March 2018


A very, very brief overview of Scrum

The godfathers of Scrum define it as, “a framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.”

The method is made up of roles, event, and artefacts, all of which are clearly defined and work together to produce frequent product increments that can be used and assessed by stakeholders long before the project comes to an end. This ensures not only that expectations are continuously understood by all stakeholders, but also that that which is being developed will in fact have impact and create value for the clients and the ends users.

It has roots in software development, dating back several decades, but today you can find this process framework has transcended its origins and has taken root has a widely applicable project management methodology.

Transparency, Inspection, Adaption

Scrum has three pillars: Transparency, Inspection, and Adaption.

  • Transparency is important due to the self-organizing nature of the scum method, no matter your role on the team the process must be visible so that you can have a sense of shared ownership in outcomes.
  • Inspection requires that all team members inspect project artefacts and the progress being made towards a sprint goal. This can detect variances and misalignments during the course of sprint rather than having to wait until the sprint review with stakeholders.
  • Adaption is an essential piece to scrum because it informs the iterative nature of the process. The expectation is that if the project is veering off course, team members must be ready to adapt and change course.

With these pillars and an understanding of the artefacts, roles, and events of scrum you are ready to spring into action and be a part of your organization’s agile transformation.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of working agile, check out this blogpost.

Roles

A scrum team is made up of anywhere between 5 – 11 members. While each scrum team will only have one Product Owner and one Scrum Master, the diversity of the skills required will dictate the number of development team members. It is important to note that there is no hierarchy in the team, all are equal and all are responsible.

  • Product Owner: This person is responsible for ROI, product vision, and prioritizing the backlog. This person works closely with the business side and the stakeholders. An apt metaphor for this position would be that of a Foreign Minister, responsible for communicating with those outside of the product team.
  • Scrum Master:To continue this metaphor, the Scrum Master is the Interior Minister and is responsible for managing communication within the team. More than that the Scrum Master is there to facilitate the scrum process, which in many cases amounts to removing barriers and obstacles that could impede the team from doing their work. This person also capture the empirical data to produce the burndown chart — an artifact that keeps the work towards the end goal visible and can signal missed deadlines before they hit.
  • Development Team: All other team members are a part of the development team and they are a cross functional group which encompasses all the necessary skills to complete the project.

Artefacts

Artefacts are used within the scrum method to ensure transparency. Artefacts include; product backlog, sprint backlog, and product increments.

  • Product Backlog: A list of requirements written from the perspective of users. This list can be continuously updated and refined.
  • Sprint Backlog: A list of the development team’s work for a sprint which emerges in Sprint Planning.
  • Product Increment: a.k.a. DoD or Definition of Done is a functional representation of the work completed within a particular sprint which is shared with the business and stakeholders at the Sprint Review.

Scrum Events

This section will briefly describe the events which make up Scrum: Sprints, Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review & Sprint Retrospective.

Sprint

Work is carried out in 1 to 4 week sprints, or time-boxed, wherein the Scrum Team works towards the creation of a working product, known as an Incremental Product Release.  A new sprint begin immediately following the conclusion of the previous sprint. Spring contain the following events: Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review & Sprint Retrospective.

Sprint Planning: the What and the How

What is known as requirements specification in traditional development projects is encapsulated in the product backlog. This prioritized list is curated by Product Owner.

During each sprint, the team works through the sprint backlog which is the team’s prioritized tasks for each sprint.

Through the use of user stories and epics, the team collectively estimates the amount of hours to be spent on the tasks making up the sprint backlog and the relative value each will produce.

What makes scrum so special is its focus on consistently delivering working products that can immediately translate into creating value long before the project is completed.

These MVP like products are an excellent way to ensure the project is on track and will produce value for stakeholders from day 1.

Daily Scrum

Daily scrum are short meetings (no more than 15mins!!) where the pillars of scrum can be seen at work. The meetings are held at the same time each day and preferably in the same place where work is inspected and synchronized, and any impediments are revealed. If adaption is necessary then follow-on meetings may be made after the Daily Scrum.

Sprint Review

Once the sprint is completed the team invites the stakeholders in to inspect the product of the sprint. Remember the product must be functional.

Sprint Retrospective

This is an opportunity for team members only to discuss the previous sprint and is facilitated by the Scrum Master. Possible changes and adaptions for upcoming sprints are discussed here.

Agile as a Mindset

Going agile should not be taken lightly and it requires full buy-in not only from employees and upper management but middle management as well.

To alleviate the stress that a new working perspective can have on middle management consider closely vetting incoming candidates for their proven ability working agile and offer current employees opportunities to get educated and certified in Scrum and SAFe.

This is why BuILD has taken such an interest in this method, because doing so can create value for our passionate and career-driven students while also creating value for the organizations with which we and our students collaborate with.

Together we are preparing to face the challenges of the Digital Age and together we learning and growing. 

BuILD your Brand with us in April!

BuILD has organized several events that are geared towards recognizing and developing your brand. These opportunities are not just for students or start-ups.

If you’re a researcher looking to attract industry collaborators, join us and learn how to succinctly present findings, applications or potential partnerships in a business setting.

This event series open to all who are interested.

More than the elevator pitch, Tuesday April 10th

These days a pitch isn’t something just for door-to-door salesmen. It’s a skill that can be an advantage in almost any setting. So whether you need to pitch for group work for a course, are looking to attract investors to your latests start-up, or have conducted research that you would like to see applied in practice, we at BuILD are here to help.

On Tuesday April 10th at 14.00 in Aud 2, our good friends at Implement Consulting Group will host a Pitch Workshop, where you can get the hands-on experience and expert feedback you need to make an impression.

Sharing is caring and this event is open to all so, don’t be afraid to share with anyone you may think would be benefit from attending.

Developing your brand & Become a Content Creator, Tuesday April 17th

Branding ourselves can be very difficult especially, if we are preparing to begin a job search or are looking for outside investment in a business venture.

Creating content on sites like LinkedIn or doing guest blog posts on websites that cater to your audience are great ways for others to get to know you, your personality, and your passions.

When we say persona brand, this is what we mean; a means of marketing yourself in a succinct manner that is easily digestible, to a future employer or potential investors.

Join us in Scroll Bar on Tuesday April 17th from 15.00-17.00 for a fun hands-on workshop where Google Alum and Digital Business Consultant Thomas Grønfeldt Senger will help you identify your personal brand, produce a comprehensive outline for your first LinkedIn article post, and finally, perfect your *Tell me about yourself* response in an job interview setting.

Open to students, recent graduates and ITU employees.

Share your insights in a professional produced LinkedIn video, April 24th & 25th

You’ve done the work, so share it!

ITU’s communication department is joining us on this one, to record single-shot videos lasting  no more than 2-minutes where you can explain findings, pitch an idea, or refine your brand, with the iconic atrium in the background.

If interested in signing-up then contact us.

A Local Non-profit Combatting Food Waste Needs your Help

Co-Founders Michael Jeppsen and Kristian Bonde Jensen started this passion-project last year and are looking for purpose-driven students to test out their web-based MVP.

    Stop Madspild!

Today, students, start-ups, and non-profits are all looking for opportunities to lend their skills to a purpose that drives them.

DelDinMad is no different, a non-profit dedicated to lowering the instances of food waste in Denmark.

It started last year when the start-up’s co-founders realized that by some estimations over 30% of food waste in Denmark occurs in the household.

The concept allows users to share pictures of the food that they won’t be able to eat before it goes bad, and set up rendez-vous with other users who can use the food before it spoils.

Michael and Kristian’s solution is people-based, “we bypass the market,” explains Kristian. “and of course it costs nothing for new users to sign-up.”

Join the Movement as a Beta Tester

The team has just rolled out a web-based MVP that they are hoping to get feedback on as they work towards further app development.

Does the concept intrigue you? Do you want to learn more and try this innovative approach to combatting food waste?

Then sign-up and help the start-up gain vital knowledge that could help them take this passion-project to the next level.

UX Designers Wanted!

Are you studying UX or have a UX background and want to use your knowledge and skills to make a positive impact on the environment then join this passion project!

Apply here and don’t forget to tell them that BuILD sent you!

 

Event Recap: Strategic Execution & Value Delivery in Project Management

Last week, BuILD hosted Alexandra Chapman, Co-founder and COO of Totally Optimized Projects for a Hands-on Discussion & Workshop for practitioners as well as students.

Project Management philosophies are important because they color the way we approach the problem. Good project managers require a toolbox filled with differing approaches in order to ensure they are equipped to operate in a variety of settings.

The TOP method is just one such method, one such school of thought. There were many interesting aspects to this project management methodology that is based on over 20 years of experience including definitions of value, identifying desired outcomes, and calculating value drivers.

Defining the endgame

As is the case with many project management tools and methods, identifying the scope and parameters for measuring success are unavoidable. For example, if you are working agile, you would call it your definition of done and it represents the culmination of a sprint.

In this way path dependency is produced: how do I move my team from where we are now to where we are going? For TOP this is question is crucial. Consider Alice in Wonderland asking the Chesire Cat for directions.

From Disney’s Alice in Wonderland (1951)

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

 

Applying TOP in practice

The methods seeks to create shared understanding of a project and its goals in order to ensure each element of the project is in face value-driven, and ultimately fills the gaps between the business and IT activities.

It accomplishes this through providing practitioners with tangible ways of codifying tacit knowledge, shifting focus from cost to value through systematic repeatable processes that link business strategy with each individual project.

TOP in the Classroom

ITU Lecturer, Christian Stadager says this of the method, “TOP is quite innovative in it’s simple approach delivering value – something I have never seen meticulously broken down into an actionable methodology.” And brought the method into his Digital Governance course for third semester Master’s students studying Digital Innovation & Management.

Sound Interesting?

If this method of project management has piqued your interest and you would like to learn more about applying it in your organization or your studies then let us know! We are happy to offer tools and guidance in any of the project management methodologies we discuss here and we are happy to help.

Event Recap: Google Hash Code @ ITU

Another great event in the books! Earlier this month BuILD hosted the Copenhagen hub for Google’s Hash Code Competition. We want to thank all those who came out and made the event a success! We would also like to thank the student volunteers who took the initiative to make their dream a reality.

37,000 Participants from Norway to South Africa

The atmosphere was relaxed and light-hearted with groups excited to hear the problem statement which was live streamed from Google Dublin. Over 37,000 students and professional participated this year, according to google it would take 22 days to drive from the northern-most hub in Svalbard to the southern-most in South Africa.

This year’s problem was about self-driving cars. Teams were asked write programs that would pick up riders and deliver them to their destination within a given amount of time.

A Fun Night of Coding

Third Year Software Development bachelor student Marcus Joost was happy to spend the evening in good company and having fun, “we joined to try our hand at solving the problem,” he says, “I’m glad I participated. We really enjoyed our evening of coding.”

Join Us at BUILD!

Are you interested in being a part of BuILD? There ar many ways to do so aside from just participating in our events. Help set our agenda by requesting to join our facebook community or fill out our Contact Form and learn more about the volunteering opportunities we offer.

 

Event Recap: Consulting Friday Bar

We want to first and foremost give a big shout out to all those who participated! BuILD exists to host events, training, and networking opportunties that create value for our students and alumni representing industry. It was a pleasure to bring together recent graduates working in consulting and current students considering the pursuit of a similar career.

If I knew then, what I know now…

Although our alumni are employed in some of the most successful consulting houses in Copenhagen, they came representing themselves to share their own experiences.

A common theme among their responses to audience questions was,  “advice I wish someone had given me”. The atmosphere was relaxed and breaks were taken to fill up our glasses a Scroll Bar, and the conversations felt honest.

Join our Community and Learn more about upcoming events

In the coming weeks we will continue to host this format of event since it has been so well received but we need your help to find our future topics.

What industries are you particularly interested in hearing more about? What positions? BuILD will scrape our vast alumni network and give you access to honest opinions from professionals who were just like you not too long ago.

Join our community on facebook and be a part of the conversation.