Sunday, December 06, 2009

Scrum FAQ

FAQ Following questions are frequently asked by the novice Scrum teams. I will keep updating these questions and answers as and when I get it.

1. Can we have single Scrum Master(SM) for multiple projects ?

Answer: It is recommended to have a dedicated Scrum Master for each project. Diluting this could also dilute the effectiveness

2. Can Scrum Master be a Product Owner ?

Answer: Scrum Master should never be a product Owner.

3. Can Scrum Master be technical and can SM help the team if they are stuck with technical issues ?

Answer: It does not matter if the SM is coming from technical background or management. However if SM is technical, he/she should be careful enough not to dilute the SMs responsibilities in the process of helping the team with technology stuff.

4. During the Scrum Meeting, my colleague talked about an impediment and I had the answer. However, can I answer it immediately and it won’t take more than 1 minute ?

Answer: Don’t diverge from the recommended rules around Scrum Meeting. Any discussion should happen outside the Scrum Meeting. Even though your answer takes only one minute, some one else could also jump in saying even he/she needs a chance to answer another question. This leads to chaos and could stretch Scrum Meeting beyond recommended limit of 15 – 20 minutes. My recommendation is to follow the rules by the book until every one gains experience.

5. I just need another 4 hours to complete my task and the iteration is coming to an end, can I stretch the Iteration/Sprint duration ?

Answer: No. Iterations are time boxed.

6. When people say Sprint duration is 30 days, is it working days ?

Answer: Sprint duration of 30 days means 30 calendar days.

7. The team has completed all the tasks before the sprint ends, what should they do now ?

Answer: The team can approach the product owner and request for additional items from the PB.

8. Is it mandatory for the team to follow the Idealized line in the burn down charts ?

Answer: Idealized(A.K.A Ideal) line provides just a point of reference.

9. Can I work on the undone tasks in the next iteration ?

Answer: Undone tasks would go back to Product Backlog and Product Owner would make a call on the set of requirements for the next iteration with due feedback from the team.

10. Should I use Iteration or Sprint ?

Answer: All sprints are iterations but not all iterations are Sprints. Sprint is the terminology coined by the Scrum co-founders to define an iteration.


P.S: If you are aware of more questions and answers, feel free to send me and I would post it here.


Sonali said...

1. How can story points be used for estimating Cost ? This is main concern from Product Management that they need to know/project the cost which they are able to do with Effort/Staffmonths but not with story points so Point Estimation is not value add to them ?
Any opnions on this ?

Venkatesh Krishnamurthy said...

Sonali, As you already know, story points are mainly used to measure the size and is a relative estimate. Cost could be calculated if we can derive the absolute hours from the size.
The article: talks about the risk involved in deriving cost from the size.
At the same time, the link provides a way to calculate the cost.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with #6. The iterations should have an equal amount of _working days_. Then you can use Velocity to determine how much work fits into the iteration.

If you use calendar time, the amount of available hours can vary between iterations.

Venkatesh Krishnamurthy said...

Sprint in it's purest form as described by Ken is 30 calendar days. However people use 30 business days