Best Practices of Agile in ZenTao

2022-08-04 14:25:38
WANG JING
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Last edited by Yujia Li on 2022-11-10 08:43:27
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1. Your Agile Master

The term "Agile" comes from the Agile Manifesto, a statement on software development principles that was created in 2001 by a group of software practitioners who wanted to improve the state of the practice. Agile software development embraces change, which means that the demands of today may be very different than what might happen tomorrow, requiring one to adjust priorities dynamically without engineering other contingencies.


By using an Agile approach, team members can always be working on the most important tasks and they can rapidly respond to changes in requirements. This makes agile well-suited for quickly developing and releasing software products.


ZenTao Project Management tool adopts Agile approaches where you can get the best Agile experience. It’s a comprehensive, all-in-one platform that covers everything, from product and project management to bug tracking and document management. Whether you are just new to Agile, or combine Kanban, Lean, and XP applying, ZenTao is flexible to support you.


2. Your guide to Scrum

Agile is a philosophy, whereas Scrum is a type of Agile methodology. Here are some key concepts of Scrum below.

 

2.1 Scrum Keywords:

  • Address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.
  • Iterating in Sprint (2-4 weeks), including product design, development, and testing
  • Implement independent management, continuously improve the internal process efficiency
  • Stable release rhythm, get feedback and make adjustments accordingly
  • No specific engineering practice (Scrum + XP)


2.2 Scrum Roles:

Product Owner

  • Define product features
  • Determine the content and date of product release
  • Responsible for the input and output of products
  • Adjust the priority of user stories according to market
  • Agree or reject the increment

 

Scrum Master

  • Directly manage the project
  • Lead the team to complete scrum practice and implement its value
  • Solve problems encountered in the team
  • Ensure team efficiency and status
  • Coordinate and communicate within the team

 

Team

  • 5-9 team members
  • Cross-functional: development, testing, design, etc.
  • Self-managed


Scrum meetings:

A. Sprint Planning (Story splitting and task breakdown)

  • Analyze and evaluate product backlog
  • Select for sprint backlog according to the story priority
  • Task breakdown
  • Estimate tasks in hours

 

B. Daily Scrum (Daily stand-up)

  • Held every day
  • Stand up for meeting
  • Describe what you did yesterday and what to do today
  • Invite all relevant personnel to attend the meeting
  • Only team members speaking
  • Avoid irrelevant discussions

 

C. Sprint Review (Demo & Review)

  • Increment demonstration once the sprint is done
  • Prepare the demo in advance
  • All team members should attend the meeting
  • Invite people who want to get updates on the products to attend the meeting

 

D. Sprint retrospective

  • Review and learn from the current sprint
  • All team members should attend the meeting
  • Prepare for the next sprint


Scrum output:

A. Product backlog

  • An ordered list of everything that is known to be needed in the product
  • The single source of requirements for any changes to be made to the product
  • The product owner is responsible for the product backlog, including its content, availability, and ordering

B. Sprint backlog

  • Developers decide which tasks they are going to do
  • Tasks are not assigned
  • Each task has someone to be responsible for it
  • As work is performed or completed, the estimated remaining woek is updated

C. Burndown chart

  • X-Axis: The project/iteration timeline
  • Y-Axis: The work that needs to be completed for the project
  • The time or story point estimates for the work remaining will be represented by this axis.


ZenTao Project Management is based on Scrum. We do believe that Scrum is easy to operate and fits fast iterative development cycles often seen in software projects. However, Scrum only tackles the core management framework, leaving many details and processes that need extended development.


Based on Scrum and the current software development situation, ZenTao integrates test case, release, bug, and document management features to cover the entire software development lifecycle. The picture below describes an overview of the Scrum model in ZenTao.

 

Equipped with ZenTao to manage your Scrum projects all in one!


2.3 Your guide to Kanban

The Kanban framework is based on the principles of the Lean methodology, which aims to maximize the efficiency of all work and resources. Rather than having time-based sections such as in Scrum, Kanban documents separate actionable pieces or features that can “go live” individually and in the order of completion.


4 practices of Kanban

  • Visualization

What is presented visually is always the most intuitive and effective. It requires a board with cards and is divided into many columns in order to visualize the flow of a Kanban system. Each column on the board represents a step in the workflow. Each Kanban card represents a work item.


The first and most important thing for anyone implementing Kanban is to understand what needs to do to get from a request to a deliverable. Only after understanding how the current workflow works can it be improved with necessary adjustments.


Drag it into the "To do" column when you plan to start a work item X, and then move it to the "Done" column when you finish it. It is easy to track the progress and identify bottlenecks in this way.

 

  • Limit Work In Progress (WIP)

Limit WIP means implementing a pull system in some or even all of the workflow. Putting a maximum limit on each stage ensures that work will only be pulled past when the next stage is capable. Such constraints can reveal problem areas in the workflow very quickly so you can identify and fix them.

 

  • Manage Workflow

One of the main purposes of implementing a Kanban system is to create a balanced, healthy workflow. What we call a flow is the movement of work items during production. Instead of micromanaging staff and keeping them busy, we should focus on managing the work process and need to understand how to work faster with the system. This means Kanban is creating value at a faster speed.


  • Establish a feedback mechanism

Building feedback loops will be an essential step for teams and companies that want to become more agile. This ensures that the organization is sufficiently responsive to possible changes and enables knowledge transfer among members. The simplest practice of a feedback loop is a daily standup for team synchronization. The daily standup is held before the Kanban board (physical or electronic) and each member tells the others what he did yesterday and what he will do today.


Kanban is a flexible framework in terms of team size and roles. It is particularly useful for identifying bottlenecks, and for fast-moving projects with simpler workflows. Kanban in ZenTao supports all the practices above. The picture below describes an overview of the Kanban model in ZenTao.

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