BC Day 7 – Agile Scrum Immersion

ASI Day 2: Yesterday we charged into the Agile Scrum Immersion course for the whole day. We did some hands-on simulated Scrum exercises, and participated in very open discussion about the merits of Scrum and whether or not it is appropriate for particular organizations or teams, and what struggles those parties would face when implementing Scrum methodology. I’m glad there are a lot of experienced developers and business people in the course with us (boot campers) because we definitely benefited from the considerations they raised in regards to whether some scrum concepts could be applied effectively to certain software and product development within organizations of a varied size and structure. The questions/answers have been an interesting addition to the planned course presentations, but I have to admit that was a lot of information to try to absorb.

Daily Scrum:

Yesterday I participated in the first day of the two day ASI course at Improving, and we’re wrapping the course up by the end of the day today. I’ve been keeping up with blogs and a few other new things just to make them habit. We will be wrapping up our work on the Consulting Game this week, and starting the EIP game by Friday afternoon. Only block today is fatigue – I haven’t been sleeping well for the past few days, and the combination of fatigue plus listening to lecture while sitting down for at least 8 hours a day is difficult. Need to focus on getting my body and mind in the proper condition on a daily basis to be as productive as possible at work.

The exercises have probably been the most helpful learning tools for me personally. We grouped up and simulated using Scrum to create a brochure for a caribbean resort. We broke features down into stories, stories down into tasks, and then set up a scrum board to map our stories and tasks out. I served as the Product Owner, Walton served as the Scrum Master, and he, Kevin, and Jonathan served as the devs on our scrum team (each doing quite a few things). It was a good simulation for us to experience before we put Scrum methodology into practice during our boot camp project. I felt a bit uncomfortable as a product owner in this simulation due to limited planning time, and my close proximity to the guys I wasn’t supposed to interact with unless a question was directed at me. It’s hard to be a bystander when you’re answering for a product! I was proud of what the guys managed to accomplish considering we had fewer group members and less experience than the other two groups.

The second exercise was using numbered cards to predict the size of a dog (Forecast Poker). We all seemed to agree upon where the size of a dog should rank relative to all other breeds of dog, and arrived there with minimal effort through the use of the cards and brief discussion. This exercise is related to forecasting the priority, length of time, and resources required to complete stories and tasks in our product backlog (as I understand it).

Our final exercise had us mapping out functional and non-functional features, requirements, and necessary tests of an automated traffic violation reporting and ticketing system for use by drivers, police officers, the court system, DMV, police department, and clerical workers.

Next up is putting all this new information to use!


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