Reflective Report – Agile Development

Introduction

The world is changing and growing day by day and is moving towards digitalization. With the adoption of modern technology, Cylinder 2.0 is made to maintain supply management of cylinder in market and by maintain the stock in dealer’s shop. It solves the problem of many dealers who have been recording or keeping the data in paper and finds hard to abstract required information about stock left, sold and returned. Currently, people are facing problem with ordering gas from online. There is no any online platform for gas delivery. People have to visit the dealer’s shop to buy or exchange the cylinder/gas. People have to take it home ourselves. During the shortage it is really hard to get a cylinder even they pay double money. They have to stand in line, not sure for how many hours, until they get a cylinder by chance. Not only the customers, dealer’s and resellers are also facing the same problem. Mainly dealers are facing problem with their paper-based record keeping system. This makes problem while calculating the profit and loss, received and sold amount or quantity of gas and cylinder. There is high chance for data misplacement and data loss.

So, to keep the data safe and managed Cylinder 2.0 is built by our team “Hello World” of six members, which will help to keep the record of every transactions, supply and received cylinder and gas. This app will allow customer to order cylinder online without going to the dealer shop or gas station. They can get their gas at their home in time. This app will allow customer to pre-book the gas cylinder during shortage. This app will reduce the line of customers standing in front of dealer or reseller to get a gas cylinder. This app will help to calculate the profit and loss in contrast with the investment and also will keep record of every transaction. This system can be applied in any dealer’s shop. The system is user friendly, have good user interface and is easy to learn and use.

The app is developed by following the principles of agile scrum methodology and this report is all about the methods and way we used while developing the app.

Why Scrum?

Scrum is a popular software development framework that helps teams work together. It encourages each member of team to work and learn through the experience from work. The things that make scrum so popular is that its principles and lessons can be used in all kinds of teamwork. Scrum is a core principle of agile and a framework to get work done. Use of scrum framework helps to build agile principles into our everyday communication and work. The scrum framework is based on continuous learning. The team members do not know everything while starting the project but later on following the principles can learn many things from the working experience. It helps to adapt changing conditions and user requirements.

Scrum Workflow

The reason for choosing Scrum framework is:

  • It helps to define sprint goals clearly.
  • It helps to make quick changes in product flexibly.
  • It makes the product stable by allowing testing.
  • It allows productive Scrum meeting.
  • Timely Scrum feedback loops
  • It helps to make the delivery on time.
  • Time cohesiveness
  • It helps make growth in developer.
  • It helps to reduce risk.

The scrum framework is really simple to apply. Its rules, events, artifacts and roles are not hard to understand. The clear separation of roles for each members and planned events helps to make the transparency and collective ownership throughout the development cycle. Quick releases help to keep the team motivated by seeing the progress made by them.

Team Psychology  

The agile provides encourages to team member to fail fast and often which helps to make quick development and significant release cycle. Mainly, it provides sound foundation for effectiveness. The philosophy of agile helps to make rapid and continuous development and improvement throughout the project. Succeed area and failure area can be identified easily by the help of agile methodology. Agile methodology allows team members to make continuous contribution and improvement by adopting the failure and mistakes. It teaches to celebrate the failure and mistakes which will help to maintain positive vibes in mind, and we can think on some good idea. In instead, the time and the effort can be applied to increase the accuracy of features. One of the tenants of Agile is about not comparing the team member. Everyone has its own capacity and talent. Thus, work is distributed among team members accordingly. The challenging concept of agile, “Failing Fast and often” is much hard to achieve than stating.

Screen representing team psychology

Psychology of each team member affects the working process of whole team. So, the psychology of individuals should be maintained accordingly. Unnecessary load and development make a pressure in team members. So, there should be analysis of everything within the project. Some of the members might have fear of failure which is natural. This plays a vital role in the project’s success rate. Thus, to maintain the psychology of team members following techniques were applied:

  • Discussing with each members of team about their feelings towards project and encouraging them to be open.
  • Area of concern were discussed openly among team members
  • All the problem was discussed and solved with politeness.
  • Providing opportunities for each team members for managing steps of agile methods.

Team 

Team is a group of two or more than two people who were gathered for a purpose of completion of work. For the completion of large project, a team is necessary. More active the team more effective will be the work. In agile process team members have different roles for them depending on the framework and project need. Likewise, Scrum Framework have three roles, the Scrum Master, Product Owner, and the Development Team.

In this project, team of six member were chosen to complete the project and the team’s name was “Hello World”. Scrum master has played the role of Product Owner as this was our college project. Each member plays vital role for the development and completion of project. The work has been distributed among everyone accordingly. Some were developers and some were tester. Each member was assigned with a suitable task or role with respective to their understanding in developing and testing. All the member has contributed equals for the completion of work.

SCRUM Team

Scrum Master (SM): Mr. Unish Bhattrai has played a role of Scrum Master of “Hello World”.  He played the role very responsibly and carefully. He was able to manage the whole project along with the team. He easily manages and solve the problems carefully, removed obstacles easily, and enhanced the productivity of team. He tried his best to maintain the progress rate of product and its completion.

Product Owner (PO): Product Owner is a one of the most responsible roles in Scrum framework. He should ensure the requirements of product that were expected to be included or not. Since this project was for college assignment, Mr. Unish Bhattrai has played the role of both Scrum Master and Product Owner himself. He had taken all the prioritize of work. He was successful to manage the product backlog and entire team. He was able to make and take the decision about the features that should be delivered. He was successful to play the role of PO responsibly and carefully.

Development Team: The team of six member were the developer of the system. All six member has played the role of developers and tried and developed the system successfully. The team was successful to deliver the work thorough the sprint. By meeting daily in Microsoft teams, the team was able to make transparency among individuals throughout the sprint. Among Six some were working in backend, some in UI design, and some in testing. Each individual has got a chance to try all the role like backend, UI design and testing in different sprint. The Development Team includes: Unish Bhattrai (SM & PO), Anish Nepal, Bhanubhakta Bhandari, Nischit Shah, Roshan Sha, Sabin Chapagain.

Team performance 

To perform well team should yield bigger output. Whether the business will grow or breaks all depends on the team performance. Result of the teamwork is evaluated by their performance. Efficiently carrying out the task creates a sense of satisfaction among everyone in team.

The performance of Hello World team has been set to a good level so that all the members felt good and satisfied by their work. Everyone tried their best to enhance the performance by different tricks and principles like:

  • Making clear vision: Setting standard of excellence, clarifying direction and purpose, inspiring enthusiasm and commitment etc. helps to enhance the performance of team.
  • Setting goals: Setting the next target or goal in certain time push the team towards high performance level. This would inspire the team members and give a purpose to achieve the milestones.
  • Making transparent work: Making the work transparent helps team member to know what and why they are doing. Sharing the intended actions among team will make the work transparent.
  • Meeting regularly: Meeting time to time will help to manage the team by connecting with each individual and to address the issues. Issues and problems can be discussed through the meeting which will help to solve the problem.
  • Motivating team: There should be positive and strong psychology in team member to make the performance high. The team should keep motivating the member. They can be motivated by helping in problems, listening to their problems, and not ignoring their voice.

Conflict management 

All the conflicts and arguments were sorted out easily and softly by prioritizing the positive results and minimizing the negative results. As a result, performance of team has been enhanced and the team effectiveness as well by using various tricks, techniques and strategies in accordance with the situation.  Although, some conflict occurred during the project cycle and were managed nicely, there was no such huge conflict that made us difficult to manage and solve.

Leadership 

Talking in context of leadership, team Hello World had got good leader, not less than the better. In term of Agile what leadership means is the art of making the good environment for self-organization and self-motivation where everyone of team can learn from each other and collaborate with each other. In such environment individuals can learn continuously from their experience on work. Good leadership helps to maintain the balance with right approach and positive psychology within the team.

As a Scrum master Mr. Unish Bhattrai had played a role of leader as Servant Leader and was able to manage and balance the team by approaching to maintain the good and healthy environment for team member. He had the capacity to be a leader thus he was able to create a suitable working environment within the team. He was able to motivate the team with positive thought and setting the goals that must be achieved. He has used three leadership techniques to create the necessary environment and they are:

  • Communication: He motivates to make regular communication with team members, and he ensured if the communication is carried out or not. He had a good skill of dealing with communication. He used to inspire and motivate the whole team.
  • Commitment: He had good commitment over the goals and also motivates teams to be committed for the specific task. His commitment inspires every member of team and lead to the finish of product on time.
  • Collaboration: He inspired team member to collaborate with each other which later help to achieve the goals. He motivated team member to work in group which will help to identify the problem and solution.

Teamwork 

Working in team is not a simple work as other work. While working with team many obstacles comes and they had to be solved. It is hard to manage the conflict and other issues. However, working in team is the key to success. Teamwork can lead to the completion of project smoothly.

The team “Hello World” was able to work together with members and finish the work on time. The pandemic was running and even through that time the team was able to manage all the things smoothly. This concludes that, working in team can solve the problem that were hard to solve while working independently. All the members worked effectively and efficiently that why the team was successful to complete the project. Team motivation, positive psychology, good working environment, team collaboration, regular communication was the key of success of the team Hello World. To make the working environment good and to keep the team motivated various theories of motivation has been implemented and are listed below:

Expectancy Theory of Motivation

This theory was proposed by Victor Vroom in 1964, which states that, “the intensity of a tendency to perform in a particular manner is dependent on the intensity of an expectation that the performance will be followed by a definite outcome and on the appeal of the outcome to the individual”. It means when we are expecting good result from our work than we feel free and self-motivated to give full effort in that work. More the expectation more will be the effort and vise-versa. This theory was implemented in the team Hello World to keep expectation of outputs i.e., Cylinder 2.0 to keep the team motivated. The leader ensured about the team about what can be achieved according to the performance level. Rewarding deserving member keeps the team member motivated. The challenging tasks were most interesting to work and that helped to enhance the team’s expectation.

Maslow’s Need Theory:

This is a theory of psychology which explains human motivation based on different needs level. The theory was introduced in 1943 by Abraham Maslow, which states that, “humans are motivated to fulfill their needs in hierarchical order which begins with the most basic needs to more advanced needs”. This is very popular theory of motivation. There are five levels in the Maslow’s hierarchy that begins from basic needs to advanced needs. When person fulfilled the one level, he begins pursing next level. Basically, the theory is implemented in the team to keep the motivation following the perspective of Maslow’s theory, “as a person reaches higher levels, their motivation is directed towards these levels”. This perspective of the theory really helped the team to keep the motivation and strong support. Reaching the next level or next task team motivation and expectation were also in next level. This was the real-life implementation of Maslow’s Need Theory.

Communication 

Communication plays a vital role in team management and product development. Good communication within the team leads to successful completion of product on time, whereas bad communication leads the team to breaks. Communication helps to exchange and sharing the idea and other information within team. It helps to keep the team in right track.

Team communication  

To keep good communication with team member, daily standard meeting has been conducted where all the member gathered and share about their working experience, issue, and problems. For daily standard meeting Microsoft Teams has been used which is a powerful software and is very easy to use. Informally, other software and app were used like Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber etc. to be updated. The team communication was good. During the meeting all the problems were shared, and ideas were also generated by combining all the member’s thought. Time for daily standard meeting was set for 9:00 PM every day for about 15 to 20 minutes. 

Issues of communication  

There were not such issues in communication in the team Hello World. However, electricity and internet problem made difficulties for attending the meeting and other communicating platform like messenger, WhatsApp etc. Team was able to maintain the communication properly unless any internet and electricity problem occurs. Although, there was problem with internet and electricity, team was able to communicate with member through other methods like, member who have electricity and internet problem joined the meeting through phone call and if could not attend information of decision from the meeting was sent through SMS. In Hello World team Bhanu bhakta Bhandari was unable to join the meeting because of his electricity problem as he lives outside the valley because of the pandemic. Main factor for raising the issues in communication in team Hello World weather as there was rainy season running outside and there was lockdown during the pandemic. But he was able to catch the task details and completed in time. He called another member in team to discuss his task.

The problem with electricity and internet was not solved but the team Hello World managed to communicate with team member by using another technique. 

Agile process 

In agile process a software is developed, or a project is managed in such a way that the team delivers the work in small but continuously by evaluating the requirements and plans so that team can respond to quick change. So, to complete the project Hello Word team used agile methodology because of its iterative approach to software development. It helps to delivers the product faster and reduced headaches. It has different process, and all the process were followed to complete the project.

Our team 

Hello World Team Members

The team Hello World had six members where one was Scrum Master who played a role of Product Owner and Servant Leader, and other five were on development team. Task was assigned according to their intelligence and capability. 

Agile user story  

Agile User story is informal and natural language description of every feature that the application must have. User story helps the team outline the key feature of the application, what main users would need in the application and work accordingly.

User Story

 

Product backlog  

Product backlog concludes a repository where details of user stories or requirements are tracked that are to be completed in each sprint release which is managed by Product Owner. In the team Hello World Mr. Unish Bhattrai had prioritized the requirements and other member requested for new requirement or modification accordingly.

Map board 

Map board is a technique to outline the product according to the user story into the map board. All the feature of the product is arranged into the functional group. This help developer to outline the development process according to the map board. Map board improve the progress and facilitate product prioritization of development work. Map board shows how each individual user story fit into the project.

Map Board

Release plan 

After a product is finished developed it is to be released. On following SCRUM Methodology as the tasks are divided into sprints, application is to be released at the end of every sprint. And the plan to release the sprint is to be planned earlier before the first sprint begins which is known to be Release Plan. Similarly, we members of Hello World also had made the release plan which is shown below.

Release Plan

 

Sprint planning and sprint backlog 

Sprint planning is arranging tasks to be done in the sprint. It should be conducted in collaboration with entire team. Sprint planning is done at the beginning of Sprint. In the team Hello World Mr. Unish Bhattrai (PO) planned the sprint by ensures whether the team is prepared for the most important requirement. He also ensures how the product goals be mapped.

Sprint backlog is a plan for the developer made by the developers. It is the real-time representation of work that the developers would be working throughout the Sprint. It is changed and updated throughout the Sprint accordingly. List of tasks that should be done and finished are visualized. According to the priority of backlog they are included in earlier or later steps. In the team Hello World, the sprint backlog is presented at the phase of Sprint planning with the completed task and task reaming to be done.

Sprint Backlog for Sprint 1

Sprint-1 Backlog

Sprint Backlog for Sprint 2

Sprint-2 Backlog

Sprint Backlog for Sprint 3

Sprint-3 Backlog

Sprint Backlog for Sprint 4

Sprint-4 Backlog

Sprint Backlog for Sprint 5

Sprint-5 Backlog

Sprint Backlog for Sprint 6

Sprint-6 Backlog

Sprint Backlog for Sprint 7

Sprint-7 Backlog

Sprint Backlog for Sprint 8

Sprint-8 Backlog

Retro  

During the sprint retrospective team discuss all the thing is done during the sprint release process and product development to improving things in the future. In the retro we use to update our Trello according to our progress and update the problem that we are facing during the sprint to solve the problem I the future. We update the report of the user story to predict the burndown chart. This help team to monitor the project progress and all the change that must be adopt during the development.

Team Retro Meeting
Sprint 1 Burndown chart

Daily standup 

Due to this ongoing pandemic, it is impossible to do establish daily standup meeting physically. So, our team have decided to use the alternative option for virtual daily standup meeting with the help of Microsoft team software. We used to conduct daily standup meeting at 9:00 pm virtually. During Standup meeting we must report the process of development to the scam master after that we use to discuss the problem that developer is facing during sprint. Daily standup meeting help to monitor the process of the development and other problems that individual developer is facing. Here is the screenshot of the daily standup meeting that we have conduct in the Microsoft team.

Screenshot shown timetable for daily standup meeting
Team in Daily Standup meeting session

Sprint review 

Sprint review helps us to monitor the changes made in the version during the sprint according to the user story. It helps team to predict the outcome and determine the future adoption. Developer presents the work result to progress forward to achieve the goal in time. During the Sprint review, scam master explains all the work done by team and what is not done. After review team developer discuss the problem that they are facing and how they can solve them. Developer will run the project to demonstrate the project which they have completed in this sprint and answer all the questions.

Screenshot of Sprint Review

Figure 20: Screenshot of Sprint Review

Conclusion

The purposed system for Cylinder 2.0 has been completed successfully with the implementation of Scrum (Agile Process). The team Hello World formed of six members with Scrum Master, Product Owner and Development Team. Following the Scrum process, sprint planning, sprint backlog, daily standup meeting, sprint review and retrospective was performed successfully. The communication with the team was also performed nicely. All the process and methods are reflected in this paper.

References:

What is Scrum?

https://www.scrum.org/resources/what-is-scrum

Scrum – what it is, how it works, and why it’s awesome

https://www.atlassian.com/agile/scrum

What Is Scrum Methodology? & Scrum Project Management

https://www.digite.com/agile/scrum-methodology/

The Psychology of Teamwork: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teams

https://positivepsychology.com/psychology-teamwork/

What makes teams work?

https://www.apa.org/monitor/2018/09/cover-teams

Team effectiveness and team performance: What it is and how to improve it | CQ Net – Management skills for everyone

https://www.ckju.net/en/dossier/team-effectiveness-and-team-performance-what-it-and-how-improve-it

Overview of Team Performance Management: Guidelines and Resources

https://managementhelp.org/groups/team-performance-management.htm

Team Performance: 5 Keys to Manage a High Performance Team

https://www.actioned.com/team-performance/

Motivation Theories [5 Famous Motivation Theories]

https://www.knowledgehut.com/tutorials/project-management/motivation-theories

What Is Story Mapping? | Agile User Stories | Create A Story Map

https://www.digite.com/agile/story-mapping/#:~:text=Story%20Mapping%20in%20Agile%20%E2%80%93%20What,stories%20arranged%20in%20functional%20groups.

Theories of Motivation Explained for Business – blog

https://www.actitime.com/project-management/theories-of-motivation-in-management

Retrospective

https://www.productplan.com/glossary/retrospective/

What Is Story Mapping? | Agile User Stories | Create A Story Map

https://www.digite.com/agile/story-mapping/#:~:text=Story%20Mapping%20in%20Agile%20%E2%80%93%20What,stories%20arranged%20in%20functional%20groups.

Appendix

Excel Link:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/14Hh0iFxgg_8osLeZPAegfw7VXlgC6fR-/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=107082090491144484045&rtpof=true&sd=true

GitHub Link:

https://github.com/UnishBhattarai7/Cylinder-2.0-API.git

https://github.com/RoshanOscarSah/Cylinder-2.0.git

YouTube Link:

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