How to implement Scrum with Tuleap


Are you a Scrum ninja team? Or a newbie and want to start implementing Scrum and agile processes? Agile with Tuleap makes your work and your teams’ smarter, easier, faster.

In this article, I share how getting started and running an agile development with Tuleap. Step by steps, everything is here.

  1. Create a Scrum-Friendly workspace
  2. Create your Product Backlog
  3. Prioritize your Backlog
  4. Estimate your Backlog
  5. Plan Releases & Sprints
  6. Now, Sprint!
  7. Track progress with the Burndown Chart
  8. Understand what happened: Agile Retrospective

Create a Scrum-Friendly workspace

Agility usually promotes low-tech, manual methods for tracking the work: post-it notes, cards, whiteboards, charts drawn by hand, etc. But for many reasons, at some point an online workspace is needed. Tuleap provides specific tools so that agile teams will find familiar territory. To enable Scrum teams to get started quickly, Tuleap offers a ready-to-use Scrum template.

1. From your Tuleap instance, set up a project as a project lead. Then, in the administration (admin/service configuration) of your project, make sure that the Tuleap tracker and Agile Dashboard modules are enabled.

2. In the Agile Dashboard, you’ll see that nothing is activated for the moment. We’ll use the Scrum template provided by Tuleap to create our Scrum tools.
The Tuleap Scrum template is a ready-to-use workspace that will automatically create the appropriate trackers and configuration options. Of course, once this template is loaded, you will be able to change the configuration and modify your tools to fit your agile style of work.

The Tuleap Scrum template contains:

  • 3 trackers to manage features and activities:
    Epics tracker
    |__ User stories
    |__Tasks tracker
  • 2 trackers for milestones :
    Release tracker
    |__ Sprint tracker
  • 1 tracker to trace incidents:
    Bug

To load the template, go to the Agile Dashboard tool. Click on "Start Scrum"! You instantly get a ready-to-use Scrum environment.

Create your Product Backlog

The product backlog is the list of things that need to be done. In Scrum, the backlog is usually in the form of user stories. They are short, simple descriptions of the requested functionality, told from the user perspective. For example, “I need to click this button and have x, y, and z happen.” The first draft of the Product Backlog doesn’t need to be an exhaustive list. The Product Owner spends time with customers and end users to establish this first wave of rolling requirements. Continuous improvement and changes in direction are welcomed and controlled in Scrum. In this way the backlog evolves during the lifetime of the project.

To build your Product Backlog in Tuleap and collect customers’ needs, click on the button at the top left of your Scrum dashboard, as below:

Then, click on “Add new User Stories”. By default, you can add User Stories and Bugs to your backlog. If you want, you can change the configuration so that you can add other items such as Epics or Tasks for example.

Prioritize your Backlog

This is usually the hardest step but is the foundation for everything else that follows. Backlog prioritization is key because it leads to decision-making about priorities for everyone on the project. Agile teams rely on a prioritized backlog to guide their work.

The highest priority work is at the top of the list, available for the team to start work on as soon as they are ready. Less important work is ranked lower, and its details are only added when the item moves nearer to the top of the list. The Product Owner is responsible for working with customers to create an updated and prioritized product backlog.

To order your list of backlog items in Tuleap, just drag’n drop user stories higher or lower in the list.

Estimate your Backlog

Now it’s time to play a round of planning poker with your agile development team. You will be estimating the development effort in points. You won’t use units of time (no hours, no days) but instead you’ll use indexes, most commonly those of fibonacci numbers: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21… For each user story, the Product Owner is available to provide more details about the customers’ requirements. Based on this, the team agrees on the estimated points for each User Story and specifies the “initial estimated effort”.

Here is an example of a Product Backlog with estimates:

Plan Releases & Sprints

You should now have your Product Backlog in order of priority and have estimated its size. Now, it’s time to schedule the work in units of time.

By default the Tuleap Scrum template allows you to plan work in Releases and then in Sprints. A Release is the parent item of a Sprint. We assume that several Sprints are necessary to complete one Release.

Release and Sprint planning

To plan the work to be done for the upcoming releases, you’ll first create Releases with timing information. From the Backlog, go to the “Release Planning” tab. Click on the button “add new releases” and set the required fields.

Now, divide each Release into Sprints. Go to “Sprint planning” and “Add new Sprints”.

Note that one of the required fields is “Capacity”. The Capacity of an agile team is an important measure. The team can judge the size of the workload it should undertake for the upcoming sprints in terms of available Story Points.

Release and Sprint Content

Now, based on the prioritized Backlog, you can schedule priority development tasks into Releases. Drag’n drop User Stories from the Backlog to the appropriate Releases. You can confirm that your initial estimated effort and capacity are matching as you add User Stories to your Releases.

For each Release, repeat the dividing process in the Sprint planning tab:

Now, Sprint!

Congratulations! You’ve organized and planned your upcoming work.

The agile team can focus on the development tasks in the Sprint. The team knows exactly what needs to be done, sharing a continuously updated Sprint workspace. For each Sprint, the agile team has 3 tabs:

  • the Sprint content
  • the Burndown chart
  • the Cardwall

Stand up meetings

Once a day, agile developers hold a stand up meeting that includes the Product Owner and of course, the Scrum Master. Each team member reports what has been achieved, what will be achieved next and what the issues are (if there are any). The team gathers in front of the cardwall and updates the Sprint progress in terms of:

  • User Story status. The Tuleap Scrum template provides a cardwall with four possible states: to do, on going, under review and done. You can add or remove states in the administration window of the User Story tracker.
  • Remaining story points. The remaining story points are agreed upon in the stand up meeting and updated in the tracker.
  • In this view, User Stories can also be divided into smaller tasks.

Track progress with the Burndown Chart

The agile development approach offers a simple way to track daily progress: the Burndown Chart. The Burndown Chart enables teams to track the work completed and the work remaining to achieve the Sprint goal.

In the Burndown tab of the Sprint workspace, Tuleap allows you to monitor the remaining effort required for a given timeframe.

Understand what happened: Agile Retrospective

There are always opportunities to improve the way we work. The Sprint or Scrum retrospective, the last task in a sprint, is a meeting to help teams reflect on and improve the way they work. During the meeting the discussion is organized around three main questions:

  • what went well
  • what could have be done better
  • how we can try to improve in the next Sprint

In Tuleap, you can review past Sprints in the “Done” tab on the homepage of the Agile Dashboard. You will see the Burndown charts from past Sprints which you can use to analyze and compare how your Sprints have functioned.

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