What is Scrum?

Scrum is a framework where people can address complicated and adaptive problems, while delivering products of highest possible value. Scrum is a systematic structure for defining what you need to do, dividing work amongst team members, and doing it. In the end, your users or clients benefits from your work. Scrum was created by Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber in the early 1990s. The term “Scrum” actually derives from the Rugby game and was introduced as a product development metaphor in the 1986 Harvard Business Report article: The New New Product Development Game by Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka. They noticed that when a rugby team delivered the ball, they did it in such a way as to balance each other’s movement. Sutherland and Schwaber adapted this and, in their minds, this was an example of high performance, and they figured that if they could do it, indeed, big organizations could too.

Scrum encourages teams to learn through experiences, self-organize while working on complex problems, and constantly reflect on their wins and losses to make continuous improvements. Scrum is an agile framework that breaks down complex tasks into small, simple, and manageable pieces in the project’s life. It is an iterative approach that helps reduce waste and deliver an organization’s products in the most efficient way possible with highest possible value. Essentially, Scrum keeps the team focused on their goals while providing an excellent framework for practically achieving these goals. 

Scrum framework and principles

Scrum is a framework for managing product development in an agile environment. It defines roles, events, artifacts, and the rules that bind them together. By adhering to these rules, teams can manage project risk, create transparency, and control complexity.

The framework and process

Each aspect of the Scrum framework serves a specific purpose and is essential to the effective use of Scrum. The Scrum framework includes three different roles.

  • Product Owner. Who is responsible for defining what needs to be built.
  • Developers. They are responsible for building it.
  • Scrum Master. Makes sure that the Scrum Team is operating as effectively as possible with Scrum values. 

Scrum uses a few different processes that help teams work together efficiently and effectively. These processes are meant to guide teams in their work. Some of these processes include:

Scrum Sprint

This is a time-boxed period of work that lasts for one to four weeks. Through the help of the Scrum framework and methodology, your team should be able to complete the work within this timeframe.

Scrum Planning

The purpose of Sprint Planning is to define what can be delivered in the Sprint and how that work will be achieved. The Sprint Planning is created by the collaborative work of the entire Scrum Team.

Daily Standup

This is the daily meeting that everyone on the team attends at the same time every day, where they answer three questions.

  • What have I achieved since yesterday? 
  • What will I do today? 
  • What obstacles are in my way?

Asking such questions prevents any prospective issues that may come up.

Sprint Review

The purpose of the Sprint Review is to evaluate the outcome of the Sprint and determine future adaptions. The Sprint Review is for the Scrum Team to show the customers, or key stakeholders, the work they have accomplished during the Sprint.

Retrospective

The retrospective is an opportunity for everyone involved in a project to reflect on what worked well (and didn’t) during previous iterations of their work. They’ll use this feedback to make changes that will improve their process before moving forward with their next sprints or projects. 

Cross-functional teams

Every team member should have overlapping competences so that no one person is the single point of failure. This division of tasks will ensure smooth coordination.

Continuous improvement

Scrum emphasizes incremental improvements over time rather than significant changes, which can cause problems if not done carefully.

The six principles of Scrum

  1. Control over the empirical process. There are three main ideas to empirical process control, and they are: Transparency, Inspection and Adaptation.

  2. Self-organization. Scrum relies on many individuals, and therefore self-organization is essential. All involved parties are empowered to work independently, which makes it easier to assess individual contributions. 

  3.  Collaboration. Scrum is a collaborative process. Scrum focuses on three dimensions of collaboration which is: Awareness, Articulation and Appropriation. 

  4. Value-based prioritization. Organize and prioritize tasks based on their value and how and when they need to be completed.

  5. Time-boxing. In Scrum, tasks are completed in “sprints”, with specific lengths of time given to each one. Time-boxing makes sure that all involved parties know exactly how much time is allocated to each step. 

  6.  Iterative and incremental development. A project may need to be refined multiple times during the process. Iterative and incremental development allows teams to make adjustments and manage change easier.

Why use Scrum?

Scrum is a successful approach to project management that has worked well for many organizational teams around the world. Here are the merits of Scrum.

  • Scrum is a flexible and lightweight approach to developing products and services. It helps organizations deliver more valuable products faster.

  • Scrum boosts productivity and improves efficiency. It helps teams work together effectively and efficiently to produce high-quality products and services.

  • It promotes adaptability by encouraging teams to deliver what’s most important first instead of trying to complete everything at once.

  • Scrum helps prevent problems before they start by identifying potential issues early on. 

  • It is a great way to manage team members, especially if they come from diverse backgrounds and have different skills.

  • Your company can work on many projects simultaneously.

  • It can save time and money by reducing waste and increasing productivity.

  • It allows for continuous improvement, which means that your company will always be making progress (even if sometimes it’s in small steps).

In conclusion, Scrum is a framework that most companies would benefit of employing.