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Effective Communication as an essential part in the life cycle of project development with Scrum methodology

  • Agile

19 April 2018

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We know that Communication is the pillar of human relationships but how do we manage communication for producing mobile app development and web application development, among other things?, Is the communications structured?, Is it based on a protocol? is it normed? Would this result in good or bad development?..

Before starting an application development there is a kick-off meeting where we:

  • Establish a government that will direct the project.
  • Introduce all members of the project to each other.
  • Explain stakeholders’ expectations.
  • Define the scope.
  • Decide release dates.
  • Determine critical dates.
  • Explain the responsibilities of each role.
  • Show the impact the project will have on the Stakeholder’s business.

But you must not forget these other points that are also very relevant

  • Explain the methodology that will be used.
  • Define the communicational terms: norms, discipline, and constancy.

These points maintain the whole team with wide visibility and on the same page. Providing a mechanism that is agile and able to prevent any obstacle or difficulty that may occur and where all participants can identify opportunities for improvement on the go, among many other benefits.

Taking the Scrum methodology as a reference we can show planned and constant communication as a fundamental aspect through:

“Sprint Planning Meeting” This meeting is meant to define what we want and how we will do it and it lasts between 4 - 8 hours. The scrum team identifies the technical tasks to cover functionalities of the user’s histories to be ready for the release date. Each team member agrees on a timeline for finishing their tasks. The scrum Master will receive and schedule general doubts and negotiate the scope and times if necessary.

“Daily scrum meetings” will not exceed  20 minutes. All the people involved in the project development must attend this meeting.  By people involved we mean: dedicated software development team, quality assurance team, Technical Leader(Scrum Team), product owner (stakeholders representative) and scrum master (Project Manager). Each person informs the progress of their tasks to cover functional specifications of the user’s histories that were agreed on the planning meeting for the ongoing Sprint. They can also inform any obstacles or doubts they have encountered. The stoppers or doubts that can not be clarified in this short meeting will be scheduled by the Scrum Master to solve later with the necessary support (technical leader, product owner or other instances).  Any tasks that can not progress will stay in status “on hold” and we will assign another task to avoid delay or deviation.

“Retrospective meeting”, Here we will highlight the qualities of each team member, the team achievements and the individual achievements. We will also identify weaknesses and proposals for improvement.  In the next Sprint, we will then start with strategies that maximize the productivity and excellence of each team member.

This meeting is usually done after a Release of the project that includes a set of functionalities that have been identified in the user’s histories and planned in the Sprints.

Advantages of communication for each role

Scrum Master Perspective (Project Manager)

  • Allow the continuous monitoring of the project status.
  • Identify the team members that will need technical assessment or behavior assessment.
  • Identify technical and business doubts o any stopper on time.
  • Keep in alignment with each team member with their priority and objective.
  • Allow for regular reviews of the scope and schedule functionalities for the current Sprint.
  • Obtain naturally the support and disponibility from the Product Owner or Stakeholder.
  • Allow each member to know when they can ask for support, to who, what to do and what not to do.

Scrum Team perspective (Development Team and QA team)

  • Generate a trusting environment.
  • Receive constant technical and functional assessments to define the best way to develop the assigned tasks.
  • Obtain feedback on their performance and guide for improvement.
  • Ensure the clarity of the scope and what they must provide for the current Sprint.

Product Owner perspective (Represent of Stakeholder)

  • Visibility of the project status.
  • Feeling of belonging and control.
  • High level of understanding in the technical and functional context.
  • Time and space to clarify doubts give suggestions, among other things.

A planned and disciplined communication minimizes the rejection of the technological product, avoids the loss of costs, avoids the team´s frustration and ensures an agile mechanism to keep the times and positive expectations of the Stakeholders.

  • Mobile App Development
  • Web Application Development

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