Exploring the Implement Phase of a Scrum Project

January 20, 2016
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A Scrum project often goes through a number of phases. Five phases, composed of nineteen processes, are suggested in A Guide to the Scrum Body of Knowledge (SBOK™). After the Plan and Estimate phase comes the Implement phase.

This phase includes three processes related to the execution of tasks and activities—creating various deliverables, conducting Daily Standup Meetings, grooming the Product Backlog at regular intervals—to create a project’s product. It is important to note that the processes are not necessarily performed sequentially or separately. At times, it may be more appropriate to combine some processes, depending on the specific requirements of each project.

Create Deliverables

In this process, the Scrum Team works on the tasks in the Sprint Backlog to create Sprint deliverables. A Scrumboard is often used to track the work and activities being carried out. At the end of each Sprint, a product increment or deliverable is completed. The deliverable should possess all features and functionality defined in the User Stories included in the Sprint and should have been tested successfully. As the Scrum Team executes the work of creating deliverables according to the User Stories in the Product Backlog, they carry out the mitigating actions that have been defined to address any previously identified risks. The team documents any newly identified risks and mitigating actions taken. The record of project risks is a living document, continuously updated throughout the project by the team.

Conduct Daily Standup

In this process, every day a highly focused, Time-boxed meeting—referred to as the Daily Standup Meeting—is conducted. This is the forum for the Scrum Team to update each other on their progress and any impediments they may be facing. Daily Standup Meetings propagate the idea that each member of the team is important and is a major contributor, which improves individual and team morale. This, along with the concept of self-organizing teams, improves overall motivation, leads to enhanced performance of the team and improves the quality of deliverables produced.

Groom Prioritized Product Backlog

In this process, the Prioritized Product Backlog is continuously updated and maintained. Remember, the Prioritized Product Backlog contains a prioritized list of project requirements written in the form of Epics, which are high-level User Stories, and is based on three primary factors: value, risk or uncertainty, and dependencies. A Prioritized Product Backlog Review Meeting may be held in which any changes or updates to the backlog are discussed and incorporated into the Prioritized Product Backlog, as appropriate. The Prioritized Product Backlog may be updated with new User Stories, new Change Requests, new Identified Risks, updated User Stories or reprioritization of existing User Stories.

Following the three processes of the Implement phase will guide effective execution of the project at hand. Remember that the processes do not need to be performed sequentially or separately. They can be adjusted to complement the specific requirements of each project. Before leaving the Implement phase, however, it is imperative to follow the blueprints of earlier phases to produce quality deliverables.

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