February 2008

Nokia have been using agile methods a few years. They have defined a number of questions to check if a project is practicing iterative development and Scrum:

The Nokia Test is in two parts. First, are you doing Iterative Development?

  • Iterations must be timeboxed to less than 4 weeks
  • Software must be tested and working at the end of an iteration
  • Iteration must start before specification is complete

The experience is that if you ask a lot of Scrum shops if they can pass this part of the test, they can’t. Not a single team.
The next part of the test checks whether you are doing Scrum (in Nokia’s opinion):

  • You know who the product owner is
  • There is a product backlog prioritized by business value
  • The product backlog has estimates created by the team
  • The team generates burndown charts and knows their velocity
  • There are no project managers (or anyone else) disrupting the work of the team

Joe Little has started to blog about the items in the Nokia Test. He explains the importance and background for each item.

This checklist is an excellent way to check if a project have understood Scrum and using the method as it is meant to be used.

Jared Richardson, author of Ship It!, has a standard e-mail with links which he sends to people who ask him "What is agile?". Here are are some of the links:

The start of Agile
The Agile Manifesto

An overview of the many Agile flavors
The New Methodology by Martin Fowler

XP and Scrum are the most popular flavors of Agile, so here are a few links specific to them.

A comparison of XP to Agile by Bob Martin.

An intro to XP

Scrum info on Wikipedia.

Found at Jareds blog Agile Artisans.

The project management methods Scrum is getting more an more popular.

Some people says that agile methods is something that developers made up because it fits their situation, but other parts of the development process will suffer. They might agree an say that it may work in a small web-consulting company, but not in our large corporation.

This is not true.  Several big companies have showed that an agile mind set including Scrum is a way to success: