Questions tagged [scrum]

For questions about using or implementing the Scrum framework.

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161 votes
19 answers
95k views

Why use story points instead of hours for estimating?

After using hours to estimate our projects for a long time and rarely coming within 20% of actual "work-to-ship," I have been told by a handful of people that "points" work a lot better at gauging the ...
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81 votes
11 answers
31k views

Why can't the ScrumMaster and the project manager be the same person?

How a ScrumMaster does compare to a traditional project manager, and can either role coincide with the role of product manager or project sponsor / project owner?
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  • 819
76 votes
14 answers
95k views

When to Use Waterfall, When to Use Scrum ?

Where I lecture, I was always taught to use waterfall to manage projects, but when I finished college, waterfall wasn't the only method that can be used for project management, and I am very ...
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72 votes
5 answers
8k views

Is Scrum a status report meeting or a developer meeting?

I'm a developer and we started using Agile last year (October 2011). And, it has been rough to say the least. I was always taught Scrum was to discuss the following: What you did yesterday What you ...
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67 votes
8 answers
23k views

How to deal with unavoidable on-demand tasks in Scrum? Or should we even try?

I was put in charge of implementing Scrum in my Development Team. Unfortunately, the company I work with has a rather stale structure that does not go well with this framework. The team works on a ...
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57 votes
7 answers
18k views

Why aren't you supposed to report status in standups?

My team has a new scrum master. The old SM always said that standups were about coordination between the team members and not a report to him. Urging us to help each other if one of us ran into ...
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53 votes
14 answers
88k views

Where to Find a Desktop Kanban board application? [closed]

I have been looking for a week now, all over the net for a simple desktop based kanban management system. I work in a distributed team, but my company won't accept to use an exterior webapp like ...
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44 votes
14 answers
27k views

Should bugs be treated as stories or as tasks?

If you're using scrum you should know that there is a clear difference between tasks and stories. A story is something that is valuable to user. A task is a step to produce that value to user. So, ...
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  • 693
43 votes
7 answers
14k views

Daily standup vs. Micro-management

Why isn't the daily scrum considered to be micromanagement? Under any other circumstances expecting to get a daily update from developers would be considered micromanagement. Maybe even pico-...
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41 votes
7 answers
11k views

Why do all the teams that I have worked with always finish a sprint without completion of all the stories?

I am developer, I have worked with three Agile teams for the last eight years, with different organisations. The organisations have had a mix of Scrum, Kanban & Lean Startup Mindsets. I have ...
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36 votes
16 answers
62k views

How long should an Agile Sprint be?

I'm currently the PM on a project that is scheduled to run for about 14 months. The current sprint structure is 4 weeks of development; week 5 allows us to show the progress to the client, deploy it ...
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  • 1,403
36 votes
8 answers
16k views

How can a Scrum daily not be a status pull?

There's a widespread saying The Scrum daily is not a status pull; if it is - you are not doing Scrum. By "status pull" is meant everyone from the development team reporting they have done ...
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  • 611
36 votes
9 answers
4k views

Strict or pragmatic Scrum?

Do you practice Scrum strictly after its rules or are you going a more pragmatic way, picking out the bits that suit you/your environment best, maybe mixing it up with other methodologies ? In other ...
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34 votes
17 answers
3k views

How to allow developers to get enough quality development time while keeping to support & maintenance obligations

I work for a small company of 6 multi-skilled developers where we have developed our own product which requires constant improvement but also maintenance and support, both for the current release from ...
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  • 441
34 votes
7 answers
7k views

Advice for dealing with a cowboy programmer in an agile team

We have a cowboy coder in our team i.e. he likes to take advantage developing some new features or tools that are not always requested nor useful. We use scrum/kanban for development, and it is quite ...
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  • 1,219
34 votes
7 answers
32k views

How do you schedule delivery dates in Scrum?

I've run into a constant issue. When a project starts, the client typically has a list of functionalities to be built in to the application. As a team we would like to follow Scrum. But the next thing ...
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  • 648
33 votes
4 answers
73k views

Which Scrum certification provider is most widely recognized or accepted?

I am planning to go for Scrum Master certification, and while researching the certification providers, I could not clearly make up my mind about which one was most widely accepted. There are two ...
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  • 449
32 votes
10 answers
11k views

Should I cancel the daily scrum if the team has only minor issues to discuss?

If there are only minor issues to discuss in the next Daily Scrum, should I hold that Daily Scrum as usual or just tell the Scrum Master to cancel that Daily Scrum and deal with the issues by email or ...
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  • 323
31 votes
14 answers
13k views

Why does management have to "buy into" Scrum?

I have read over and over that in order for Scrum to work, "Management has to buy into Scrum." Can you tell me why that is? What management are they talking about, the company stakeholders that have ...
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  • 425
31 votes
2 answers
48k views

Why do Scrum user stories only use the Fibonacci series?

I know that user stories in Scrum are measured with a Modified Fibonacci sequence (0.5, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20, 40...). Why does Scrum only use Fibonacci numbers to estimate stories?
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  • 573
28 votes
14 answers
19k views

Can a Product Owner be a developer in Scrum?

Can a Product Owner be a developer in Scrum? In theory, yes, but is it recommended by Scrum?
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28 votes
7 answers
4k views

Scrum, Agile, Kanban looking for 'for dummies' type of information [closed]

I'm sure I'm not alone in this. I have heard and read a lot of snippets of information about this topic and I've formed my own understanding - probably not the best way to assess the value or try to ...
28 votes
7 answers
7k views

Why use both story points and hours?

I'm a new scrum master for a team that is using story point estimation and hours. We do story points first during grooming and then hours during planning. I always thought of story points as being ...
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  • 383
27 votes
3 answers
6k views

Can Scrum be suited to smaller development teams?

I'm not a 100% certain that this is the best place for this question as it's a little more development methodology related than directly project management related. I work at a company where the ...
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  • 463
27 votes
6 answers
2k views

Any tips on how to 'sell' the necessity of dealing with technical debt to nontechnical stakeholders?

A number of stakeholders do not quite understand the necessity of dealing with technical debt preferring new features on top of not very maintainable code. Development is sometimes seen as kids who ...
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  • 519
27 votes
4 answers
10k views

How do handle adhoc work during a sprint from pressing customers

I intend to introduce sprints to my company, fairly new to it myself. Not sure if it's appropriate for my current situation, we have several on going projects, all of them are ERP scale size and most ...
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  • 371
26 votes
6 answers
9k views

Can PRINCE2 and SCRUM work together?

This question has raised a debate within my organization with multiple points of view. Several Project Managers think that they are completely different things aiming for different results whereas ...
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  • 2,758
26 votes
4 answers
11k views

How should a team handle disagreements about story-point estimates in Scrum?

During estimation, the Product Owner presents a user story that seems clear to a team that usually knows their strengths and weaknesses, and that is not hostile. What should the Scrum Master do if the ...
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  • 425
26 votes
3 answers
21k views

Scaled scrum/agile frameworks (SAFe vs. Nexus vs. LeSS) comparison

Would someone please shed some light on the differences between: LeSS: https://less.works/ Nexus: https://www.scrum.org/Resources/The-Nexus-Guide SAFe: https://www.scaledagileframework.com/ ...
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26 votes
1 answer
645 views

What is a “battery”?

I was very surprised to read, in this question, the mention of “batteries” as a PM tool, seemingly linked to Scrum. The OP talks about an article about their use, but none of my desperate Googling ...
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  • 935
25 votes
3 answers
13k views

In Scrum, how to estimate research stories?

In our Scrum team, when there is uncertainty about a story or the team is not sure about how to implement it, we take up a research story first. Based on the findings of this research story, we are ...
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25 votes
9 answers
10k views

Which sticky note is the stickiest?

The question might sound a tad silly, but I'm actually trying to solve a real problem. Our team room has a glass wall, which we also use as our kanban board with hand-written swimlanes (= status) and ...
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24 votes
6 answers
7k views

Should I ask my boss not to come to retrospectives?

I am a Scrum Master for a small team (8 devs). I have been having trouble getting engagement from many of the team members, especially the junior team members. My boss missed two retrospectives ...
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24 votes
6 answers
4k views

Which is better: large feature branches or merging frequently? Which is better small work items vs large work items?

My team has problems pushing work items through all the stages in the Kanban board to done. The work items hit code review and pile up and stay there for a long time. The following stage (the QA stage)...
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  • 341
24 votes
7 answers
20k views

Is Certified Scrum Master valuable?

What is the value in Certified Scrum Master certifications? I'll be quite honest in saying that I've never put a lot of thought into such certifications, but it seems like if you are interested in ...
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24 votes
5 answers
19k views

How to make Scrum of Scrums meetings more productive?

At my job, we're having a Scrum of Scrums meeting where all the Scrum Masters get together. This meeting is turning into a boring meeting where everyone gives their status update. I'm trying to make ...
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  • 379
24 votes
6 answers
17k views

Where should design be incorporated in an agile process?

We use a scrum-based agile development process. But where should design get incorporated? Separate user stories? Tasks on stories? We currently think of design as a separate task and break it out as ...
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  • 2,151
23 votes
4 answers
4k views

Task estimation for PMs who are not developers

While working Agile, how can a PM estimate a task when he/she is not a developer?
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23 votes
15 answers
12k views

What is better: a physical Scrum board or an online board?

I used to practice Scrum with a physical board. We often faced problems when working with distributed teams or just when going into a meeting room. So I decided to implement a SaaS service to provide ...
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23 votes
3 answers
40k views

Sprint Backlog vs Product Backlog

I was always under impression that Sprint Backlog is part of Product Backlog -> it's impossible to add anything into Sprint Backlog without affecting Product Backlog However, according to one of the ...
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  • 1,157
23 votes
8 answers
11k views

How to apply Scrum in fixed date, fixed budget project?

Considering that we work on a project with fixed deadlines and fixed budget and we use Scrum: what are best practices we should use to make this setup successful? Since Scrum wasn't directly designed ...
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22 votes
5 answers
20k views

What is the difference between Scrum and XP?

Everything is in the title: What is the difference between Scrum and eXtreme Programming? Is it possible to have a simple but explicit explanation?
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22 votes
6 answers
5k views

In scrum should incomplete stories be re-estimated or does the original estimate get burned down when it's finally completed?

If I have a story that's been estimated at 10 story points and we don't manage to complete it in a sprint how do you handle estimates for the sprint in which it's next included (assuming it gets ...
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  • 2,061
21 votes
8 answers
8k views

How can a Scrum team work with a Waterfall team

My Scrum team needs an API to retrieve data. It's not overly complicated, essentially its just one request that gets sent to the API and then the API returns some data. This is the end of the journey. ...
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  • 2,291
21 votes
8 answers
5k views

How do I overcome a bottleneck in a team's process, when what people are telling me doesn't match what I see

I started a new job a few months ago as a scrum master. The team was and still is having problems completing their tasks during the sprint. Initially the problems seemed to be tasks that were too ...
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21 votes
10 answers
6k views

Help - Technical team does not want to work in agile way

I am a Product Owner on a Scrum Team whose developers do not want to embrace work in an agile, incremental fashion. Simple example: the customer currently has to contact us to create users each time ...
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  • 309
21 votes
6 answers
9k views

What is a failed sprint?

A sprint has just ended. All stories, but one were done by the software engineers. Should the sprint be labeled as 'failed' because of the story that was not completed? What exactly is a failed sprint?...
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  • 313
21 votes
2 answers
16k views

Difference between grooming and refinement

What is the difference between the terms "grooming" and "refinement" of the product backlog in scrum methodology? I am not able to find an accurate answer to this question. Are they the same?
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21 votes
9 answers
28k views

What is the difference between acceptance criteria and the definition of done?

I don't get what is the difference between both. They seem to be similar to me. For instance, I have this typical login/register User Story. Can you provide some DOD examples? As a user I want to ...
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21 votes
7 answers
17k views

How can we manage multiple projects, as one small scrum team?

I know Agile came about as a group of 'adaptive software development' methods, where Scrum is one of them. Some background: We are an innovative web agency, which implies design and development. We ...
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