Success Factors in Scrum

Learn the success factors implied by the Scrum failure modes, what a successful sprint looks like, and how time is usually allocated during a sprint.

The Scrum failure modes imply its success factors

Each of the failure modes described in the previous lesson can be converted to a success factor, which results in a list like this:

  • Have an effective Product Owner.

  • Refine the backlog.

  • Keep stories small.

  • Hold daily scrums daily.

  • Limit sprints to 1–3 weeks.

  • Organize work into vertical slices.

  • Integrate tests, testers, and QA into the Development Team.

  • Create a clear Definition of Done.

  • Drive to a releasable level of quality each sprint.

  • Hold retrospectives every sprint.

  • Apply the lessons learned from each retrospective soon.

  • Have an effective Scrum Master.

More details on these topics are provided in later chapters.

A successful sprint

A successful sprint will support the main goal of Scrum, which is to deliver a product of the highest possible value. At the sprint level, this includes the following:

  • The sprint delivers a usable, valuable increment (aggregate functionality) of the product that fully meets the Definition of Done.

  • The sprint’s increment increases in value compared to the previous sprint.

  • The Scrum team improves its process when compared to the previous sprint.

  • The Scrum team learns something about itself, its business, its product, or its customers.

  • The Scrum team’s motivation is as good or better than it was at the end of the last sprint.

Time allocation for a typical sprint

This chapter has discussed the full range of activities that occur in Scrum, and it would be easy to conclude that not very much software development occurs in Scrum. The table below shows a representative example of how effort is allocated for developers on a Scrum team for a 2-week sprint.

You can change the values entered in the following widget by clicking the corresponding cells—the estimates will be updated automatically.

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