Creating Tasks for Scrum Masters

According to The Agile Manifesto: “The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.” As a Scrum Master, your job is to help your team become self-organizing, and thanks to the Scrum framework, you have what you need to help the team own their tasks in the project.

The Product Backlog

Everything a Scrum Team needs to work on is in the Product Backlog, which is simply a list of the things users and customers want from the product, grouped by epics, features and user stories. A popular format of recording a product backlog item (PBI) is writing down user stories: “As a (user role), I want to (describe action here) in order to (describe value or desired output here).”

A good PBI is understood by everyone: they know what its objective is, what the desired outcome is, and what level of complexity and feasibility it has. The team can opt to use an online tool to manage PBIs or a physical board with swim-lanes – whichever is more manageable. Ensuring that these characteristics are followed will help the development team have a better picture of what they need to do.

Sprint Ceremonies

While the Scrum Master can coach the team at any point during the project, the Sprint Ceremonies are the most important activities in the timeline and also the best venue for managing the work to be done. This is where the team inspects the work done and adapts to changes for upcoming work. While each ceremony has different purposes, they all have an impact on what tasks the team will accomplish.

Sprint Planning

The first part of Sprint Planning is used to identify what to put into the Sprint Backlog. This is where the Product Owner identifies the Sprint goal, scopes what backlog items to include, and prioritizes the Sprint backlog from the most important to the least important. The Product Owner must be able to clarify what the functionality is and why they’re valuable. Acceptance criteria should also be discussed so that the team will know what to meet in finishing PBIs.

The second half of Sprint Planning is where the team discusses how to finish the Sprint’s product increment. Tasks for each PBI are identified, and because tasks are never assigned to a Scrum project, each team member picks tasks for themselves. More experienced team members can take the technically challenging tasks, while less experienced ones can choose simpler tasks or be mentored for the more difficult ones.

If not yet done during Product Backlog prioritization, the team also estimates the complexity or amount of time needed for each PBI. One way to estimate PBIs would be to use Poker Planning, where everyone votes for the agreed Story Point, a number relative to the complexity of the PBI at hand. The total Story Points in a Sprint indicates the total effort needed to be given. While the Product Owner may choose not to take part in this session, it’s beneficial to have him around in case the team needs to clarify or renegotiate the scope.

Sprint Review

The Sprint Review is the ceremony primarily used for inspecting the product increment of a Sprint. Each PBI is demonstrated to the Product Owner (along with other customers, if available) and feedback is taken for each PBI. If not done during the Sprint, PBIs are assessed if they meet the Definition of Done or if they still need to be worked on. The feedback gathered can also be used to come up with future PBIs, which, in turn, will create more tasks for the team.

The ‘Agile Scrum Master Training Course With 59 Seconds Training‘ is now available for free. This free Scrum Master Certified Online Training Course provides an in-depth understanding of the Agile Scrum Master roles and responsibilities, where you find out what a Scrum Master does and how to do it. During this free course you will learn all of the tools needed to succeed as an Agile Scrum Master.

Thank you for choosing us to learn about the Agile Scrum Framework.

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Our Book Recommendations

We found these books great for finding out more information on Agile Scrum:

Master of Agile – Agile Scrum Master With 59 Seconds Agile (Video Training Course)

Introductory Offer: Free Course

Master of Agile – Agile Scrum Master With 59 Seconds Agile (Video Training Course)

What is this course?

This ‘Master of Agile – Agile Scrum Master With 59 Seconds Agile (Video Training Course)’ provides an in-depth understanding of the Agile Scrum Master roles and responsibilities

You will explore the Agile Scrum project life-cycle, including how an Agile User Story is created, to how we know when it is ‘done’

This course is aimed at those with or without prior knowledge and experience of the Agile values and principles

During this course you will learn the tools needed to succeed as an Agile Scrum Master

What will you learn?

You will gain an in-depth understanding of the Agile Scrum Master roles and responsibilities, and you will be able to

  • Fully understand the role of the Agile Scrum Master
  • Understand the roles involved in an Agile project
  • Create an effective Product Backlog
  • Effectively participate in Scrum Meetings such as the Daily Stand-up, Sprint Review and Retrospective
  • Identify the roles involves in the Scrum Team

What topics are covered within this course?

You will cover the following topics during this course:

  1. An Introduction to Agile Project Management (Scrum Master)
  2. Using the Agile Manifesto to Deliver Change (Scrum Master)
  3. The 12 Agile Principles (Scrum Master)
  4. The Agile Fundamentals (Scrum Master)
  5. Introduction to Scrum (Scrum Master)
  6. Scrum Projects (Scrum Master)
  7. Scrum Project Roles (Scrum Master)
  8. Scrum in Projects, Programs & Portfolios (Scrum Master)
  9. How to Manage an Agile Project (Scrum Master)
  10. Leadership Styles (Scrum Master)
  11. The Agile Project Life-cycle (Scrum Master)
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