Daily Scrum is essential for synchronizing the work within a Scrum-Team but often team. It is supposed to be an effective way for every team member to know what's going on in the current sprint. But even though it helps give other's a status update, it is often difficult to follow the current progress just by listening to other team-member.
Azure DevOps can help visualize the progress not only in general but also during the Daily Scrum meeting. In this first part of my new series Scrum in Azure DevOps, I want to talk about how Azure DevOps can improve your Daily stand-up events by looking at:
Scrum is a lightweight framework, and we use Daily Scrum meetings to synchronize current work and upcoming tasks. It is a time-boxed event of 15 minutes where each developer provides information about her or his future work for the next 24 hours. Usually, we achieve this by answering the following three questions:
The main goal is to find and remove impediments as fast and effectively as possible. By keeping everyone up-to-date every day, we encounter obstacles and potential problems much earlier. Because time is limited, we only focus on the most critical information. This approach improves communication and promotes quick decision-making. The Daily Scrum is supposed to avoid other unnecessary meetings outside of the known Scrum events. Of course, this is rarely the case. If there are impediments that we need to resolve, the respective team members can discuss this issue afterward in more detail.
Azure DevOps (formerly known as Visual Studio Team System (VSTS)) is a cloud collaboration tool for requirements and project management, version controlling, and CI/CD. It provides the possibility to manage a software project throughout its entire lifecycle. The main features are:
The above points are just a brief overlook. There are many more features. If you have never worked with Azure DevOps and want to learn more about it, check out their website, where you can quickly set up a new account and spin up a new project.
But now the question is how to merge Scrum and Azure DevOps when doing the Daily Scrum meeting?
First, the Scrum Master always needs to provide the sprint backlog board during the Scrum Meeting. Then the normal Daily Scrum procedure starts, but every team member shows her or his current work status at the sprint backlog board.
The board alone does not improve the event much. When dividing a Product Backlog Item into different Tasks, every developer should fill her or his Tasks with as much information as possible. Besides a description, it is also essential to define the remaining work. We can quantify the remaining work either in hours or days. But in the end, it is crucial to provide some measurable effort for a Task item.
Now every team member verifies whether the remaining work for a task is correct. The increase in information gives other developers a more detailed look into the current progress of their colleagues. Updating the Task item can be done before or at the Daily Scrum meeting. In general, the sprint backlog board should be up-to-date at any time. An updated board also avoids unnecessary communication because if we need to know our teammates' current status, we can check the board.
In the end, we are not only telling our colleagues what we are doing, but we can also quantify our upcoming work and demonstrate the current status of our work at the Sprint Backlog board.
Of course, relying too much on external tools during a Scrum meeting can also have opposing effects on your productivity.
If everyone updates their task status in the sprint backlog board, it might take too much time, depending on the team size. It isn't easy to maintain the time-boxing limit of 15 minutes.
Due to the more detailed information that every team member gets about the current status through the sprint board, there is a higher risk of discussions. In this case, the Scrum Master needs to intervene and remind everyone about the objectives of the Daily Scrum event. The developers can continue those discussions afterward.
Daily Scrum events are an essential part of Sprint. Here we keep everyone up-to-date about our work and try to locate impediments as fast as possible. In addition, Azure DevOps is a great tool to visualize our progress during the Sprint and helps us track our work. During the Daily Scrum meeting, it is a handy tool to improve the visibility of the current work progress.
Some key points to keep in mind when using the Azure DevOps Scrum board for the Daily Scrum event:
What do you think about this approach to use the Sprint Backlog board during the Daily Scrum event? Do you use any additional tools or no tools at all? I'm curious about your experience and opinion on that! Until then, stay tuned for the next article about Scrum in Azure DevOps!
A Testing API can help you decrease the structural coupling between your production code and your test code. In the long run, it will save you much time! A bold claim, of course, and it sounds very theoretical. To provide you with more depth than just a basic concept, I want to show you today how you can implement a Testing API with .NET.
Structural coupling makes refactoring our code very difficult and it costs us a lot of time and money! But there is one solution: a Testing API. It's an API with superpowers which helps you to get rid of this structural coupling. At the same time you are still able to verify your business rules. This can be a real time-saver!