What do rugby and software development have in common? That you end up completely exhausted and want to bash each other’s heads in at some point? Not at all! The term “scrum” originally comes from rugby and stands for “arranged crowd”. In the process, players hook into each other and try to gain possession of the ball through tactics and team cohesion to win the game. In Scrum in software development, all team members also work closely together and follow a strategy towards the goal. Many development teams at DOCUFY work according to this method – reason enough to take a closer look at the topic.
What exactly happens in Scrum in software development?
Scrum is a process model of project and product management for agile software development. Agile here means that the development of software should be more flexible, faster, more transparent and more user-oriented. The advantage over classic project management, such as the waterfall model, is that the team can react more quickly to changes even in late phases of the project. The Scrum framework supports team collaboration by jointly structuring and managing teamwork. The goal is to develop high-quality products quickly and cost-effectively, and to achieve the highest possible level of effectiveness. There are different roles (e.g. Product Owner, Scrum Master and Developer) to work in the best possible coordinated way.
In Scrum, the work process is divided into fixed time periods, so-called “sprints”, which are framed by a sprint planning and a sprint review. In these, the sprints are planned and reflected upon.
How does Scrum work in practice at DOCUFY? We asked our colleague Claudia, a Scrum Master and now also a team leader at DOCUFY, about this.
What are your tasks as a Scrum Master?
My focus is on how the team can work best and most efficiently. I facilitate many of the meetings and make sure we keep the focus. The follow-up of the meetings and the respective topics derived from them, especially process improvements and the coordination with other areas are also among my main tasks.
Keeping the focus in the daily meetings, working efficiently, the contact and solution finding with other teams at DOCUFY, these are among the best tasks as Scrum Master.Claudia Wachsmann, Scrum Master, DOCUFY GmbH
What is your favorite task as a Scrum Master?
In general, I think it’s nice to see that something is changing and that we as a team are moving forward with our tasks and constantly improving. Contact, coordination and finding solutions with different teams are some of my favorite tasks.
Why did you decide to become a Scrum Master?
I was a process and release manager at first. With the introduction of Scrum in my team, the role of Scrum Master has best reflected what I have done so far, especially with the constant process improvements that are highly emphasized in Scrum.
How does Scrum work at DOCUFY?
We have dailies (daily meetings) where we talk about important information for the team and issues and bi-weekly we have sprint meetings, (with sprint review, retrospective and sprint planning) where we first discuss completed issues in the review , discuss process improvements and then plan for the next two weeks. Our Sprint Board helps us to record the results of these meetings and present them transparently to everyone.
How does communication with other teams work?
Communication between our team and other teams goes primarily through the Scrum Master, which is me. Efficiency is the top priority here. Direct communication is useful, but the developers should not be able to be addressed by everyone all the time and permanently, in order to avoid too much distraction during the work flow. Therefore, for now, I serve as the first point of contact for inquiries outside of the team. Like a kind of filter that collects all requirements, prioritizes them accordingly and then passes them on to the team for processing.
Habits and rituals at DOCUFY
Now that we’ve learned some of the formal processes behind Scrum, it’s even nicer to hear some of the fun stuff! The processes can be loosened up wonderfully: Some teams have come up with nice rituals to brighten up their daily work routine a bit. This includes, for example, accompanying a sprint change with a gong, or even better, with a lunch.
Especially in the regular meetings small funny jokes can be integrated. One of our teams, for example, has made it a habit to hold their meetings in the “Space Room”, in keeping with the DOCUFY Space motto with everyone setting the appropriate background. Another team chooses a different criterion for the order in which all staff speak for each review meeting. Here there have been sortings by age, hair length, who ate the most on New Year’s Eve, number of legs at home (including pets), to name just a few examples.
This makes Scrum not only a very effective process model for developers, but also a way to work better in a team and have fun in the process. In addition to Scrum, other agile development methods such as Kanban are also used at DOCUFY. Some teams also combine the methods to have the greatest possible benefit for their daily work.
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