How we Scrum in YouTrack Team

Valerie Andrianova

Introduction

The YouTrack team has been practicing Scrum for several years. We decided to switch to Scrum six years ago, when we started to develop an agile board in YouTrack. Since dogfooding is a core concept at JetBrains, we decided to adopt a Scrum practice ourselves and develop a tool for customers that conformed to the main principles of an agile framework.
So, as our first Scrum Master told us, we started with a physical board. As we developed our agile board, we ported the physical board to YouTrack. After a while, we realized that we are happy with Scrum, and went further with our transformation. We tried various practices and variations before we found the most balanced way to work. I emphasize, there is no universal approach that works for everyone. In this series of blog posts, I describe how we do Scrum in our team so you can decide if it might work for yours.

Let’s start with our goals and expectations for Scrum:

  • Build a fast-moving, iterative process.
  • Share daily status updates.
  • Improve collective code ownership.
  • Deliver updates continuously during short intervals.
  • Switch to shorter release-cycles, ideally every two weeks.
  • Improve our team collaboration and progress visualization.
  • Get feedback at early stages of development to be able to react immediately.
  • Become flexible enough to modify features on the fly.

Here are the main steps we took during our Scrum transformation:

  1. Defined basic scrum roles.
  2. Created and prioritized our product backlog.
  3. Defined procedures for estimation and planning.
  4. Configured our scrum board.
  5. Scheduled the first sprint.
  6. Performed sprint planning.
  7. Started to do daily stand-ups and track our progress during the sprint.
  8. Performed sprint demo for the whole team at the end of the sprint.
  9. Deployed and released completed user stories.
  10. Performed retrospective.
  11. Continuously repeated steps 5-10, improving our process with every sprint.

After the major release we also perform a big release retrospective, where we discuss the current process and suggest improvements.

Just as an example, here is how our Scrum Board looks during a sprint:

YouTrack Scrum Board
And here’s how our Scrum transformation increased the velocity of our team over the past year. These charts show the number of user stories we burned down in one of our early sprints compared to a sprint that was scheduled one year later:
YouTrack Burndown 1

YouTrack Burndown 2
In this series of posts, I cover every step of our Scrum transformation in detail. Each post is dedicated to a single step. I describe the various options we tried for each step and share our results and experiences. Most importantly, I describe how we tuned YouTrack during our Scrum transformation.

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7 Responses to How we Scrum in YouTrack Team

  1. Our Scrum Roles | YouTrack Blog says:

    January 19, 2017

    […] ← How we Scrum in YouTrack Team […]

  2. Our Product Backlog | YouTrack Blog says:

    January 24, 2017

    […] we published the Introduction and Our Scrum Roles installments from the How We Scrum series. This post is the third in the series […]

  3. Our Approach to Estimation | YouTrack Blog says:

    January 26, 2017

    […] installments in the How We Scrum series include the Introduction, Our Scrum Roles, and Our Backlog. The fourth post is devoted to our approach to […]

  4. Our Sprint Planning | YouTrack Blog says:

    January 31, 2017

    […] is devoted to our sprint planning. If you missed any of the previous posts, check out the Introduction, Our Scrum Roles, Our Backlog, and Our Approach to […]

  5. The Sprint | YouTrack Blog says:

    February 2, 2017

    […] of How We Scrum shows you how we execute a sprint. Previously in this series, we published an Introduction, Our Scrum Roles, Our Backlog, Our Approach to Estimation, and Our Sprint […]

  6. Our Sprint Demo Session | YouTrack Blog says:

    February 7, 2017

    […] give you a backstage pass to our sprint demo. Previous posts in our How We Scrum series include an Introduction, Our Scrum Roles, Our Backlog, Our Approach to Estimation, Our Sprint Planning, and The […]

  7. Our Sprint Retrospective | YouTrack Blog says:

    February 9, 2017

    […] walk you through our sprint retrospective. To catch up on older posts in this series, check out the Introduction, Our Scrum Roles, Our Backlog, Our Approach to Estimation, Our Sprint Planning, The Sprint, and Our […]

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