Every once a while I get this question: “Scrum seems to be super cool. Is there a way to apply those rules to my school project?”. I was thinking about this topic for a while now. The answer isn’t that hard as it seems to be. I will be going through each Scrum phase and describing to you how to apply it’s rules to your project.
This is the second part of the story about “How to apply the Scrum rules to your school project”. This time we”ll cover Product Backlog, Grooming, Planning and Estimation. The next part will be about Sprint, Daily, Review and Retrospective.
Have you ever wondered how awesome it could be to have all your requirements, goals and milestones of your project written down on a single card of paper as a list preferably? It is possible. You just simply have to ask your teacher or university professor what has to be done in order to get this project right. Write down every statement and every line of project description. Every single task. This is how you get a long list of TODOs for your project. This is a very good start point for your backlog. Put those list elements in order by prioritizing them. Remember that backlog is a subject to change. Your teacher may shuffle things on the list and add new stuff to it. Tasks in your backlog should be as small and as precise as it is possible.
This is a part of a SCRUM cycle in which you take your backlog, clean it and work on it in order to simplify tasks. Whenever you get a task like “create a signing-in option for my system” you take it and divide into smaller ones. “Create a signing-up form for new user”, “create a signing-in form for existing user”, “create a user database”, “crate a client form validation”, “create a server side validation”. The rule here is quite simple. Single tasks should take no more than two days of work. In my opinion if something is that big [two days] there is always a way to split this thing into smaller tasks. I prefer tasks that could be done in a day max. It’s way easier to work on tasks which are simple and precise.
The planning session is just before the beginning of the sprint. You will take your backlog and select tasks a.k.a. stories, that need to be done in the next week. You should work this out with your teacher. You have to know what are the most important things to be done for him for the next few days. You just simply take this set of tasks as a TODO list a.k.a sprint backlog for the following week.