Agile Methodology – definition

agile methodology
agile methodology

Here is an article to help you grasp the concept of the agile methodology. And what better way to understand it than through an example? If you’re new to agility, comprehending the agile scrum method might seem a bit challenging at first.

Illustrating with a Topic Example

To kick things off, I’d like to introduce a new blog dedicated to the agile scrum methodology, named “scrum.sg.”

This blog will cover:

  • All the key elements defined by the scrum framework
  • Elements exclusively sourced from the scrum guide
  • Clear and concise illustrations

The topic is straightforward but provides a solid foundation for our example.

 

Embarking on the Agile Methodology

Undoubtedly, initiating a project using the agile scrum methodology requires preparation.

Commence with a Preparation Phase

In my opinion, it’s beneficial to start by outlining an initial version of the backlog. For this purpose, consider exploring “agile framing,” a 100% agile product launch framework.

Agile framing helps to:

  • Align the team around the mission and objectives
  • Create a vision for the product
  • Identify risks and construct a product roadmap
  • Define the team’s organization and governance
Canvas of Agile Framing v2.0 – Agile methodology example

Website: Agile Framing

By the end of the agile framing process, you will have defined an initial backlog with some “ready” elements for development and other items that require further detailing.

During agile framing, the team will collaboratively establish the definition of done, encompassing the criteria validating an item as complete and potentially ready for production.

Article: Definition of Done (Agile methodology)

Initiating Your First Sprint


scrum sprint - agile methodology scrum

Agile Methodology: Sprint Planning

During this sprint planning, the scrum team will define the sprint backlog, outlining:

  • The sprint goal
  • Items aligned with the sprint goal
  • Implementation plans for these items, including technical subtasks, scheduling, etc.

For our example blog, the scrum team collaboratively defines:

Sprint Goal: “Present an initial version of the ‘scrum.sg’ blog.”

Selected items by the team:

  • As a visitor, I want to view the home page featuring the latest blog posts
  • As a visitor, I want the ability to access the RSS feed for articles
  • And as a visitor, I wish to be able to read full articles

To meet the scrum guide’s requirements, the product owner has supplemented these items with:

  • Gherkin tests outlining testing procedures
  • The value attributed to each item
  • The development team’s prior estimates for each item

During the sprint planning, the development team and product owner collaborate on the “how” to address these needs, determining the plan for execution. This crucial aspect is often underestimated.

Discussion on the Solution is Essential

The solution proposed by the development team is to utilize WordPress to fulfill all three requirements, involving its installation and configurations.

The product owner validates this solution, prompting the development team to propose additional items they are confident they can address.

Additionally, the development team informs the product owner that certain items can also be addressed through this solution:

  • As an author, I want to have the ability to write articles for the blog
  • As an author, I wish to secure my administrative access to the blog using a login/password

As demonstrated, the chosen or validated “plan” can significantly impact the entire sprint backlog. Sprint planning involves not only selecting items but also discussing how the development team will tackle them. This fundamental distinction sets apart the agile scrum methodology from traditional approaches, emphasizing organized work through iterative cycles.

This example highlights how a “plan” can reshape the entire course of a preconceived sprint.

Technical Subtasks Must Be Outlined

Given that user stories lack technical detail, the development team will divide each user story into smaller technical subtasks.

As a visitor, I want to view the home page featuring the latest blog posts

The development team outlines technical subtasks suited to the chosen solution. For this user story, they plan to undertake the following tasks:

  • Install a development environment
  • Set up a testing environment
  • Install WordPress
  • Configure WordPress for ‘scrum.sg’
  • Adjust the home page to display the latest articles
  • Create placeholder articles to verify display

Furthermore, the development team establishes the order for addressing the user stories, at least for the initial set.

Commencing the Realization Phase

With the conclusion of sprint planning, the development team transitions to the realization phase.

Each time an element’s development is completed, a development team member ensures it adheres to all criteria outlined in the definition of done before labeling it as “done.”

It’s important to note that this responsibility falls on the development team, not the product owner.

 

Daily Scrum in the Agile Methodology

Each morning, the team conducts a standard daily scrum. Each development team member shares:

  • Accomplishments since the last daily scrum
  • Planned tasks until the next daily scrum
  • Any potential obstacles

Sprint Review in the Agile Methodology

The product owner invites the development team and stakeholders to participate in the sprint review.

The product owner reiterates the sprint objective: “Present an initial version of the ‘scrum.sg’ blog.”

Subsequently, the development team presents completed items, along with any remaining backlog items. They discuss encountered challenges, if any, and determine if the sprint goal has been achieved.

Once all aspects are covered, the team showcases the initial blog version (goal accomplished) to collect feedback from participants. Based on this feedback, the product owner incorporates new items into the product backlog.

Participants collectively decide on the next steps to advance the product in the upcoming sprint.

Sprint Retrospective in the Agile Methodology

At the end of the sprint, the scrum team holds a retrospective session to identify areas for improvement in the upcoming sprint.

Our team defines the following improvement areas:

  • Enhance visual management practices
  • Analyze WordPress plugins to avoid redundant work
  • Evaluate WordPress security measures

Conclusion: Embracing the Agile Methodology

To sum it up, I trust that this sprint example provides you with a clearer insight into the dynamics of scrum. Additionally, consider exploring our foundational scrum training: Scrum – Our Guide.

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About Judicaël Paquet 368 Articles
Judicaël Paquet (agile coach and senior devops) My Engagements in France and Switzerland: - Crafting Agile Transformation Strategies - Tailored Agile Training Programs - Raising Awareness and Coaching for Managers - Assessing Agile Maturity and Situational Analysis - Agile Coaching for Teams, Organizations, Product Owners, Scrum Masters, and Agile Coaches Areas of Expertise: Scrum, Kanban, Management 3.0, Scalability, Lean Startup, Agile Methodology.

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