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Scrum at PULSE.digital

Our team bases its work strategies on the Scrum method, which itself is part of the approach called Agile. The latter is the opposite of the so-called "traditional" project management approaches, which restrict creative leeway.  

Why is this?  

It's because these approaches are fundamentally rigid, they don't leave room for the unforeseen changes that are an integral part of every project. Creative maneuvering is hampered by the lead axes set during a planning phase that is considered inflexible. Reality then catches up with theory, creating a delta between the initial plan and the final result.  

This is why PULSE.digital decided to integrate the Scrum method with the Kaizen method. This allows us to respond to one of our key values: proximity to our customers. This method, integrates our customers in the creation process, from start to finish. Thus we can follow the dynamic needs of the client.  

New and relevant ideas that allow us to improve the product are continuously integrated into the project, whether they arise from the spirit of Pulse.digital or from our customers! On the other hand, those that are not compatible with the project can be eliminated. This way, we offer our clients a final version of the product that perfectly matches their expectations.    

And how do we apply this method?  

It is important to know that Scrum's life cycle is punctuated by what we call Sprints. These are spread over several weeks. To set them up, the team must meet to agree on the "what" and the "how". 

The "what" consists of a repository of our client's initial requirements, drawn up and prioritized with the client: it is fully included in the discussions. This allows us to be sure that we understand our client's needs perfectly. This repository is called Product Backlog, and will evolve throughout the production process according to the customer's requirements. Refining is continuous for the number of weeks required and requires a perfect knowledge of the production process. 

The initially planned deadline then comes to an end and the Sprint is finally completed. Then comes the Sprint Review, a meeting during which the entire team and the customer analyse the Sprint together. The goal is inspection and adaptation. Everyone watches and studies what's going on in order to improve. This step is very interesting for the customer because he can know the situation of the product. But our agency also benefits from it because it can have an overview of its work. The final product, for example a website, is really used by the client: there has to be a practical inspection of the object in operation, a real interaction.

The final phase is called the Sprint Retrospective. It allows the product to be inspected again, but this time exchanges are made between the customer and the team in order to allow the team to adapt the product again if satisfaction is not at its maximum. Positive and negative aspects are discussed and all agree on possible changes to be made. It is important not to focus only on what is wrong! We should not demoralize everyone.   

The "how" is divided into various elements that the customer wants to group together in his product, such as the possibility for buyers to put their purchases in a basket on the website. To know how to develop each of the elements, a task list will be created called Sprint Backlog. 

Before the Sprint can start, it is still necessary to define the User Stories which are features described by the customer. They will each have to have a name, a unique identifier, be classified according to their importance as well as the amount of work needed to develop them, be validated and tested. // It will then be necessary to set up a validation test // And finish with a "notes" part that allows to add comments or any other information. 

When these three stages are completed, the Sprint can begin. Its progress is monitored daily through fifteen-minute daily meetings called Daily Scrum. The progress of the tasks is updated and the team can be up to date on what remains to be done. These sessions are prepared during the Sprints Planning Meetings: priority requirements are selected in the Product Backlog, broken down and analyzed again, and finally they are ranked again according to their priority. This refinement is continuous for the required number of weeks and requires a perfect knowledge of the production process. 

The originally planned deadline then comes to an end and the Sprint is finally completed. Then comes the Sprint Review, a meeting during which the entire team and the customer analyse the Sprint together. The goal is inspection and adaptation. Everyone watches and studies what's going on in order to improve. This step is very interesting for the customer because he can know the situation of the product. But our agency also benefits from it because it can have an overview of its work. The final product, for example a website, is really used by the client: there has to be a practical inspection of the object in operation, a real interaction. 

The final phase is called the Sprint Retrospective. It allows the product to be inspected again, but this time exchanges are made between the customer and the team in order to allow the team to adapt the product again if satisfaction is not at its maximum. Positive and negative aspects are discussed and all agree on possible changes to be made. It is important not to focus only on what is wrong! We should not demoralize everyone.