Scrum Methodology

Scrum is the most commonly used Agile framework. Agile is an umbrella term used to describe several iterative and incremental software development frameworks, processes and techniques.

Scrum is a framework which helps you deliver complex products productively enabling you to deliver highest possible value. Scrum enables to respond to changes in the market and technology while controlling risk.

The Scrum framework is mistakenly referred to as Scrum metholdology. However, Scrum is a framework, which means you can use techniques from other Agile processes like XP etc. in Scrum projects.

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Introduction to Scrum Metholodology

What are the Roles in Scrum?

Scrum defines three roles
  1. Scrum Master
  2. Product Owner
  3. The (Development) Team

A Scrum Team consists of all three role i.e. the Scrum Master, the Product Owner and the (development) Team.

Scrum Master:The scrum master works with the (development) Team, the Product Owner and other stakeholders to ensure that the Scrum values, practices and rules are understood and enacted. The Scrum Master removes impediments that may hinder the Team. The Scrum Master is a servant leader role. The Scrum Master acts more like a coach and guide than a team leader.

Product Owner:The Product Owner is responsible for maximizing value and return on investment. The Product Owner works with the customer and stakeholders to craft the the vision of a product, gathers and orders and the requirements and plans releases. The Product Owner represents the customers, in short serves as an interface between the Team, customers and stakeholders.

The Team:The Development Team, or the Team consists people with required skills to turn selected Product Backlog items to product increments. Teams are small, ideal Team size is 3-9. These Teams are cross-functional - it consists of all required skills to create a product increment These Teams are self-organizing, is empowered to do everything within the constraints of the project guidelines to reach the Sprint goal. It organizes itself and its work, as it sees fit.

Learn more about the Agile, Scrum, Scrum Master, Product Owner and Agile Developer roles in our Scrum Certficaton courses.

What are the Scrum Events?

The Scrum famework defines five events (meetings),
  1. Sprint
  2. Sprint Planning Meeting
  3. Daily Scrum
  4. Sprint Review
  5. Sprint Retrospective

Sprint:The Sprint is the heartbeat of Scrum. ALL work in Scrum projects is carried out in Sprints. Sprint is time-boxed, it can not take more than an agreed amount of time. The Sprint is normally 1-4 weeks long. Once a Sprint starts there are no changes in the scope of the Sprint (it is agreed during the Sprint Planning meeting). The Team can re-negotiate the scope with the Product Owner under certain conditions, but the Product Owner can not alter the scope of the Sprint. The Team composition remains the same throughout the length of the Sprint.

Sprint Planning Meeting: Every Sprint starts with a Sprint Planning meeting. It is a time-boxed meeting also. For a 4-week Sprint the Sprint Planning can not take more than 8 hours (4-hours for a 2-week Sprint etc.). It is a working session. The Scrum Master facilitates the meeting, and the whole Scrum Team (the Scrum Mater, the development Team and the Product Owner) participate in the meeting.

Daily Scrum: After the Sprint Planning, the Team has devised a plan and goal for the Sprint. It needs to verify, continually, whether it is on track to deliver. Scrum provides a mechanism to the Team for this, the Daily Scrum. It is a short, 15 minute meeting, conducted every day. It provides an opportunity to the Team to inspect and adapt on daily basis.All Team members attend this meeting. Everyone answers three questions,

  1. What did I do yesterday?
  2. What am I going to do today?
  3. Are there any impediments or problems in my way?

Sprint Review: A Sprint Review Meeting is held at the end of the Sprint to inspect the the work that the Team has carried out, and adapt the Product Backlog in the light of this inspection. Like other Scrum meeting, Sprint Reviews are also time-boxed. The meeting can last a maximum of four hours for a 4-week Sprint. The whole Scrum Team participates in this meeting. During the Sprint Review, the Scrum Team and stakeholders work together to discuss the work done in the Sprint. This is not a demo meeting, rather it is a working session.

Sprint Retrospective: The Sprint Retrospective is the last meeting in the Sprint, the Sprint ends here. It is also a time-boxed meeting. It lasts for a maximum of 3 hours for 4 week Sprint, proportionally less for shorter Sprints. The Sprint Retrospective is an opportunity for the Scrum Team for continuous improvement.

Learn more about the Agile, Scrum, Scrum Planning, Review and Retrospective in one of our Scrum Certficaton courses.

What are the Scrum Artifacts?

Scrum defines three artifacts
  1. Product Backlog
  2. Sprint Backlog
  3. The Increment

Product Backlog:The Product Backlog consists of all the requirements. It consists of functional, non-functional (unless some of those are put into you Definition of Done), constraints, bug fixes and everything else that the Team needs to work on during the Sprints. The Product Owner is responsible for managing and ordering the Product Backlog. The Product Backlog is ordered and sized. It is a living document that keeps changing during the lifecycle of the project. The Product Owner works with customers, stakeholders and, crucially, with the Team to create, update, maintain and order the Product Backlog.

Sprint Backlog:The Sprint Backlog consists of the items that the Team has selected for the current Sprint and the Team plan to deliver these items. The plan normally consists of tasks. These tasks are the activities that the team plans to do to turn the selected items to features during the Sprint. These tasks are often small. The Team estimates these tasks.

Increment:Increment consists of all the items that the Team completes during a Sprint. These are the Done features the Team has delivered. It means they meet the Definition of Done agreed by the Team and the Product Owner. Every increment should be potentially shippable, i.e. the Product Owner should be able to implement this piece of functionality, if the Product Owner so wishes.

Learn more about the Agile, Scrum, Scrum Master, Product Owner and Agile Developer roles and skills in our Agile and Scrum Certficaton courses.

Why Scrum Methodology?

Scrum helps you to
  1. Respond to changes and minimize risk at the same time
  2. Increase your return on investment (ROI)
  3. Continuously improve your processes and techniques

Responding to Change while controlling risk

Change happens at a breakneck pace in the world of technology. Companies can not afford the luxury to sit tight and not respond to changes. Many companies can potentially respond to changes, but at what cost?

Change is risky and expensive. Change is hard. The cost of change can be prohibitively high. Responding to change at the risk of bankruptcy is of little use. Agile and Scrum enable you to respond to rapid changes in the marketplace while controlling risk.

Higher Return on Investment

Users do not (or rarely) use 60% of the features. But somehow we find a way to keep releasing and maintaining all these. This is just one of the factors that reduces your ROI.

Agile and Scrum provides you with the mechanism to help you deliver the highest value features, and take advantage of the market opportunities now. It enables you to increase productivity and quality without jeoperdizing agility.

Continuous Improvement

More than 70% of IT budgets are spent on maintenance and enhancements while only 29% is spent on innovation and new product creation, according to a recent Forrester study. Low quality products and archaic organizational processes are some of the causes of this.

Agile and Scrum framework forces you to see the issues and problems that are holding you and your company back. With strong emphasis on teamwork and collaboration, Agile and Scrum help you leverage collective intelligence of your company to continuously seek better solutions.

Lean More About Scrum Methodology

If you are interested in

  • How to plan Agile projects, iterations, releases and projects
  • How maximise productivity while responding to change
  • How to manage change in Agile projects using Scrum
  • How Scrum helps you to optimise Total Cost of Ownership
  • How Agile Teams work
  • How to control risk in Agile projects
  • Agile and Scrum theory and framework

You will benefit from our Agile and Scrum Certification courses. Learn more about the Agile, Scrum, Scrum Master, Product Owner and Agile Developer roles and skills in our Agile and Scrum Certficaton courses.