14 Running with Scrum

The goal of this chapter is to introduce the Scrum practice, including its elements in the Essence language, and use the TravelEssence example to demonstrate the benefits of Scrum compared to the development approach used earlier in the book.

In this chapter, the reader will be introduced to

  • the Scrum practice and its elements;
  • the relationships between the Scrum elements, activity flows, and to their relationships with kernel elements (i.e., Work, Requirements, Software System);
  • the simplified version of the Scrum practice (called Scrum Lite) in a real endeavor, including the obstacles and challenges that might arise; and
  • how kernel activity spaces are covered by the Scrum Lite practice.

As mentioned previously, Cheryl (the CIO) had mandated after a series of successful endeavors, that Scrum and either user stories or use cases be employed by all development teams. One reason why organizations often mandate specific practices and tools is to simplify training and communication. Recall that a practice is defined to be a repeatable approach to doing something with a specific purpose in mind. By making a practice explicit we improve communication, reducing the chances of someone misunderstanding how the practice is intended to be carried out.

Scrum is perhaps the most popular agile practice at the time of this writing.
Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber created Scrum to get teams to work iteratively
and to collaborate more effectively by following a number of practical and proven

After studying this chapter, you should be able to

  • explain the benefits of the Scrum practice;
  • explain how TravelEssence adopted and applied Scrum and what benefits they achieved, together with the benefits implied by using the Scrum practice in an essentialized form;
  • explain why organizations often mandate specific practices and tools;
  • list and explain the alphas, work products, activities, and patterns of Scrum;
  • explain the concept “Definition of Done” used in Scrum;
  • apply Scrum Lite practice;
  • name relevant questions to ask during development with Scrum (e.g., “Were the items selected for this sprint properly prepared?”); and
  • explain SMART criteria for a practice (what do the letters stand for?).