Effective Scrum Development Practices: the Hole in the Scrum Framework

Many of you are probably familiar with the Scrum Framework. The Scrum Alliance and the Scrum Framework lists all of the details for how we want development teams to work when we’re using Scrum. One thing you’ll notice as a Scrum developer is that there’s a lot of details about what happens before we start doing the work. There’s details about what we do when we are planning the work. And then there’s a lot of details about what happens after we’re done with the work in terms of the Sprint Review and the Sprint Retrospective, but Scrum doesn’t really have a whole lot to say about what we do day in and day out while we’re doing the work. There’s some definition around the daily Scrum, but at the core, there’s this hole in the Scrum Framework around effective scrum development practices. That’s what I, as a developer, have noticed when I’m working with Scrum.

Scrum doesn’t really have a whole lot to say about what we do day in and day out while we’re doing the work

The Scrum Organization actually produced a new version of the Scrum Guide back in November 2020. I looked at the release notes as a developer. I wanted to see if there was any opportunity for me to learn more about how to develop software. Unfortunately, the latest version of the Scrum Guide is talking about moving beyond software product development. In the revision notes, they actually say that they’ve “removed any remaining inference to IT work, which includes testing, system design, and requirements”. All the stuff that we as developers do day in and day out.

developer tool chest showing drawers labeled with effective scrum development practicesThat is why there is value in having a Technical Agile Coach on your team. Somebody who can take a look at that hole in the Scrum Framework and work with your development team to actually plug that hole with proven tools and practices. Some of the many techniques that are used for effective Scrum development include:

  • test driven development
  • automated tests
  • collaborative ways of working
  • pair programming
  • mob programming
  • involving the customer and the stakeholders

We can fill the developers tool chest with these practices and many others. When it comes time to actually start doing the work, we’re not falling back on old ineffective ways of starting prematurely without getting clear on the needs of the customer and the business, then trying to and handing things off quickly and doing more. With effective Scrum development practices, we actually collaborate and work together.

Have you seen development teams using Scrum as a management process but not using effective Scrum development practices in their day to day work? Join the discussion on our LinkedIn thread.

Paul Moore is a Technical Agile Coach with Rocket Nine Solutions.

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