In today’s rapidly evolving world, the need for multitasking has become an inevitable part of our daily lives. This holds true even in the world of Scrum projects, where clients’ requirements can often feel overwhelming. In order to keep up with this demanding pace, it is crucial to use skillful and efficient management techniques to ensure that project deadlines are successfully met. Effective prioritization, planning, and allocation of resources are essential in navigating this dynamic landscape. By embracing strategic planning, effective communication, and adaptive problem-solving, project teams can effectively manage the constant flow of requirements and deliver results in a timely manner. Within this tech bite, I have highlighted two practices from a comprehensive set of best practices. These practices are designed to support you in effectively managing multiple development tracks within a single software development project.
Furthermore, through my experience, the project I worked on included two distinct tracks. The first one involved regular biweekly Production releases. The second track was dedicated to a set of features, which the client strategically chose to deliver to Production only after they were all fully completed. At first glance, this approach may not seem entirely compatible with Scrum, but I will elaborate on how we managed to integrate these circumstances effectively within the Scrum framework.
Prioritize and Plan
Juggling the management of two development tracks can often feel like a daunting task. However, in such situations, the key lies in the art of prioritization and effective planning. Understanding what needs to be delivered and when becomes paramount. By considering various factors such as user needs, strategic goals, and the complexity of the tasks at hand, we can precisely define a timeline that spans a specific period. Through careful analysis and thoughtful decision-making, we can navigate the difficulty of managing multiple development tracks and ensure that our deliverables are met with efficiency and success.
In order to effectively manage two development tracks, it is of utmost importance to maintain and prioritize the backlog precisely. This means regular and careful reviews of the tickets present in the backlog. By doing so, we can ascertain that the backlog remains up-to-date, relevant, and aligned with the project’s objectives.
Furthermore, collaborating closely with stakeholders is crucial in ensuring that the backlog accurately represents the most valuable features and requirements. Engaging stakeholders throughout the process enables us to gain valuable insights, perspectives, and feedback from those who have a vested interest in the project’s success.
Sprint vs. Release Increments
Through the implementation of effective management practices, we have successfully established two distinct types of (software) increments that greatly assist us in effectively managing multiple development tracks.
As we are aware, certain features may not be feasible to develop or deliver in their entirety within a single Sprint. In such scenarios, an effective approach is to break down the feature into smaller, more manageable parts that can be developed within the designated Sprint timeframe. This is what we call Sprint Increment, where each increment represents a valuable component of the feature, although not yet fully ready for immediate use. By adopting this incremental approach, development teams can make tangible progress and deliver meaningful functionality to stakeholders at the end of each Sprint. This incremental approach ensures continuous progress and feedback, ultimately leading to the successful completion of the feature over multiple Sprints.
The second type, known to us as the Release Increment, focuses on incorporating smaller features or improvements into the Sprint cycle, ensuring their readiness for release to production by the end of the Sprint. By strategically integrating these increments, we are able to maintain a steady pace of development, address diverse project requirements, and deliver a comprehensive set of updates and enhancements. By adopting a systematic and agile approach, we prioritize features and enhancements that hold immediate value for the users, ensuring their prompt delivery to meet their immediate needs.
Through our effective management practices, these two types of increments have become invaluable assets. The first Increment type, the Sprint Increment, serves as a valuable tool for tracking progress, gathering feedback from clients/users, and achieving milestones. Although it may not be fully functional or ready to use, it enables us to take advantage of the benefits that Scrum offers. On the other hand, the second Increment type, the Release Increment, includes valuable and fully functional outcomes that directly address users’ immediate needs. By following this dual approach, we efficiently manage multiple development tracks and deliver both useful progress indicators and valuable features that stakeholders can readily utilize.
“How to manage two development tracks using Scrum?” Tech Bite was brought to you by Amar Mahmić, Junior Product Owner at Atlantbh.
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