Scrum is part of the overarching Agile project management umbrella, and is the most popular of all Agile techniques. It was originally designed with software development in mind, but does translate to other projects and industries now as well. Scrum is lightweight yet incredibly powerful set of values, principles and practices that help you and your business to:
Move from idea to delivery more quickly
Drive higher customer satisfaction
Increase employee morale
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Benefits of Using Scrum
It relies on cross-functional teams to deliver products and services in short, timeboxed cycles, allowing for:
Rapid adaption to change
Project scope, time and budget are hard to accurately predict upfront, particularly when building new software or a new product. Scrum is made up of cycles known as Sprints where part of the product or project are released every 2-4 weeks so that it can be inspected and adjusted throughout the project rather than waiting until the end. This is particularly useful if external factors or market forces change as it reduces risk of going down the wrong path and reduces waste of having to redo work.
Who is on the Scrum Team?
The core Scrum Team is made up of a Product Owner, a Scrum Master, and Developers.
The Developers ideally made up 3-9 people of cross-functional and self-managing team members to deliver the best outcome. These are the people building the product and can come from any background and industry.
The Scrum Master is a coach and facilitator for the team, they ensure the team follows Scrum, and help remove roadblocks and issues.
The Product Owner is the person who knows all about the product and the items in the Product Backlog. They prioritise the Product Backlog so that the Developers can easily estimate the items and determine what they can deliver in the next Sprint.
What makes Scrum “Scrum”?
Scrum is part of the overarching Agile delivery model and the most popular form of Agile, the most used throughout the world. What makes Scrum “Scrum” is the flow on how the product is delivered, which is made up of the Sprint and Scrum Events.
The Sprint is the main part of Scrum. Every Sprint or iteration is a set time period in which part of the product of project is released, usually between 2-4 weeks. Every Sprint starts when the last one completes and is the same time period as the previous one. The Sprints complete when the project is completed. The Scrum events which make up the Sprint are listed below.
A meeting to commence the start of the Sprint, attended by the whole Scrum Team. The Developers will go through the Product Backlog and estimate any items so as to determine how long they will take to deliver, then determine which items will be added to the Sprint Backlog- ie. decide the items that they will complete in that Sprint. The Scrum Team will also decide on a Sprint Goal which explains what this Sprint is about, what is being built in this Sprint. The Scrum Team will also decide what the ‘Definition of Done’ is, that is, what is required for each item in the Sprint to be released.
A quick, daily, stand up meeting attended by the Developers to let everyone know what they have been up to the previous day, what they will do today, and any roadblocks they need help removing. The Scrum Master and Product Owner may also attend, but is not mandatory.
To review the achievements of the Sprint, to demo the Product increment. This is attended by all Scrum Team plus stakeholders.
Attended by the Scrum Team only to review how the Sprint went in regard to team performance, processes, tools and relationships.
What are the Scrum Artefacts?
This is a list of all items and stories of what is required to produce the product, service or project. They may be created by the customer or by internal teams at any time. Items can be added by anyone, but only the Product Owner can prioritise them.
This list has been created by the Developers using the items in the Product Backlog and makes up the items to be delivered in the next Sprint. The items are detailed enough so that the team know how to deliver them and how to estimate how long they will take.
Of course the product is the main artefact of Scrum. Scrum releases a product in increments, so every increment is an artefact, that is, something that can be demonstrated and released.
Why is Scrum So Popular?
It’s the most popular Agile project management framework because of its simplicity and clear framework. Importance is given to people and team culture due to the Scrum Values which leads to happy teams, stakeholders and customers, which leads to successful projects.
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