Well, I just finished reading Scrum and XP from the Trenches, by Henrik Kniberg. I found my experience resonated with all the practices that is documented in this scrum masters notebook – a common sense approach to the tactical work of Scrum. I highly recommend this those new to Agile and specifically Scrum. You don’t have to be a Scrum Master to make use of this. Its a fast read with a journey into how Henrik and his teams practiced Scrum. He expresses situations they encountered and what they experimented with. he is good enough to share what was thought of but hadn’t been tried out at the time. The good part of a lightweight framework and practice of Scrum is that you can adapt it to your environment, and as the situation changes tailor the practice to best suit your needs. You don’t have to worry about the Scrum Police, mind you like everything else in life there are purist who insist on practices that they consider a must, of course this contradicts Agile. You can use Lean to assert the Scrum practices that your team is successfully using and living up to the need for transparency, continuous learning and improvement as a result, rapid delivery of what the customer values.
I have no doubt in my mind that you will pick some good practices, as for the best practices well that is for you to work out with your team taking into account your environment (company and team culture, business needs etc.) – context is everything!
As for the must haves (listed below), they are indeed a best practice. The thing about a best practice is that there is no time like now! to start doing
- The Product Owner must have a Product Backlog with estimates created by the team
- The team must have a Burndown chart and know their velocity