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AX and Scrum: Product development (ISV)

Being recently certified as a scrum master through scrum alliance http://www.scrumalliance.org/. I thought I would share some experiences through this blog.

Last week I wrote about what I was working on for the last 2 years (Daxeam – Enterprise asset management solution for Dynamics AX). Continuing with the spirit of sharing. I will try to post how we are building our product and provide some examples.

Our development methodology of choice is Scrum.

What is scrum?

“An agile framework that allows us to focus on delivering the highest business value in the shortest time.”

Mike Cohn – “Introduction to Scrum Methodology”

It is an incremental and iterative approach to development.

Why scrum?

The biggest advantage of scrum for me is that it allows the team to deliver the highest business value first. Then on top of that each sprint release is a potentially shippable product. Yes – in AX any mod is shippable but what scrum does is it formalize this for. Rather than being reactive, it allows you to focus on what you (team) have committed to.

How scrum works?

Below is a high level diagram showing how Srcum works.

scrumLifecycle

  • One product owner priorities the product backlog (think of these as functional requirements, development requirements etc)
  • The sprint team (developers/functional consultants/testers etc) decides each sprint (2 weeks to weeks) how much work they can do by picking items from the top of the product back log (highest priority)
  • Sprint starts
  • Cycle through the sprint making sure all the stories are done. The team has committed to this so they better be sure they can finish it it.
  • Sprint ends at the fix allocated time. When you can ship the product (in AX terms you can release a fully working/tested model).

The scrum masters job is to facilitate the team and make sure everyone is following the scrum framework. Removing any impediments. Making sure the team communicates.

Enough of the intro for today. Next time I will get into the some real examples.

  • How we manage our development environments
  • Product back log
  • Task board – Visual board to see the progress of each task
  • Sprint burn down – how to see remaining work in a single graph
  • Example story and the tasks

Extra reading:

Great video in under 10minutes you get to understand what scrum is.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XU0llRltyFM

Must read scrum guide. http://www.scrumguides.org/

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