Development/Scrum checklists – because no one is perfect

Checklists are incredibly useful beasts. Especially short ones. Humans tend to forget – especially when they are excited, tired, angry, frustrated or bored. In addition, if one does not repeat the same task day in, day out, it’s easy to forget what to do.

Of course I expect you have well trodden processes for issues, tasks, code reviews, coding standards and the day-to-day activities, and these are ‘fresh’ in everyone’s mind. It’s the 9am Monday, 5pm Friday activities where crucial mistakes are made.

So here are some checklists for the tail-end Scrum ceremonies and processes, so teams don’t forget to ask (or do) the basics.

I recommend you make your own checklists, which feature the questions you keep forgetting to ask, or activities you keep failing to do!  The shorter the better.

What to ask at a sprint planning meeting

  • What’s the goal/theme of the sprint?
  • What’s the absolute must-haves?
  • Can we pull in lower priority stories to increase productivity?
  • Who might be taking the build at the end of the sprint?
  • What critical deliveries are being worked on elsewhere in the company that might affect us?
  • Who are the key stakeholders that need to be involved in feedback?
  • Who is on holiday?
  • What other corporate events might take time out of the sprint?
  • What does success look like?
  • Are there any critical issues you know need fixing?
  • What stories should we groom during this sprint?
  • What items from the retrospective do we need to keep in mind?

What to ask at a sprint review meeting

  • Does this review change the priority of, or cause the introduction of more stories? Who needs to follow this up?
  • When do you need a build packaging up/distributing?
  • Who is really is going to be using this build? What for?
  • Did we meet/exceed/fall short of the goal? Why?
  • Does anyone need more information on this build?
  • How are we progressing in our overall strategy?

What to do with the build & configuration control

Hopefully much of this is already automated…

  • Package up the installations with latest documentation
  • Check digital signatures & logs
  • Copy files to a segregated area
  • Update associated release documents for ISO auditing and internal recording.
  • Make any necessary escrow deposits (don’t know what this is? See NCC).
  • Record any new 3rd party licence usages
  • Virus scan the build

What to do to with source control and other systems

  • Label source control at the date of the last successful build
  • Move any other bug tracking/task tracking software onto the next phase (e.g. TFS iterations)
  • Move any outstanding tasks over to the next sprint.

I hope you find this list useful – it’s not designed to be exhaustive or perfect!

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