Submissions/Scrum for Education: Learn how to Groom the Product Backlog to Delight Wikipedia

From Wikimania 2014 • London, United Kingdom

After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2014 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this August.

Submission no. 3026
Title of the submission
Scrum for Education: Learn how to Groom the Product Backlog to Delight Wikipedia
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Author of the submission
Jasmina Nikolic, Jelena Gledic, Filip Maljkovic
E-mail address
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, Serbia; University of Belgrade, Serbia
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

In this session we demonstrate hands-on how Scrum can bring joy to students, their potential future employers, and teachers within and beyond the formal educational setting. While doing each step of the approach we propose, attendees will learn about the results obtained, challenges faced and important questions raised in a project where Scrum was used by teachers and more than 180 students in over 25 Scrum teams to produce articles for Wikipedia and the Education System as clients.

The presented initiative was launched at the University of Belgrade by four teachers of Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, and Swedish Studies, who have a long track of either implementing or supporting disruptive and innovative pedagogy. In line with the set scope of the curriculum, four regular university courses were adapted to include the production of Wikipedia articles through Scrum as part of the learning outcome and course requirements. In the determination of key principles, roles and processes to be implemented, we tackled the challenges of marrying the agile nature of Scrum and the rigid nature of the university, and of introducing non-traditional stakeholders as clients of the education system. One of the key issues was developing a solid Product Backlog (PB) that would reflect the principles of Scrum, meet the waterfall-prone set scope of the education system, lead to a good product that will delight the client, and at the same time be easily used by students. Overall, the implementation of Scrum was very successful. The products delighted the clients, while also giving them the opportunity to work in an agile setting using Kanban to provide feedback and follow the work progress. Students learned new skills and developed those they already had, while finding a new, hands-on joy and sense of ownership in reaching the goal of the learning process. A close collaboration with the Serbian Wikipedia was established, which provided excellent results in the process of grooming the PBs and Sprint Reviews.

In this session, we invite the attendees to groom the PB based on the same set of requirements that we had at the beginning of our initiative. Groups (sized depending on the number of attendees) are asked to (1) clarify and decompose the higher priority PB items (PBIs) and create PBIs that are independent, negotiable, valuable, small and testable in a prioritized order, (2) define the acceptance criteria and the definition of done. We then compare the PBIs written by the attendees with those produced in the course of our project. An important aim of this session is to get invaluable input and feedback from Wikipedians, especially on the PB. We identify and discuss the general differences and item variations of the PBs.

Finally, we present our results and open the space for discussing the results obtained, challenges faced and question raised. Several important issues raised in our project are presented - e.g. evaluating success within the educational framework and the grading system (the relative value of: speed, rhythm, team-work, number of products, higher-than-required product quality etc.), implementing an iterative process in a scope with fixed content and timelines (one of the teachers did not follow through using Scrum, but rather reverted to the old teaching method), balancing traditional requirements with new skills and intangible knowledge. We hope to provoke interest and encourage the attendees to attack some of the problems posed, while at the same time inviting them to lend us their expertise so that we can improve our initiative in the next iteration.

Education Outreach
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
60 minutes
  • Presentation of Framework: 10 min
  • Product Backlog Grooming (including presentations of requirements): 15 min
  • Comparison of Product Backlogs: 10 min
  • Presentation of Results: 5 min
  • Discussion about Results Obtained, Challenges Faced and Questions Raised: 20 min
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Most likely I will
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests

Interested attendees

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