Intro to SCRUM

SCRUM is a agile software development method for project management and has become increasingly popular. This Dr. Dobb article, “SCRUM Meets CMMi“, poked my interest in applying SCRUM to my software development.

Characteristics of Scrum

* A product backlog of prioritized work to be done;
* Completion of a fixed set of backlog items in a series of short iterations or sprints;
* A brief daily meeting or scrum, at which progress is explained, upcoming work is described and impediments are raised.
* A brief sprint planning session in which the backlog items for the sprint will be defined.
* A brief sprint retrospective, at which all team members reflect about the past sprint.

Scrum is facilitated by a ScrumMaster, whose primary job is to remove impediments to the ability of the team to deliver the sprint goal. The ScrumMaster is not the leader of the team (as they are self-organising) but acts as a buffer between the team and any distracting influences.

Tackle is a SCRUM tracking site, based on ASP.NET and SQL Server. I’ve installed SCRUM on my windows XP and created a step-by-step installation guide.

Scrum enables the creation of self-organizing teams by encouraging co-location of all team members, and verbal communication across all team members and disciplines that are involved in the project.


Solo Scrum

Scrum is based on small teams. It enhances communication between team members. Nevertheless, there is a huge amount of software that is being developed by solo programmers. A software system being built by a single programmer can still benefit from some of the Scrum principles such as: a product backlog, a sprint backlog, a sprint and a sprint retrospective. Solo Scrum is an adapted version of Scrum for use by solo programmers.

Scrum terminology

Scrum Master: The person or persons in charge of the tracking and the daily updates for the scrum (Equivalent to a Project Manager) also referred as the Scrum Lord.
Pigs: Those who are committed to the tasks (Developers, B.A.s, DBAs, and testers).
Chickens: Those who are involved but do not have tasks (Project Owners, Scrum Lords, etc…).
Back log: The task to be completed.
Sprint: A 4 to 6 week period in which a set of tasks are committed to and which are finished.
Burn Down: Daily progress for a sprint over the sprint’s length.
Scrum Toon: A cartoon used to explain scrum and its intricacies on teams where scrum is first implemented.

I was trying to get Tackle to work. Looked into SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server Management Studio, and Microsoft Visual Web Developer. All of which are now free, amazing. I was having a tough time creating SQL Server user and found this sqlcmd page. The sqlcmd utility is a commandline tool to interact with SQL Server 2005 Express. Played a bit with SQL Server Configuration Manager and Internet Information Service Manager. It’s been a while since I last played with ASP.NET, so I was pleasantly surprised to find the free MVWD IDE. Can’t wait to play some more 😀

It turned out that all my problems with SQL Server connection. Besides following the installation instruction from the Tackle site, I need to set the mixed authentication mode. The SQL Server 2005 Express on my laptop was installed with default authentication mode: Windows Authentication. To set the SQL Server mode to mixed-mode (Windows Authentication and SQL Server Authentication), I followed this MSDN page.

1 thought on “Intro to SCRUM”

  1. Hi,

    The link to “step-by-step installation guide” is taking us to the Joomla site where “Scratch” animation video is there. Could you please upload the tackle guide? We want to implement that in our daily work.

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