A lot of companies are currently developing software in an agile way. Quite often universities stay behind in technologies and methodologies that are taught with respect to what’s hot in the working field. Luckily quite some universities do try to keep up with the ‘real world’, and try to deliver graduates with up-to-date knowledge that fits the needs of companies.
At Avans University of Applied Sciences in ’s Hertogenbosch, the project ‘Game Design’ was started, and the idea was to apply an agile development process to introduce this to the students as well. This project had a duration of about 14 weeks, fixed six-person teams, and quite some availability of all team members each week. Besides that, the lecturers were willing to play the role of Product Owner, preventing the students from creating whatever they liked. Good starting point of a project to apply Scrum to.
And as luminis has quite some experience in applying Scrum at various client projects, I was asked to give a lecture on the Scrum basics, and share some of our experiences.
Just before the summer holiday the project was finished, and the following experiences were the result:
- Applying Scrum was quite hard in the beginning. They didn’t meet every day, and especially in the beginning they were working on large tasks like the design document and getting familar with technologies. It was difficult to split that up into smaller pieces.
- In the second part of the project (more focused on implementation), the students were able to apply Scrum in a better way. Even though they didn’t meet at a daily basis, they were able to make well estimated tasks, and execute these in a one-week sprint. This provided a clear overview of the project and the progress. And the detailed planning worked out great.
Concluding: as an introduction to Scrum, it wasn’t a real success applying it in the first phase of the project (sprint 0 type of work). For the students it felt quite artificial, and they did not experience any benefits. On the other hand, looking at the second phase (implementation) of the project it was a success as they really experienced the usefulness of practices like detailed planning and weekly deliveries.
Result; the invitation for next years ‘Games’ project already stands.