If you were at least once involved in the scrum project management, you didn’t but appreciate this approach: it contributes to the project through team’s mobility and quick adjustment to the situation, speeds up market entry, and results in saleable product.

Oxagile team, a passionate custom software developer, shares its secrets on how to raise efficiency of your scrum projects as well as every team member’s productivity.

Cooperation with Project Owner

Successful communication with PO (Project Owner) guarantees 70% of successful realization of the project.

  • Pay special attention to Sprint Review: not just perform Demo, but also share with PO things learnt regarding the product, get updates on business conditions. It will advance your work and minimize the risks of miscommunication;
  • Be an active listener, train your PO and use checklists to make sure that key directions, functions of every team member and stages of realization are defined correctly;
  • Mind trustful relations with PO: if unexpected increase of estimates identified, immediately agree on particular scope reduction;
  • Be attentive to the details: it is recommended to specify key PO responsibilities in the contract, to make sure client is ready for Scrum process and admits importance of PO role;
  • After SP2 (Sprint Planning 2) keep your PO informed which stories are taken into sprint to your team;
  • Although Scrum doesn’t put any constrains on the detailing of stories taken into sprint, strongly consider introducing and following a DOR (Definition of Ready) on your projects as it dramatically improves effectiveness of your team.

Cooperation with team

It is not so easy to deal with a group of different opinions, views and visions. But the position of project manager requires from you not only professional competences, but also excellent leadership practices.

  • Sprint backlog is usually 1-3 stories. Organize the people in a way that whole team works on these stories;
  • It’s impossible to tackle complex stories at a time. Break down bigger stories to smaller ones for 1-3 upcoming sprints, but please beware of premature stories breakdown. Too many small stories in backlog will complicate backlog prioritization process;
  • 5-10% of your developers’ time should be dedicated to backlog refinement unless there is a dedicated full-time BA in a team assigned to backlog grooming;
  • Clear roles distribution is a key factor to success. It is not required for the same person to develop and demo the story, all stories can easily be demoed by a different team-member. It’s up to the team to select the best way here;
  • Daily meetings may look like a routine and additional overhead for the team, but still these sessions are essential parts of the successful project since all major status updates, project risks and potential problems are discussed.

The art of meeting deadlines

Of course, the best way is to have all work done in sprint. If DOD (Definition of Done) allows remaining work after the sprint you can:

  • Put leftovers as backlog items into future sprints;
  • Have a separate team for undone work (e.g. performance tests);
  • Have a separate sprint only for leftovers.

Mind that Scrum is not focused on recording time spent, only time remaining. Use it as the most powerful motivation tool for your subordinates.

The last but not the least

Follow rules, standards and principles, prescribed for your team. You can get maximum results only through your personal example.