Scrum – Questions to be asked during scrum and which tool to use..

Scrum is a framework used to manage the Project Development in Agile Methodology. Below is the quick view on scrum and how it is been used,

  • Product Owner (Mostly Client) creates the list of task in Back log with Priority.
  • During Sprint Planning (Which occurs biweekly mostly), all the team members pick the tasks from the priority list and work for the next 2 weeks.
  • Scrum occurs on daily basis to check the progress of all the team members and to ensure that the tasks are completed within the specified sprint timeline.
  • Create a burnt down chart and track the progress on daily basis for more efficiency.
  • Scrum master does this job and keeps all the team members focused on their goals.
  • Once the Sprint is completed, a deliverable will be sent to client for review. If any tasks is not completed then it will be moved to the backlog again.
  • Atlast, the sprint ends with the Sprint review and retrospective meeting to improvise the next sprint productivity. And the next sprint begins.

What to do during Scrum meeting

To be simple, I used to ask the below 3 questions to all the team members individual and take the respective actions,

  • Yesterday – what task you have done
    1. Completed? – If yes, good.
    2. Not Completed? – Get the reason and take the necessary action based on the response.
  • Today – What you are planning for today
    1. Issues/ Clarification – Clear it then and there or maximum within an hour.
  • Dependencies – Do you have any dependency? If so, clear it within 2 hours from the scrum.

Tool which I used for Scrum: Xmind (http://www.xmind.net/)

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Good UX vs Bad UX

Good User Experience:

A good user experience is something which we can bring in our product by focusing on the below points,

  • Useful – It must be useful to accomplish something that user likes to do.
  • Easy to learn – It must be easy for the user to use and get this done.
  • Helpful – It must be helpful to accomplish things that user wants to do.
  • Accessible – It must be easily accessible.
  • Attractive – It must be pleasant and interactive.
  • Fun – It must be fun to interact with.
  • Connected – It must connect other people to create an interaction.
  • Satisfying – It must satisfy the user.

Bad User Experience:

Below are the points which we need to avoid while designing a product,

  • Stressful – User doesn’t know how to use it.
  • Confusing – User doesn’t know where to go and how to use the available features.
  • Ugly – User is able to work the functionalities but it looks odd or not pleasant enough.
  • Distracting – It forces the user to do something which they don’t like to do.
  • Inefficient – It takes too long for the user to do something.
  • Tedious – User entering the information again and again which frustrates the user.
  • Inconsiderate – It doesn’t allow the user to do in the way they want to do or force the user.
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Agile Methodology

What is Agile?

  • Continuous iteration of development and testing throughout the software development life cycle of the project is called as Agile.
  • Here both development and testing will be concurrent.
  • And it is one of the best methodology used which provides effective results.

Why we need to go for Agile?

  • It provides more flexibility than other traditional methods.
  • Clients can make small objective changes without huge amendments to the budget or schedule.
  • Traditional models of project management would not find defects as early because they do not test as often.

What are the Pros and Cons of Agile?

Pros

  • All the stakeholders such as Client, Business Analyst, Designer, Developer and Tester will constantly interact with each other.
  • Provides effective results.
  • Client will be a part of the team and he/ she can see the actual product output once or twice a month.
  • We can handle the change request or change in the requirement more precisely compared to waterfall.
  • Communication between stakeholders are more frequent.

Cons

  • If the client is not available/ not clear then there are more chances for deviation.
  • Cost effective for small size projects.
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what is mean by API? What is mean by API testing?

Help you to test

What is meant by API?

API stands for Application programming interface.

API will act as an interface between the two different software programs. It enables the communication and data exchange between the client and server.

What is an interaction between two applications? Typically, an interaction occurs when one application would like to access the data held by another application or send data to that app. Another interaction might be when one application wants to request a service from another.

An API is (usually) not a user interface. It provides software-to-software interaction, not user interactions.

Let’s take an example,

Example 1:

When you are going to the restaurant and sat down on the chair. There will be one person who’s waiting for your order, they are called the waiter.

You will order the food to the waiter, the waiter will go to the kitchen and convey the order to the kitchen…

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What is difference between Sketch, Wireframe, Mock ups & Prototype?

Sketch/ Wireframe/ Mock ups/ Prototypes are used to bring the client vision or scope into reality. All these 4 steps are used to bring in more clarity in the scope, look and feel, usability, functionality, animations and much more before the development is started. This will provide a clear vision for all the stake holders in the project and also the client will be aware of the end goal and how his product will look like. Let’s check in detail on all these 4 points and it’s differences.

Sketch

  • It’s a freehand drawing in a paper which gives us the low fidelity representation of the application.
  • This is the fastest way to convert the client vision/ project scope into something which will be used for further brainstorming sessions.
  • Whenever we draw in paper, we will get more ideas, more innovations and also it will help us to visualise better.
  • This will be very helpful before we step on to the Wireframe stage.

Tool which I used: Pencil and lot of papers.

Wireframe

  • It is an upgraded version of sketch where we can show a skeleton of the application and it is a medium fidelity representation of an application.
  • It contains all the functionality in each and every screen of an application. Also, it contains where the contents will come and what kind of features we are going to use.
  • Wireframe should be created quickly and mostly it will be in black/ white colors.
  • A well-created wireframe communicates design in a crystal clear way and sets a path for the whole team.

Tool which I used: UXPIN
You can try: Balsamiq, Justinmind

Mock Ups

  • Mock ups are an upgraded version of wireframe where we will be adding colors, fonts, text, images, logos and any real time data which will look perfect.
  • This will look like a static screens of the application.

Prototype

  • Prototype is an high fidelity representation of an application where we will be adding UX, animations, interactions in the Mock Ups and make it as a rich experienced application.
  • This will provide a real feeling of using an application without any functionality been build.
  • Prototype we mainly build to get the user feedback.
  • Based on the user feedback, prototypes will be edited and the requirements (Both functional and non functional) will be freeze before the development is kick started.

Tool which I used: UXPIN
You can try: Justinmind

Good Night…

Always end the day with a positive thought. No matter how hard things were, tomorrow’s a fresh opportunity to make it better.

Health Tips for IT Employees

Most of us are working in an IT field which is not an eight hour shift per day. On an average, we work 8 to 10 hours per day and at times people work more than 12 hours per day too.

Also, we intake lot of Stress and Pressure in our work. We always focus on completing our task and we tend to forget about our health. I see many people are facing lot of health issues who are under the age of 30 to 35.

Here we will see few tips through which you can maintain your health during your work timing,

Home Food

We all love food and we in take lot of junk/ outside food which spoils our health on a long run. Try to carry food from your home which is best for your health. Start this activity from today.

Avoid Tea/ Coffee

Many people tend to drink lot of tea or coffee during their work hours which is not good. Taking lot of caffeine will spoil your health too. Try to reduce it. Instead of Tea/ Coffee go for fruits or fresh juices.

Water

During our work, many of us tend to forget to drink water. We even don’t take the minimum water per day too which is again spoils your health. Minimum we need to take 3 to 5 liters of water per day. Carry a water bottle and don’t forget to sip every 15 mins.

Spend time with your Family/ Friends

Daily spend time with your family or friends or people who you love. This will help you to reduce your stress and the pressure which you undergo. 30 minutes of good time with you lovable one will keep your mind and body healthy.

Early Morning Activity

Once you wake up, go for a walk or play tennis or swimming or anything which involves physical work out. Choose the one which you love to do and don’t do it for the sake of doing it. This activity will help you to burn out the fat and will keep you fresh all over the day. Do follow this regularly.

Sit Properly on Chair

Always sit properly in chair during your work hours else we might damage our spine which results in back pain.

Sleep Properly

Do sleep minimum of 6 to 8 hours per day and don’t wake up late night. Try to have you dinner before 8 and go to sleep max by 10 or 11. Working late night will create lot of health issues after the age of 40.

If you have any other tips then do share it in the comment section.

Good Morning

Every morning you have two options, continue to sleep with you dreams or wake up and chase them. The Choice is yours!

Help you to test

POSTMAN:

How to use POSTMAN? What are the benefits of POSTMAN?

I’ve used POSTMAN for all the projects to test the mobile/web API’s. It’s an open source tool where you can save the request URL, Payload, and auth token to reuse it again and again.

Postman is a Google Chrome app for interacting with HTTP APIs. It presents you with a friendly GUI for constructing requests and reading responses.

You spent hours doing manual testing to make sure your API works perfectly. You release your code and make some updates. Now you have to spend hours manually testing again. There has to be a better way. Here are 6 reasons you should use Postman and Newman for API integration testing.

Why Postman?

It’s free (few advanced features are paid). Available as both chrome packaged app and as an extension and works on all OS that runs Chrome.

The major use…

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How to choose the best methodology for Software Development?

There are lot of methodologies available in which we can run a project. Choosing the methodology is the biggest challenge. Some use waterfall, some use iterative waterfall, some use Agile and etc based on their company culture or project.

We have to be wise in choosing the methodology, so that we can ensure that the project is completed on time, client is satisfied, project output is up to the mark and profitability.

Here I am listing out few questions based on which you can decide which methodology will be good for your project development.

1. What is the Project Type? Feature Based/ Timeline/ Budget

Feature Based Project: If the client is focused on feature based project then it is better to go with Agile & Scrum based approach. We can set a dedicated team and track the ongoing performance. But in this approach the client must be active all the time to define the scope of work for Sprint and to attend the daily calls. If the client cannot be active all the time then go for Time & Material model.

Timeline/ Budget: If the client is concerned on timeline/ budget then go with the traditional approach.

2. What is the Project Size? Small/ Medium/ Large

Based on the company the project size will vary. Example: For a start up the small size project will be around 50 days, medium size will be around 100 days and large will be around 150+ days.

Whenever the project size is size then don’t go for any modern approach. Just go with the traditional way. Example: Implementing Agile for small project might result in loss.

If the project size is higher (As per the budget for the company) then go for the modern approach like Scrum, Agile with Scrum, etc. Also if the project size is high then spend some time in the initial phase to find out the complexities, for POC’s, etc to judge the scope of work and timeline required to choose the methodology.

3. Requirements are stable?

If the client is define the scope on exactly what he/ she needs then go with waterfall method. If the client is not sure what is needs or the requirements are not up to the mark then spend time with the client to freeze the requirement (At Least minimum level). Then based on the SOW either go with T&M or Agile.

Assume, you have chosen waterfall and client is kept on providing changes during development then based on the situation go for iterative approach because here you can accommodate new features even after the project is started.

All the above are based on my experience, so if you have any suggestions or comments, please do share.

Kanban – Workflow and its usage

What is Kanban?

  • Kanban is a japanese word. Kan means Visual and Ban means card.
  • Kanban is a workflow which enables us to optimize our project work flow.
  • It helps the team to work together and get it completed in more effective way.
  • Kanban is designed and created for Toyota car manufacturing process.

How it works & use?

  • Kanban is a method for managing continual project delivery.
  • It engage and allows the team to communicate more easily.
  • It clearly shows what needs to be done, when it will be completed and when we can plan for live.
  • Kanban is used to reduce the idle time of any production team.

Workflow of Kanban

  • There are 6 stages in Kanban workflow,
    1. ToDo
    2. Plan
    3. Develop
    4. Test
    5. Deploy
    6. Done
  • In Software development, the requirements are broken down into small stories and each stories are placed in a card.
  • Initially the stories will be in Todo.
  • Planning team will pick one or more stories and work on the planning stage. Later it will be moved to the Develop team then Test then Deploy and later it will be moved to Done.
  • At any point of time all the members in each stage will be engaged in a work and this will be a continuous process.
  • The goal of a Kanban system is to limit the amount of work in process so the work flowing through the system matches its capacity. In other words, a system can only handle so much traffic and still have that traffic move smoothly through the steps in the process.

Kanban Tools

There are lot of kanban tools that are available in the market but I personally felt the below tools are simple, easy to use and effective.

  1. Trello (https://trello.com)
  2. JIRA (Project Management & Kanban)
  3. Zoho Project (Consider this as a last option)

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