What is a Hashtag?
Hashtags are popularly used on social media platforms. The idea of using hashtags was first mooted by Chris Messina who wanted to change the way we communicate on social media. So he proposed using a hashtag, to be a form of label for similar content, so that it becomes easier for users on social media to locate similar content.
Today hashtags have become a powerful tool in increasing reach and brand visibility. A hashtag can be generated for a trending topic and all posts related to that topic will be clubbed in the same group if the user uses the trending tag. For example #USelections can be a possible tag that can skyrocket on social media platforms during the election period. Hashtags are used almost on all social media platforms but is most effective on Twitter.
So anyone searching for the topic can search for the label and find various opinions and stories under the same label. It has been observed that many big stories were amplified and reached a larger audience with inputs from several citizen reports under the same label.
Not just trending topics or news but marketers have also used this tool to make their brand a trending story on social media.
How Do we Create a #hashtag
Here are a few technical points on how to create or use a #hashtag
Hashtag can be a word or an abbreviation. It can be a combination of words or a phrase that relates to the story. There can be no spaces between the words or the alphabets. Hashtags also cannot be entirely made of numbers.
The label has to start with the # Symbol
A hashtag has to start with the symbol ???#???. Once you prefix the symbol before the word or the phrase, it automatically categorizes it under the targeted label.
Anyone can create a hashtag
So you can make any number of hashtags and start using them in your stories and messages. The hashtag can be featured anywhere in the story. A single story can have multiple hashtags as well. Marketers can create a campaign using a particular hashtag and if the campaign goes viral, it amplifies the reach of the brand.
Create Unique Hashtags
Marketers can strive to create new and unique hashtags but there is a possibility that such a hashtag is already in use. On social media no one owns any hashtag so you are free to use any hashtag. A lot of people also use general hashtags such as #digitalmarketing or #facebook. Alternatively you can use an existing hashtag if you want to be part of a trending discussion. By using the hashtag you simply become part of the discussion.
Short Hashtags and Easy to remember
Try to make a short and easy to remember hashtag. The first reason being that Twitter limits the overall number of characters, the shorter hashtag the better it is. A hashtag that is easy to remember can be searched easily by a user and stories linked to the label are easier to locate.
How Not to Use Hashtags
Avoid overusing hashtags in a single line. It is bad etiquette and people might report you as spammer. Hashtag pollution also makes it difficult to read and doesn???t serve the purpose to highlight only the topic of discussion.
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What is Scrum of Scrums and how does it work in the product development process? The first thing to know about Scrum of Scrums is that it acquires relevance only for large projects where multiple Scrum Teams are involved. In this process Scrum Team representatives convene for Scrum of Scrums Meetings in predetermined intervals or whenever required to collaborate and track their respective progress, impediments, and dependencies across teams.Normally, one member from each Scrum Team will represent his or her team in the Scrum of Scrums Meeting. In most cases, this is the Scrum Master, but at times someone else may represent the team. A single person may be nominated by the team to represent them in every Scrum of Scrums Meeting, or the representative may change over time, based on who can best fulfill the role depending on current issues and circumstances. Each person involved in the meeting should have the technical understanding to be able to identify instances in which teams could cause each other impediments or delays. Other important participants of Scrum of Scrums meeting include Chief Scrum Master and Chief Product Owner. The main purpose of the Scrum of Scrums Meeting is to communicate progress between multiple teams. The Chief Scrum Master (or any Scrum Master who would facilitate the Scrum of Scrums Meeting), can announce an agenda prior to the meeting. This allows individual teams to consider the agenda items in preparation for the Scrum of Scrums Meeting. Any impediments being faced by a team, which may also affect other teams, should be indicated so they can be conveyed at the Scrum of Scrums Meeting. In addition, if a team becomes aware of a large scale issue, change or risk that may affect other teams that should be communicated at the Scrum of Scrums Meeting. Outputs from the process Retrospect Sprint may have issues that could impact multiple Scrum Teams and could be used as an input for effective Scrum of Scrums Meeting. These meetings are preferably short (but usually not Time-boxed to allow for more sharing of information between teams) where a representative from each Scrum team meets to share status of the respective teams. The Scrum of Scrums Meeting is held at pre-determined intervals or when required by Scrum Teams, and these meetings facilitate the face-to-face sharing of information among different Scrum Teams through the Scrum of Scrums, issues, dependencies, and risks impacting multiple Scrum Teams can be closely monitored, which helps the various teams working on a large project better coordinate and integrate their work. It is the responsibility of the Chief Scrum Master (or another Scrum Master who facilitates the Scrum of Scrum Meetings) to ensure that all representatives have an environment conducive to openly and honestly sharing information, including feedback to other team representatives. For larger projects, involving a significant number of teams, multiple levels of these meetings may be convened. Each Scrum Team representative will provide updates from his/her team in turn. These updates are usually provided in the form of answers to four specific questions.
- What has my team been working on since the last meeting?
- What will my team do until the next meeting?
- What were other teams counting on our team to finish that remains undone?
- What is our team planning on doing that might affect other teams?
The answers to these four questions provide information that allows each team to clearly understand the work status of all other teams. It is recommended that a dedicated conference room be made available for the Scrum of Scrums Meeting, where all the Scrum Team Representatives are comfortable. In Convene Scrum of Scrums process, Scrum Guidance Body Expertise could relate to documented best practices about how to conduct Scrum of Scrum Meetings, and incorporate suggestions from such meetings in project work of individual Scrum Teams. There may also be a team of subject matter experts who may help the Chief Scrum Master facilitate the Scrum of Scrum Meeting. Some of the important outputs of the Scrum of Scrums meetings are: Coordination of work across multiple Scrum Teams. This is especially important when there are tasks involving inter-team dependencies. Incompatibilities and discrepancies between the work and deliverables of different teams are quickly exposed. This forum also gives teams the opportunity to showcase their achievements and give feedback to other teams. By using Scrum of Scrums Meeting, there is collaboration across the organization as opposed to people working in closed teams concerned primarily with their individual responsibilities. The Scrum of Scrums Meeting is a forum where Scrum Team members have the opportunity to transparently discuss issues, impacting their project. The need to deliver every Sprint on time forces the teams to actively confront such issues early instead of postponing seeking resolution. This timely discussion and resolution of issues in the Scrum of Scrums Meeting greatly improve coordination between different Scrum Teams and also reduces the need for redesign and rework. Risks related to dependencies and delivery time tables are mitigated as well.
The Scrum Master is the “servant leader” of the Scrum Team who moderates and facilitates team interactions as team coach and motivator. The Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring that the team has a productive work environment by guarding the team against external influences, removing any obstacles, and enforcing Scrum principles, aspects, and processes. Different Scrum projects have different requirements, hence the need for different levels of Scrum Masters. Here are three such roles:
Chief Scrum Master
Large projects require multiple Scrum Teams to work in parallel. Information gathered from one team may need to be appropriately communicated to other teams—the Chief Scrum Master is responsible for this activity. The role of a Chief Scrum Master is necessary to ensure proper collaboration among the Scrum Teams. Coordination across various Scrum Teams working on a project is typically done through the Scrum of Scrums (SoS) Meeting. There is no hierarchy between the Scrum Masters: they are all peers. The Chief Scrum Master just works on a multi-team level, whereas the Scrum Masters work on a single team level. Typically, any inter-team issues are addressed by the interested parties in a session immediately following the Scrum of Scrums Meeting. The Chief Scrum Master facilitates this session. The Chief Scrum Master can be chosen from the Scrum Masters of the large project or can be somebody else. For very large projects, it is recommended to have a Chief Scrum Master who is not also a Scrum Master because the effort required for the Chief Scrum Master role will prevent the Chief Scrum Master from also being able to dedicate enough time to the work with his/her Scrum Team. In either case, the Chief Scrum Master should have enough Scrum expertise to be able to foster collaboration and to help and coach others with the implementation of Scrum for a smooth delivery of the project’s products. Apart from clearing impediments and ensuring a conducive project environment for the Scrum Teams, the Chief Scrum Master also collaborates with the Chief Product Owner, other Scrum Masters, and Product Owners in activities such as developing the list of components and resources needed in common for all teams throughout the project. He/she facilitates everything that goes beyond the realm of a single Scrum Team. The Chief Scrum Master also interfaces with the Program Scrum Master to ensure alignment of the large project with the goals and objectives of the program.
Program Scrum Master
The Program Scrum Master is a facilitator who ensures that all project teams in the program are provided with an environment conducive to completing their projects successfully. The Program Scrum Master guides, facilitates, and teaches Scrum practices to everyone involved in the program; provides guidance to Scrum Masters of individual projects; clears impediments for the different project teams; coordinates with the Scrum Guidance Body to define objectives related to quality, government regulations, security, and other key organizational parameters; and, ensures that Scrum processes are being effectively followed throughout the program. The Program Scrum Master interfaces with the Portfolio Scrum Master to ensure alignment of the program with the goals and objectives of the portfolio. He or she is also involved with appointing Scrum Masters for individual projects and ensuring that the vision, objectives, outcomes, and releases of individual projects in the program align with that of the program. This role is similar to that of the Scrum Master except it meets the needs of the program or business unit rather than of a single Scrum Team.
Portfolio Scrum Master
This role is similar to that of the Scrum Master except it meets the needs of the portfolio or business unit rather than of a single Scrum Team.
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