What is SCRUM and how does it work

Scrum in the project delivery sense is a way of harnessing the team in an effective way to flexibly deliver the clients requirements.

A Rugby scrum relies on the pack getting together and working as a unit, talking to each other and helping each other deliver the effort together.

In the scrum methodology the team talk to each other daily, this conversation helps build the team, encourages everyone to put their maximum effort in, but mainly allows the team to help each other and work effectively.

The approach is flexible because it focuses on short incremental developments (sprints) at the end of each development the product direction could (doesn’t have to) change, the priority of what is delivered next almost certainly will.

This allows the team to respond to changes in the customer requirements as determined by the product owner. This is much the same as a Rugby pack changes what it is doing based on the requirements of the scrum half (working on behalf of the rugby backs in the same way as the product owner works on behalf of the customer).

One of the main things about the way that scrum works is the motivation that is caused by short term deadlines (what I have said I will do today for the team, and what the team has promised this sprint).

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Scrum project manager? Get senior management training

It is common to see adverts from companies for ‘Scrum project managers’. This is normally a result of a switch from a traditional ‘Prince’ style project system which is incompetent.
There are many reasons for companies to want to stick with a ‘project manager’.
The common ones are to do with senior management:

Need to calculate ROI in order to determine whether to invest.
Need a single person to communicate with.
Need to monitor progress.
Need to understand risk.
Need someone to be responsible if things go wrong.

This course is specifically designed with these managers in mind. It is a hands on and interactive course, a great deal of fun. Most of all it SHOWS them why scrum works and how all of there requirements can still be met with a proper scrum process.

Afterwards they will understand the role of Product owner, Scrum master, and Scrum team. They will understand sprints, understand how to be flexible, understand the risk, progress monitoring, and who is responsible.

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Can we do it?

Don’t know is the real answer at the moment.
Scrum is a way of doing research. The project sounds simple enough, and is demonstrable on some phones already. All we want to do is get a S60 to read a barcode. We want it to find a barcode and read it without the user having to line it up though – just a little tweak in the tail.
The project is planned to develop in nice little steps, the ‘story boards’ are worked out – at the moment, and ‘sprints’ are happening. Already the story boards are changing, but then this is research and scrum copes with those changes.
Amazingly enough the camera on the E71 is finding it difficult to get the required resolution to detect the bars of the barcode.

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Phone development

Still officially a ‘secret’ project this will soon hit the streets, and I’m sure will cause an interesting stir.
We provided consultancy on the architecture, and man power for the development of this new Windows Mobile application being built into the latest phones from t-mobile in Germany.
The application itself consists of a very smart UI, originally specified by the customer, but this evolved as initial demonstration deliveries were made.
The application has a database to store information retrieved from a server. It is also updateable over the air in case of added features. Very modular in design with a very neat internal API that allows the modules to be replaced individually, and added to with new ones.
The application also has a nice api for external applications to use many of its features – useful for the main phone screen that can show snippets of the information the application has and then jump directly to various screens, or silently access the information to display itself.

All will become clearer when the application is launched.

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Windows mobile AND Symbian

At the same time!
Well, ok, not the same people in this case.
Currently we are working with a German company implementing an exciting new (and at the moment secret) application on both Symbian and Windows mobile phones.
More details to follow, but the work includes design, development and debugging.

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