Each Sprint, sometimes called an iteration, represents a time boxed period, usually of short duration to produce a workable product or a series of products. Each project will normally have a number of sprints. We usually work on weekly sprints and aim to complete a project within 3 sprints, but this depends on the complexity of the project and the number of products to be delivered. Prior to each sprint, we undertake a sprint planning meeting, attended by the product owner, the Scrum Master and the entire scrum team. The objective of this meeting to for the product owner to describe the highest priority features to the team, determine the existing backlog, and plan the products to be delivered during the sprint.
The Scrum Team will then move onto planning and producing the User Stories. All of our User Stories are held on the Scrum Board in the Scrum Room so that all the Scrum Team may be fully conversant of the requirements of each Sprint. Gaia uses their interactive whiteboards as their Scrum Board. The Scrum Team store and move around the User Stories during sprint planning.
The Daily Stand Up is a core planning and motivating part of Agile, surprising as it usually only lasts for 15 minutes. It is held daily with the whole Scrum Team and involves a 15 minute discussion, standing up to concentrate the mind, where any developments, issues and dependencies are discussed. This is a totally different planning method to that of Prince 2, where the planning is undertaken by the project manager. The entire Scrum Team is involved with the Daily Stand Up.
During a Sprint Review the Scrum Team have the opportunity to demonstrate the solution to the User Stories that have been produced during the past Sprint. The Users and major Stakeholders are invited to the Sprint Review and the atmosphere is very open. It is the User’s and Stakeholder’s opportunity to provide feedback on the Products, project and progress. We find that a Sprint Review not only increases the morale of our hard working Sprint Team but also provides confidence to our clients that the project is progressing as they are hoping. Often we surprise and delight our clients and at Gaia, we like to do that.
The Sprint Retrospective is held at the end of each Sprint within the Scrum Room. This is where the Scrum Team discuss what has been going on, what went right and what went wrong. Every member is allowed to speak freely and the purpose of the review is to be better during the next Sprint. This is part of our quality review and we follow the Agile ethos of Fail Fast, Fix Quickly.
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