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Scrum in xProcess

Standard processes... tailored to your team

xProcess is shipped with the Scrum process for software development teams. The Scrum process is called "Basic Scrum" because it's intended to be a baseline for your development team to start customizing the process to fit your team's needs.

The process is built using composite tasks so there is a standard structure that is provided for all project built using this process. the hierarchy diagram to the right show the structure with top-level tasks for: General and Scrum administration overheads (overheads are unplanned or unplannable tasks that take up a portion of everyone's time); the Sprints (a composite task which contains an iteration of Sprint instances); and the Unscheduled Backlog (a composite which contains a collection of Backlog Items).

The diagram also features the structure for Sprint and Backlog Item patterns. Sprint is a collection of the Backlog Items to be scheduled over the period, and consists of a single task. The beauty of xProcess is that these patterns can be modified to match the way your team is working or the particular application of Scrum you are using. For example, if you are using Scrum with XP you might want to rename the Backlog Item pattern to User Story and perhaps provide some structure to the set of tasks and role types that correspond to the way you are using the method.

When you make a new Scrum Project in xProcess you'll be prompted for values of the parameters of the pattern. You can see these in this screen shot, where as well as defining the name of the project, you'll be defining the start date, duration (the number of 4 week Sprints) and the Wiki location.

The Wiki location is not a required field but we've found many people finds wiki's are a convenient way to group documentation. By providing the location of the wiki in this dialog the descriptions of your backlog items are automatically transferred to a wiki page while also being browsable and editable inside of xProcess.

Having created your Scrum project from this pattern, the next thing to do is add your resources. You need to add someone with a Scrum Master role and then others with Participant roles.

With the tasks in the Scrum pattern defined as top-down, xProcess is, even at this stage, able to provide a project schedule, based on the specified duration of the project. More useful though, this is the time to create your first Sprint (right-click on the Sprints task and select New...) and then create some Backlog Items, either in the Sprint or in the Unscheduled Backlog if we don't yet know which Sprint we want them to be completed in. Backlog Items are prioritized, firstly from the particular Sprint into which they are created or moved, and secondly by the priority order of the tasks within a Sprint. You can edit this priority order by opening the Sprint editor, clicking the priorities tab and either dragging and dropping or changing the priority number.

Once you have a Sprint which contains the items the team will be implementing, open the Burndown view. This provides both the history or how much work has been completed so far in the Sprint and a forecast of what should be completed. You'll see immediately for example it there's too much work and forecast dates are beyond the end of the Sprint. Below is an example of just one such Sprint.

Looks like some discussion needs to go on as to whether all the functionality is vital in this Sprint!