A glance at Agile Scrum Methodology
What Is Agile?
The Agile movement proposes alternatives to traditional project management. Agile approaches are typically used in software development to help businesses respond to unpredictability.
What is Scrum?
Scrum is the most popular way of introducing Agility due to its simplicity and flexibility. Because of this popularity, many organizations claim to be ‘doing Scrum’ but aren’t doing anything close to Scrum’s actual definition. Scrum emphasizes empirical feedback, team self management, and striving to build properly tested product increments within short iterations. Doing Scrum as it’s actually defined usually comes into conflict with existing habits at established non-Agile organizations.
Scrum has only three roles: Product Owner, Team, and Scrum Master. The responsibilities of the traditional project manager role are split up among these three Scrum roles. Scrum has five meetings: Backlog Grooming (aka Backlog Refinement), Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum (aka 15-minute standup), the Sprint Review Meeting, and the Sprint Retrospective Meeting.
A 30 seconds Scrum framework
- A product owner creates a prioritized wish list called a product backlog.
- During sprint planning, the team pulls a small chunk from the top of that wish list, a sprint backlog, and decides how to implement those pieces.
- The team has a certain amount of time — a sprint (usually two to four weeks) — to complete its work, but it meets each day to assess its progress (daily Scrum).
- Along the way, the ScrumMaster keeps the team focused on its goal.
- At the end of the sprint, the work should be potentially shippable: ready to hand to a customer, put on a store shelf, or show to a stakeholder.
- The sprint ends with a sprint review and retrospective.
- As the next sprint begins, the team chooses another chunk of the product backlog and begins working again.
Basics of Scrum & Agile
- Scrum is a lightweight process framework for agile development, and the most widely-used one.
- A ‘process framework’ is a particular set of practices that must be followed in order for a process to be consistent with the framework. (For example, the Scrum process framework requires the use of development cycles called Sprints, the XP framework requires pair programming, and so forth.)
- ‘Lightweight’ means that the overhead of the process is kept as small as possible, to maximize the amount of productive time available for getting useful work done.
- A Scrum process is distinguished from other agile processes by specific concepts and practices, divided into the three categories of Roles, Artifacts, and Time Boxes. These and other terms used in Scrum are defined below.
- Scrum is most often used to manage complex software and product development, using iterative and incremental practices. Scrum significantly increases productivity and reduces time to benefits relative to classic ‘waterfall’ processes. Scrum processes enable organizations to adjust smoothly to rapidly-changing requirements, and produce a product that meets evolving business goals.
An agile Scrum process benefits the organization by assisting it to:
- Increase the quality of the deliverables
- Cope better with change (and expect the changes)
- Provide better estimates while spending less time creating them
- Be more in control of the project schedule and state
- As a result, Scrum projects achieve higher customer satisfaction rates.
Scrum is an Agile framework for completing complex projects. Scrum originally was formalized for software development projects, but it works well for any complex, innovative scope of work. The possibilities are endless. The Scrum framework is deceptively simple.