The Agile Team and what is a Backlog? What are they for and why are they important?

by alexandrialecs100w

In order to properly use Agile for your developing needs, you will need a better understanding about the Agile team and backlog. You gotta start somewhere!

What consists of an Agile Team?

There are three main parts to the Agile Team, all of which are equally important. These three parts are: Product Manager, Scrum Master, and the Team (CK). The leader of the Agile Team is the Product Owner This is usually someone who has communication with the users of the product, understand the product’s market field, and overall is a good marketer for the product that is being developed. However, the most important job that the Product Owner has is that he or she, must have a clear end product goal in mind. Next, is the Scrum Master. Scrum Master is a type of middle man between the Team and the Product Owner. His or her goal is to motivate the Team and push it to the end of the Sprint. Essentially, the Team’s success, is the Scrum Master’s success. He or she must be ready to face any issues a team runs into and as fast as possible, remove the issue, get the team back and ready to go. The Team consists of many tinier roles such as: artists, animators, programmers, designers, and QA (CK). Usually teams consists of seven or so members and they are self-managing. The Team is what determines proper time estimates for the project given and commits to completing the work that they have set themselves up to do. Team members are actively meeting and engaging with one other to complete each sprint.

Why is an Agile Team important?

There are multiple reasons for why having an Agile Team is so important. Not only does having a team create an communicative environment, it also creates a more collaborative environment. With such an environment, the entire development process becomes more enjoyable and chances are, the happier your employees are, the more that gets done. More motivation plus more performance equals a better product.

 

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What is a backlog?

ProductBacklogIceberg

According to the faculty of Computer and Information Science from the University of Ljubljana, a Product Backlog is a “list which contains all active product requirements” and it is “managed by the Product Owner, who is the only person authorized to change the priorities of the requirements” (Grebennikov)In simple terms, it’s a list of things that you have to complete for the entire product and the only person who is allowed the change the list is the Product Owner.

As previously learned, the overall product development process is broken down into sprints. Before each sprint begins, there is a discussion about the product’s backlog, where a little part of the backlog is chosen to be completed by the end of the sprint. This little section is what describes what has to be completed or requirements that will be completed within the thirty+ day sprint. Also, each requirement listed will also be broken down even further by the team to be finished within four to sixteen hours.(Grebennikov).

Why is having a backlog important?

A backlog breaks down the large amount requirements into a  smaller, more “do-able”, goal that can be completed in a shorter amount of time. It also give the team a direction to begin in for each and every individual sprint. Once a backlog is created in each sprint, the backlog must be maintained and the team must stay committed to completing the requirements listed on the backlog (Grebennikov). Overall, it keeps the team goal orientated.

In the end, having a great team and a proper backlog are important details in what makes a good product. Without those two, chances are, very little development would occur. So, don’t forget to build your team and write that backlog!

 

References:

Keith, Clinton. “Agile Methodology in Game Development: Year 3.” Gaming Developers Conference. High Moon Studios. CGC, San Jose. 20 Mar. 2006. Lecture.

Grebennikov, A. (2008). Modern topics of computer science: Proceedings of the 2nd WSEAS International Conference on Computer Engineering and Applications (CEA’08), Acapulco, Mexico, January 25-27, 2008. S. l.: WSEAS Press.

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