Scrum is a modern project management methodology that splits your project into different development cycles. These development cycles are called sprints and usually last 2-4 weeks to help you quickly reach your deliverables.
After each cycle is completed, you present it to your stakeholders (usually customers) who give you feedback on what they like and don’t like. You can then incorporate their feedback before moving on to your next project cycle.
In traditional project management, you work on your
project as a whole.
For example, if you were developing a teleportation device for the retail market, you’d spend a year conceptualizing, developing and testing the machine.
You’d only present it to your customers once it was done.
While this allows you to work uninterrupted, it has one key issue:
As you’ve built the transporter without any actual customer input, there’s no guarantee that they’ll like it.
Think about it.
How often do customers like every single feature that you put out?
More often than not, they’ll have a few complaints, right?
Scrum project management can solve this.
With scrum, you would develop each feature separately and once each feature is ready, you present it to your customers. They’ll give you feedback and you can incorporate it before moving on to the other features.
This way, your customer is actively involved in the development process and the final product is carefully developed with their needs in mind.
Scrum is an Agile based project management methodology developed by Ken Schwaber in the early 90s.
To better understand Agile, you need to go over the Agile Manifesto
What’s the Agile Manifesto?
It’s a brief summation of what Agile stands for and the principles that guide it.
for a deeper look at it. All Agile methods follow the Agile Manifesto and divide
projects into smaller sprints to incorporate user feedback at all levels.
Wait, what do you mean by Agile methods?
There’s more than one Agile-based project management methodology?
Scrum is just one of the Agile methods.
There are tons of other methodologies that are based on Agile, such as Kanban, Lean, Extreme Programming and more!
The best part about each methodology is that you can combine them to make them more effective. For example, you can combine Scrum and Kanban to create a more streamlined
software development workflow.
Scrum elements aren’t as confusing as the elements of the periodic table.
They’re just essential components of the Scrum project management methodology:
Scrum’s artifacts are core tools that give your Scrum project the focus it needs to stay on track. They consist of:
Product backlog: A product backlog is the list of items you need to complete in a project. It’s
essentially a to-do list of what your team has to do. As you have to regularly incorporate customer feedback, the backlog items are constantly updated and modified.
Note: Product backlog items are usually displayed as user stories. User stories are descriptions of features from the perspective of the customer. This ensures that the developers develop backlog items with the user’s
perspective in mind.
Sprint backlog: A sprint backlog is a list of product backlog items that your team will be attempting
in a particular sprint.
Increment: The increment is the usable end product that’s released after each sprint. It’s essentially your sprint’s deliverable in the Scrum framework.
There are three key Scrum roles that are common to all Scrum teams:
- Product Owner
- Scrum Master
- Development Team
Here’s a closer look at these scrum roles and why they’re vital to your project’s success:
1. Product Owner
The owner is in charge of developing and managing the product backlog. The owner also communicates with stakeholders and relays their feedback to your team.
2. Scrum Master
The Scrum master is like the project manager for Scrum teams. They ensure that everyone involved in the
project understands the Scrum process and is on the same page about the Agile framework.
Note: As the Scrum master roles can vary from the traditional project manager role, it’s recommended that all managers undergo Scrum training to become a certified Scrum master before handling Scrum projects.
3. Development Team
The development team members actively work on a Scrum
project. They’re the ones responsible for delivering the increment at the end of your sprint.
Scrum has a set of repetitive events that support the Agile framework and methodology.
Here’s a quick look at them and what goes on in each meeting:
The sprint is a short 1-2 week span where all the Scrum work happens. In a sprint, your team tackles your sprint
backlog to complete an increment.
2. Sprint Planning
This meeting is where your project team goes over the product backlog to decide what items will be attempted in a sprint.
3. Daily Scrum Meeting
The daily scrum is a short daily check-in to update everyone about their progress. This is a very short meeting that shouldn’t last
longer than 15 minutes while the entire team shares their progress towards achieving
4. Sprint Review
A sprint review is a scrum meeting conducted at the end of the sprint. The purpose of this scrum meeting is to display the final sprint increment to the stakeholders.
5. Sprint Retrospective
The sprint retrospective meeting is conducted after each sprint. In this scrum meeting, you go over problems faced and discuss possible improvements for the next sprint.
Ever wonder why the Scrum and Agile framework is so popular?
Because it helps you slam-dunk your projects!
Let’s check it out.
Unlike other project management methods, the Scrum framework actively involves the customer in the product development process. This way, you’re not
assuming what a customer wants - you’re actually collaborating with them.
A final product that’s been built by your customers, for your customers, every step of the way. It’s going to thoroughly address all their needs and leave them jumping for joy!
As you’re able to incorporate feedback at the end of every cycle, Scrum work is extremely adaptable to change.
It allows your project team to cope with sudden customer demands and scope increases without having a nervous breakdown!
As Scrum teams are so small and cross-functional, they have to actively work together to deliver increments. This ensures that everyone has to involve each
other and collaborate effectively to get things done.
As your project team works on small, short-term goals with sprints, it’s easier for them to feel a sense of accomplishment and achievement.
Think about it.
They’re not facing a huge list of tasks that need to be attempted at once. Instead, they’re tackling sections of Scrum work at a time - making the whole
project seem more feasible!
How do you make sure your Scrum project goes without hiccups - as smoothly as Emirates first class?
While taking care of the Scrum artifacts, events and roles are important, it's not enough.
Sure, you could have extensive Scrum training to become a certified Scrum expert, but that’s not enough either!
If you really want to benefit from this methodology, you need the right Agile software.
Agile software will give your engineering team a consolidated space to manage all their Scrum activities.
This way, they won’t have to shuffle between multiple apps to just get an idea of what is going on!
Agile software will help you:
- Manage your sprints
- Handle your backlog, user stories and story points
- Collaborate with team members and stakeholders
Having the right Agile tool makes managing Scrum as easy as apple pie!