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What is Scrum? Everything you Need to Know about Project Management

Last updated on Aug 16,2019 458 Views
What is Scrum? Everything you Need to Know about Project Management

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Building a new product or a feature isn’t really an easy task, and having it succeed in a competitive marketplace is even more of a challenge.  Agile Scrum Methodology helps achieve that.

Good products captivate a target audience by addressing customer needs. The person that achieves this for his/her company is a Certified Scrum Master and he/she is rewarded quite handsomely for the same.

In this article, we are going to explore the question “What is Scrum?”.

What is Scrum?

The Scrum Guide defines scrum as:

“A framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.”

ScrumLogo- Edureka

In simple terms, scrum is a lightweight agile project management framework that can be used to manage iterative and incremental projects of all types. The concept here is to break large complex projects into smaller stages, reviewing and adapting along the way. With scrum you:

  • Write fewer plans and do more in short iterations or cycles that we call sprints
  • Work as one dedicated and committed team, instead of working on separate groups
  • Constantly deliver functioning products at the end of each sprint
  • Receive continuous feedback from your customers and improvise your product

So, scrum is a flexible way of working on any kind of projects in this rapidly changing world. But that still leaves a lot of questions about the Scrum Framework. The first step is to drill down a bit further into Scrum’s origins and history.

What is Scrum? Scrum in 20minutes | Scrum Master Training | Edureka

History of Scrum

The term “scrum” was first introduced by two professors Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka in the year 1986, in Harvard Business Review article. There they described it as a “rugby” style approach to product development, one where a team moves forward while passing a ball back and forth.

Software developers Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland each came up with their own version of Scrum, which they presented at a conference in Austin, Texan in 1995. In the year 2010, the first publication of official scrum guide came out.

Let’s get to the next part of this “What is Scrum?” article and learn about the people and parts involved with Scrum Framework.

People & Parts of Scrum Framework

The Scrum Framework is made of three distinct categories, which are:

Let’s check out each of these.

Scrum Roles

There are three distinct roles defined in Scrum:

Scrum Team - What is Scrum? - Edueka

  • The Product Owner is responsible for the work the team is supposed to complete. The main role of a product owner is to motivate the team to achieve the goal and the vision of the project. While a project owner can take input from others but when it comes to making major decisions, ultimately he/she is responsible.
  • The Scrum Master ensures that all the team members follow scrum’s theories, rules, and practices. They make sure the Scrum Team has whatever it needs to complete its work, like removing roadblocks that are holding up progress, organizing meetings, dealing with challenges and bottlenecks
  • The Development Team(Scrum Team) is a self-organizing and a cross-functional team, working together to deliver products. Scrum development teams are given the freedom to organize themselves and manage their own work to maximize the team’s effectiveness and efficiency.

Now that you have an idea of what scrum is and the people involved, its time to learn about different events that occur during the scrum process.

      Events in Scrum

      In particular, there are four events that you will encounter during the scrum process. But before we proceed any further you should be aware of what sprint is.

      A sprint basically is a specified time period during which a scrum team produces a product.

      The four events or ceremonies of Scrum Framework are:

      Scrum Process - What is Scrum? - Edureka

      • Sprint Planning: It is a meeting where the work to be done during a sprint is mapped out and the team members are assigned the work necessary to achieve that goal.
      • Daily Scrum: Also known as a stand-up, it is a 15-minute daily meeting where the team has a chance to get on the same page and put together a strategy for the next 24 hours.
      • Sprint Review: During the sprint review, product owner explains what the planned work was and what was not completed during the Sprint. The team then presents completed work and discuss what went well and how problems were solved.
      • Sprint Retrospective: During sprint retrospective, the team discusses what went right, what went wrong, and how to improve. They decide on how to fix the problems and create a plan for improvements to be enacted during the next sprint.

      To understand scrum properly, you need to be aware of the artifacts that are used during the scrum process. So, let’s discuss them.

        Scrum Artifacts

        Artifacts are just physical records that provide project details when developing a product. Scrum Artifacts include:

        • Product Backlog: It is a simple document that outlines the list of tasks and every requirement that the final product needs. It is constantly evolving and is never complete. For each item in the product backlog, you should add some additional information like:
          • Description
          • Order based on priority
          • Estimate
          • Value to the business
        • Sprint Backlog: It is the list of all items from the product backlog that need to be worked on during a sprint. Team members sign up for tasks based on their skills and priorities. It is a real-time picture of the work that the team currently plans to complete during the sprint.

        Scrum Artifacts - Edureka

        • Burndown Chart: It is a graphical representation of the amount of estimated remaining work. Typically the amount of remaining work is will featured on the vertical axis with time along the horizontal axis.
        • Product Increment: The most important artifact is the product improvement, or in other words, the sum of product work completed during a Sprint, combined with all work completed during previous sprints.

        Well, this covers all the terms that you might come across when working with Scrum Framework. But, how does the scrum actually work?

        How does a Scrum Process Work?

        scrumFlow - What is Scrum? - Edureka

        Step1: Scrum process begins with a product owner. Product Owner creates a product backlog, a list of tasks and requirements the final product needs. The important part is that product backlog must be prioritized.

        Step2: The scrum team gets together for sprint planning, which is when the team decides together what to work on first from the product backlog. This subset of items from the product backlog becomes the sprint backlog.

        Step3: During the sprint, the team meets to communicate progress and issues, this meeting is called the daily scrum. It is overseen by the scrum master who ensures that all the team members follow scrum’s theories, rules, and practices.

        Step4: At the end of the sprint, the sprint review meeting is organized by the product owner. During the meeting, the development team demonstrates what they completed since the last sprint. Then the product owner gives information about what is remaining on the product backlog and estimated time to complete the project if needed.

        Note: In scrum, at the end of each sprint, the team should have a functioning piece of the product to show for their work.

        Step5: After the sprint review, the scrum team gathers-up in sprint retrospective meeting, where the team discusses what went well, what did not and if they could have done better. Might be a tech limitation is holding them back or a team member is overloaded with tasks. The team decides how to fix these problems and creates a plan for improvements to be enacted during the next sprint.

        Step6: The cycle repeats for the remaining tasks in the product backlog. This goes on until either of the below-mentioned things happen:

        • The deadline has been reached
        • The budget is exhausted
        • The product owner is satisfied with the final product

        And that, in a nutshell, is how Scrum works. An important principle in scrum is the idea of transparency. All team members involved should be aware of what everyone else is working on, progress being made, and what the team is trying to accomplish.

        This brings us to the end of this ‘What is Scrum?’ article. I have covered all the basics that you should be aware of if you are planning to use scrum methodology. Hope you are clear with all that has been shared with you in this article.

        Make sure you are well versed with the Scrum terminology before you start using it.

        Got a question for us? Please mention it in the comments section of this “What is Scrum?” article and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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