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Set Threshold for Success

Your next step is to create boundaries that your team can use to complete this work.

Each story has its own acceptance criteria, means when the story is marked as Done. This definition of done, states the minimum requirements for all stories. For a story on our team to be considered done, it has to be well tested in the pre-release environment or how about for a story on our team to be considered done, it has been code reviewed and all errors fixed.

These acceptance criteria can be set while planning the scrum or by the Product Owner.

Next, your Product owner needs to be prioritizing the backlog. This is known as Backlog Grooming. It simply means that the stories are continually sequenced in value order. The more valuable the outcome of the story, the higher its priority is in the backlog.

Finally, you need to establish your Sprint Duration. Scrum says that your sprint can be anywhere from one to four weeks in length, with a preference toward the shorter time scale.

Stories and Estimation in Scrum

There are two kinds of estimation. There's actual estimating and relative estimating. Actual estimating is what you use when reading a map. It's 25 miles from Point A to Point B. This is very specific. Then, there's relative estimating, which is comparing things to each other to get a general idea of something. Like this cake is the same width as that pie.

In scrum, we use both kinds of estimating. We use relative estimation to get a rough size of our work by comparing user stories to each other. This gives us an overall sense or estimate of how big something is.

Stories themselves are rough guides to how the user wants to interact with our product. Because it's a rough statement of need, we can't be too specific on how big it is. Also, since this is just a rough cut, we don't want stakeholders to think we know precisely what it's going to take to get that done.

Story points are the unit of measure we use to convey the relative sizes. Estimation is meant to be lightweight and fast. It shouldn't take days or even hours to determine how much effort you'll put into something. While it might take a little bit of practice, once you get the hang of it, you'll fly through it.

A Real Life Example for Understanding

Let us take an example where we have to develop a website similar to Studytonight, with some basic features. How we will plan and divide the work:

  1. First, the Product Owner will be provided with all the reuired information. Information about the project is generally provided by the customer, if it is an out sourced project, and if it is a product of the company itself then, the Product Architect designs the requirements and provides to Product Owner.
  2. Once all the requirements are clear, which in our example are:
    • A Home Page with information about website
    • A Profile Page
    • Login/Signup Mechanism
    • etc...
  3. In this case, creating Profile Page and Login/Singup Mechanisms will be Epics, as this will involve a lot of small sub tasks to be completed. Whereas, creating Home Page can be one story.
  4. When we say Login/Singup Mechanisms is an Epic, we mean, it consists of stories like:
    • Defining Data Models(creating Tables) for Data objects, like User table to save user data etc.
    • Creating the User Interface(forms in HTML) for Login and Signup
    • Then completing the backend for the Login/Signup system
    • Integration Testing the system developed. This is very important in Scrum, that you test, whatever small part you have built.
  5. All the stories created are assigned Story Points, as in the time required to complete that tasks. This is dependant on the following criterias:
    • The amount of work to be done
    • The complexity of the work
    • Risk or uncertainity involved in the work
  6. Story Points are measure of time. Mostly the Fibonacci series numbers are used for story points. It can be 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 and so on, where 1 means the task requires one complete working day's effort.
  7. Planning Poker is an activity created around the Scrum Planning to make this more interactive. You can easily google how to play planning poker, or visit this Link
  8. Hence scrum famework is nothing but what we may already be doing without knowing it. It is one the perfect ways to plan and execute within a time frame to produce best results. And yes, they have specific terms for everything.