lowest cost and the highest profit?” Scrum has repeatedly answered these questions, but often management still has a hard time grasping the business case for Scrum. This hour-long online course gives a data driven explanation why management needs Scrum.

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Scrum at Scale Part I

Scrum Inc.’s Alex Brown and Jeff Sutherland present Scrum at Scale Part I – an object-oriented model for scaling Scrum across the entire business enterprise. The modular object oriented architecture means the overall system to work together using different solutions for each module, which allows this approach to work successfully across a much broader range of contexts than other “tightly coupled” solutions.

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Scrum at Scale Part II

Scrum Inc.’s Alex Brown and Jeff Sutherland present Scrum at Scale Part II – an object-oriented model for scaling Scrum across the business. The modular approach allows for the overall system to work together even if individual modules aren’t agile. This allows the framework to support many different contexts verses other more “tightly coupled” scaling systems.

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Scrum Board

A Scrum Board is a tool that helps Teams make Sprint Backlog items visible. The board can take many physical and virtual forms but it performs the same function regardless of how it looks. The board is updated by the Team and shows all items that need to be completed for the current Sprint. Many teams add categories to their Scrum Boards that fit their workflow. For example, if a Team wants to distinguish between testing and Done, they might add a Testing or Verify column between Done and Work In Progress.


Scrum Fundamentals

Solid Scrum fundamentals will increase your productivity and help management see how Scrum’s working for them. How’s your Velocity? What’s your kaizen? What makes the top item in your Product Backlog so important?  No matter how strong your Scrum is you can always benefit from re-assessing your basic practices.

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Scrum Master

The Scrum Master is tasked with making Scrum work. They work intimately with the Team, sometimes as a member. Their primary task is to remove Impediments and guide the team in Scrum practices. The Scrum Master does whatever it takes to help the team succeed.


Scrum Pitfalls Part I

The iterative nature of Scrum is a risk management mechanism that, even when poorly implemented, usually results in at least a 30% improvement in productivity. The rules of Scrum are simple and straightforward, and the underlying principles are intuitive. That is not to say, however, that Scrum is free of pitfalls. In this course, Scrum Pitfalls I, we discuss topics relating to User Stories not truly Ready and Done.

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Scrum Pitfalls Part II

Scrum Pitfalls Part II continues the conversation from Part I and dives deeper into the missteps we see Agile organizations commonly make. This episode will examine the role of leadership in Scrum and the importance of removing the right Impediments. These are some of the more common dysfunctions we see in Agile organizations. The key is recognizing and quickly addressing them.

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Sprint Backlog

The Sprint Backlog is an ordered list of Product Backlog Items, preferably User Stories, that the Team believes it can complete during the coming Sprint. These items are pulled from the top of the Product Backlog during the Sprint Planning Meeting.


Sprint Planning

Sprint Planning opens each sprint. The Product Owner discusses the sprint goal with the team and the Scrum Master. They then collaborate to reach a mutual understanding of the sprint goal and the work needed to achieve it.


Sprint Retrospective

The Sprint Retrospective is the last ceremony in the Sprint. The Sprint Retrospective takes place after the Sprint Review and before the next Sprint Planning. The meeting should be time-boxed to no more than an hour per week of Sprint length. The Scrum Master facilitates the meeting, keeping it on track, focused, and within the timebox.


Sprint Review

The Sprint Review takes place at the end of the Sprint and is designed to gather actionable feedback on what the Team has completed. This ceremony, also known as the “Demo”, is an exciting opportunity for the team to showcase its work and to inspect the overall roadmap for the product.

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T

The Daily Scrum

After Sprint Planning, the Team gets to work and meets every day for the Daily Scrum. All team members working on the Sprint Backlog need to attend and should standup to help keep the meeting short (no longer than 15 minutes).


The Future of Work

Scrum has reached a tipping point. It has become clear it is the future of work. The dramatic productivity gains are just too great and companies large and small are turning to Scrum either to innovate, or to keep up with their competitors who do.

So how can you take advantage of it and move your team and company forward?

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The Scrum Team

The Scrum Team is made up of the people who actually work on Product Backlog Items during a Sprint. In a software context, this group is most often called the Development Team. In other contexts, the simple term Team is often used. The Scrum Master and the Product Owner, while part of the overall Scrum Team, may or may not be members of the Team working on PBIs. There is no Project Manager or Team Lead in Scrum. Everyone is simply an equal member of the Team.


The Sprint

The Sprint is the heart of Scrum. It is a short, consistent cycle no longer than four weeks. The goal is to have an iteration short enough to keep the team focused but long enough to deliver a meaningful increment of work.

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V

Velocity

Velocity is a measure of the amount of work a Team can tackle during a single Sprint and is the key metric in Scrum. Velocity is calculated at the end of the Sprint by totaling the Points for all fully completed User Stories. Points from partially-completed or incomplete stories should not be counted in calculating velocity. Velocity should be tracked throughout the Sprint on the Sprint Burndown Chart and be made visible to all Team members. The slides below give a nice overview of how metrics are made visible.


Visualizing Customers

Visualizing your customers is the first step in making your best customers the top priority. A well-executed Scrum can help your Team build products and services that delight quickly. But how do you know who your customers really are and what they want from your product?

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W

Writing User Stories

User Stories are Product Backlog Items that are concise and clear descriptions of functionality in terms of its value to the end user. The User Story always takes the form:

As a ______ I want to ___________ so that I can ______.”

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