Agile methodologies, and especially Scrum, are a vital part of Solid Gear’s DNA and therefore, we are all very proud to be able to develop both short&long projects using this methodology.
For those not initiated in the agile methodologies world, this is a process in which a set of good practices are applied to the work and team collaboration to achieve an objective in the most efficient way possible.
These words, at first sight are very beautiful, but can be nonsense if you do not follow certain simple and basic rules that make obtaining the results are the expected ones.
Both the customers and the companies we collaborate with are amazed to see the way we work and above all, how we deliver regular packages of the final product. This focus on communication and making frequent publications is a direct return on results as soon as posible to cultivate a continued trust in time and robust with our customers.
We take 5 years being agile, and not only agile, but also obtaining excellent results. Thanks to this, why not to create a new vertical: training based on experience? Why not to share with other professionals how to manage a project in an agile way?
According to this idea, our main objective was to prepare a practical workshop. Through different practical activities being the thread of the workshop, the aim was to embrace, consolidate and assimilate the theory explained before. Among all the activities that the workshop includes, we can highlight the game of agile blocks.
The game of agile blocks is a dynamic where teamwork is fundamental and it will server us top ut into practice all the basic rules explained.
With this game and always from the agile perspective, we want all the attendees to learn to:
- start a project
- understand the requirements and manage changes over the time
- manage unexpected events
- iterate over an existing feature
- understand how Scrum works: meetings, roles,…
The dynamics of the game of agile blocks is that Scrum Teams being involved in the game have to build a city that have some features and using the blocks to build it. Each team will consist of 4-5 people and will have to cooperate with each other to build the city and achieve the common goal, the project.
In addition, we will also have the role of Product Owner, who will be the responsable for customers, the person who has the business vision and who takes decisions so he will be the one presenting all the user stories giving place to the product. Furthermore, he will be involved in the development process and will answer any question.
In Scrum, any User Story is always specified in the same way:
<<As a [[role]], I need [[description of the feature]] to [[description of the consequence]]>>
Furthermore, User Stories are always accompanied by Acceptance Criteria, which are extremely useful to know the limits of the development of these features.
In our workshops, we set several objectives and one of them is to build a city. Within the city, we are going to write an example user story that reflects the features that have the following functionality:
<<As a constructor of the city I want a system for lifting heavy loads of material and concrete blocks in order to build buildings of more tan a height >>
- It must have 2 plants in height
- It can be moved up&down
- It can spin on itself
- It has a hook to lift loads
One of the basic pillars in Scrum is the iteration, and therefore, work on new functionalities or improve an existing functionality to add value that the user can perceive. That is why in Scrum we talk about iterations.
Within each of these iterations, we will learn to:
- live how different roles involved in the product (citizens, builders, entrepreneurs, self-employed) demand different functionalities appropriate to their needs
- see how the Product Owner must know the return on investment to achieve the objective and how the team, thanks to the frequent conversations with the Product Owner, i sable to speak the same language and give importance to the functionalities that provide value to the product according to the target
- estimate and prioritize user stories
- how to deal with unforeseen events, how to deal with them and how to overcome them
- analyze what is done in all the meetings in Scrum: planning, daily, backlog grooming, sprint review and retrospective.
Thanks to the retrospectives, we will put in value the continuous improvement and we will enhance and analyze how to improve processes as well as the value of these for future iterations.
At Solid Gear, we also pay special attention to retrospectives, as a company and as a team that want to improve. Do you want to dig deeply in what is a retrospective, what is it useful for and how do we do it in Solid Gear?. Click here to find out.
As a rather interesting fact, it is often very easy to confuse estimation and prioritization. Estimation is carried out by the team who is going to develop that feature, so that we can measure the velocity of the speed over the time. Prioritization is carried out by the Product Owner and his mission is to have all the features ordered by priority, where priority means the value that feature provides the customer.
At Solid Gear, we really believe in not only how we focus the workshop but also the results and the feedback we get from them. The basic objective we pursue is to successfully teach a development methodology but also, we do it in an easy and enjoyable way.
Of course, we are very critical of our own work, so we do our internal retrospectives to improve the process and in this way, improve the workshop with the feedback obtained.