Davide Mendolia

Unlock Agile with Less Ceremony and More Delivery

At Karumi, we do agile, but we don't apply Scrum, let say that Scrum is our scaffolding. On top of that, we have built our framework. We did that for two main reasons, first, our customers generally don't work at the same pace as us. Second, we like to be as asynchronous as we can.

I will describe how we adapted to our need the four main ceremonies of Scrum. Also, if you want to read a complete description of Agile Delivery checks our quality assurance repository.

Sprint Planning

Everybody should come prepared. The preparation phase is called Replenishment. It occurs the last day of the sprint or hours before the Sprint Planning. It starts with the Product Owner prioritizing the Product Backlog and notifying the Development Team. They will review the top items of the backlog and verifying they have enough information about them. One or two members of the team will prepare a draft Sprint Backlog.

During the meeting, the group will not estimate each item individually. But instead, if the whole set of items can be accomplished during this sprint. The individual sizing by time or complexity does not interest us. Based on the feedback we adjust the draft by adding, removing, splitting or changing some items. This revised version of the Sprint backlog then becomes final.

Daily Stand-up

We do daily, but they are not stand-up. The goal is to inform people you work overlap with and raise an issue if needed. As we are asynchronous and remote, the daily can occur through chat or video-chat. We use video chat as it can convey more information by voice and facial expression than text. Using multiple channels of communication is essential for us in a remote environment.

Iteration review

We do Increment Reviews, we don't do Iteration Review or commonly called Demo Meeting. An increment is a set of one or more Sprint Backlog items. To be ready to review include screenshots, videos and access to testable version. As we implement continuous delivery, as soon as an increment is ready for review we assign it to the project stakeholders (the customer). The stakeholders will review and provide feedback on each increment.

Retrospective

Agile is about getting rapid feedback, and everybody in the team is responsible for the agile process. We should provide input and as soon as possible to improve the product or development with teammates or product owner.

At the end of a milestone or project, we do a post-mortem. That helps the team understand what worked well–and what didn't, taking the concept of the retrospective but in a document instead of a meeting.

Conclusion

Is Agile Delivery agile? Yes. Is Agile Delivery an updated version of Scrum? Yes but not only, we are designing this framework based on our experience, our needs, and our team. Should you apply this to your team? Maybe if you feel that some process is missing or does not fit your work, give it a try. We will love to hear your feedback if you try some of it, or if you apply a similar approach to Agile.

References: https://www.atlassian.com/agile/scrum/ceremonies

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