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Scrum Planning Materials - Artifacts
In an earlier article in this series, discussing the project process in Scrum, I made mention of the four Scrum artifacts: Product Backlog, Release Burndown, Sprint Backlog, and Sprint Burndown. In the next article in this series, I will focus specifically on the product backlog, though I will discuss it briefly here.
This Product Backlog template is a useful sheet that allows you to track Story Points (action items) by priority of story size vs. value. To the side of this template is a place where you can insert your calculations and estimates for the Release Burndown. You can also track what Sprint Number will have which items for the product backlog.
Alternatively, you could use an Excel worksheet and generate index cards for your story from the worksheet using this Scrum index card generator as your product backlog. The information contained on this sheet would include the ID of the story item, the importance, the name, notes describing the story item and how the test of the item would be performed.
The Sprint backlog template will contain the story id, a name for the story, the status of the story point, size, sprint, priority and comments that come up during the Sprint.
Burndown charts should have a chart that demonstrates the work remaining after each Sprint in a project. If you are looking for a Sprint Burndown template, you will want to be able to demonstrate the work remaining at the end of each day's work.
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Other Scrum Planning Materials
Another Scrum planning material you may use is a sheet that tracks the release requirements brainstormed during the Release Planning meeting. As mentioned in the section above, you might want to use a template for index cards to track stories and distribute them amongst team members. Alternatively, you can track stories on a whiteboard using the index cards.
Another template you might find useful for Scrum is an issues tracking feature. This way, should any issues come up during the Sprint, they can be recorded and easily transferred and prioritized on the Product backlog.
You may even find traditional project planning templates to be helpful when using Scrum. For example, a project charter or a communication plan may prove quite helpful during the project management process. By utilizing some of the more traditional project management tools, you may find that your Scrum projects are less susceptible to some of the problems that cause agile projects to fail. By embracing Scrum, while still monitoring project process using some of the more traditional methods after each sprint, you can help make sure that your project stays on task and on target the whole way through.
During the Scrum project planning process, you might find it handy to keep on hand a Scrum Cheat Sheet so if you are stuck on what to do next or what protocol is, you can easily look it up.
Finally, you may wish to have a template for the Sprint Retrospective findings. This way, when you go into your next sprint and create the next Sprint backlog, you are ready to go.
Please be sure to check out the other items in Bright Hub's collection of Agile project management guides and discussions.
If you're looking for more sample forms and downloadable templates, check out Bright Hub's resource guide Over 50 Free Project Management Templates and Sample Forms.
Understanding Scrum - Project Planning Templates and Samples
This series of articles details the principals behind scrum methodologies - the process, environment, process, roles, etc. Everything you need to know to understand Scrum, you will find in these articles.