Student Mentoring Series Part 2: Effective Agile Practices for Startups - A Mentoring Session with Suresh

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With an objective to enable continuous learning and progression for our learners, PremierAgile curated several learning articles in the areas of Agile, Scrum, Product Ownership, Scaling, Agile Leadership, Tools & Frameworks, latest market trends, new innovations etc...

Student Mentoring Series Part 2: Effective Agile Practices for Startups - A Mentoring Session with Suresh

Student Mentoring Series Part 2: Effective Agile Practices for Startups - A Mentoring Session with Suresh

Introduction

We recently had the opportunity of speaking with Asha, a recently appointed Scrum Master at a start-up company, during our one-on-one mentoring session. Asha talked about her experience and the difficulties she is having in her new position. This talk gave participants insightful knowledge about how Agile approaches might be used in a startup setting. Here, we go over the main ideas covered in the session as well as the guidance by Suresh Konduru, PremierAgile’s lead Coach and Mentor, for enhancing Agile procedures.

Asha’s Journey to Becoming a Scrum Master

Asha, a Technical Support Engineer, enrolled in our mentoring program. She was motivated to become a Scrum Master by our sessions. She worked hard to earn her CSM certification and watched a lot of YouTube videos on Scrum techniques and real-world scenarios in order to actively prepare for her interview. Her perseverance paid off, as she was hired by a startup as a Scrum Master.

The Challenge: Ineffective Sprint Management

Asha's company follows an 8-week release cycle divided into three Sprints:

  • Two Sprints for development: Each Sprint is 2 weeks long.
  • One Sprint for testing: Last 2 weeks for bug fixes.

However, the company faces issues with this approach:

  1. Delayed Testing: Testing starts only after the development Sprints, causing a backlog of bugs that are hard to fix within the allocated time.
  2.  Lack of Agile Principles: The process does not align with Agile values of delivering value frequently and early.

Suresh’s Recommendations

1. Integrate Testing Within Each Sprint:

  • Agile emphasizes delivering potentially shippable product increments at the end of each Sprint. Testing should not be a separate phase but integrated within each Sprint.
  • Encourage collaboration between developers and testers throughout the Sprint to identify and fix bugs early.

2. Implement Definition of Ready (DoR):

  • Ensure that all user stories meet the DoR criteria before Sprint planning. This means user stories should be well-defined, estimated, and have acceptance criteria.
  • This practice prevents delays and ensures the team is well-prepared to start work on the user stories.

3. Reduce Hotfixes and Unplanned Work:

  • Educate stakeholders on the importance of maintaining Sprint integrity. Frequent interruptions for hotfixes can disrupt the team's focus and reduce productivity.
  • Establish a process for handling urgent requests without derailing the Sprint goals.

4. Promote Agile Mindset and Collaboration:

  • Conduct regular Agile training sessions to align the team with Agile principles and practices.
  • Foster an environment of continuous improvement where feedback is encouraged, and team members feel empowered to suggest changes.

Conclusion

Asha's story sheds light on the typical difficulties entrepreneurs encounter while putting Agile approaches into practice. A road map for enhancing Sprint management and developing a genuine Agile culture is provided by Suresh's direction. Asha's team may accomplish more productive and successful Agile methods by incorporating testing into each Sprint, putting in place a Definition of Ready, cutting down on unforeseen work, and encouraging teamwork.

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Author

Paula

Is a passionate learner and blogger on Agile, Scrum and Scaling areas. She has been following and practicing these areas for several years and now converting those experiences into useful articles for your continuous learning.