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Scrum Methodology Overview: Is It Right for Your Team?

While originally designed for software development teams, Scrum methodology has now become popular in many other areas. 

In this article, we explain the basics that every Scrum beginner should know, including what the Scrum methodology is and how you can implement it. 

What is Scrum Methodology?

According to Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland – who developed Scrum and the Scrum Guide – Scrum is defined as 

 “A framework in which people can solve complex coping problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest quality and highest value possible.” 

Scrum is an agile project management methodology and is the most widely used Agile methodology in the software development world. It focuses on developing new software capabilities through 24-week sprints. 

During sprints, the Scrum team focuses first on developing key features to deliver a potentially deliverable product. Taking into account customer feedback and stakeholder requirements, the rest of the functionality will be worked on in subsequent sprints. 

The Scrum methodology promotes teamwork, accountability, clear common goals, and continuous improvement of the product as well as that of the team and the work environment. 

It is ideally used in projects whose requirements often change. Scrum is both iterative and incremental and helps to deliver working products more often. 

Benefits of the Scrum methodology include 

  • Faster development of quality products.
  • Increased return on investment and lower costs. 
  • Shorter time-to-market.
  • Increased customer satisfaction. 
  • More motivated, productive, and happier employees. 
  • Rate reduced risk.

Scrum Roles

Scrum roles include the Scrum Master, the Product Owner, and the development team. Together they form the Scrum team, which is cross-functional and self-organizing. This means that their decisions are not checked by anyone outside the team.

Product Owner 

He is the protagonist in the project. He or she is responsible for managing the product backlog. The product owner is also responsible for maximizing the value of the product the development team is working on.

Scrum Master 

While the Scrum Master has no authority over the development team, they must ensure that the team adheres to  Scrum theory, rules, and values. The Scrum Master acts as a lead servant to the development team and the product owner. The facilitator, the Scrum Master helps the  Scrum methodology team do its best.

Development Team 

The development team, being self-organizing and multi-functional, has all the skills to deliver a “Completed Potential Releasable Product Increment” at the end of each Sprint. Team members have no titles and no one, including the Scrum Master, tells them “how to convert the Product Backlog into increments of potentially available functionality”.

Scrum Artifacts 

There are 3 Scrum Artifacts, and they are here to help improve the transparency of important information that the Scrum team and stakeholders need to know. 

Product backlog 

Like a task list consisting of the work to be performed, the product backlog contains the requirements for changes such as new features, enhancements, fixes, etc. to be made to the product under development. It is the product owner’s job to keep the product backlog up-to-date. 

The product backlog is constantly changing based on what the product needs to remain competitive and useful. 

Sprint Backlog 

The Sprint Backlog shows the product backlog items selected for the sprint that must be completed to reach the sprint goal. The development team modifies the Sprint Backlog during the sprint and completes it as they complete the work that needs to be done to achieve the Sprint goal. 

Increment 

The Increment is the sum of all  Product Backlog items completed during the Sprint, including the value of Increments from previous Sprints.

Scrum Events 

Scrum methodology encourages the project team to organize five key events during the Sprint. These events are scheduled events, meaning they have a predefined maximum duration. 

They are set up to avoid spending time on extra and unnecessary meetings. They provide the ability to inspect the progress of the Sprint and adjust accordingly. 

The Sprint 

The Sprint refers to a period of one month or less during which a potentially deliverable product is developed. Every sprint has a goal to be achieved, a flexible plan that guides how to get there, the steps to take, and the resulting product increment. 

When a sprint is finished, a new one starts immediately. If the Sprint Goal becomes outdated, a Sprint can be canceled by the Product Owner under the influence of the Scrum Team and stakeholders. 

Sprint Planning 

During sprint planning, the Scrum team works to determine the features that will be built during the sprint, by selecting items from the product backlog and planning how to deliver them. 

This is also a timed event that can be limited to a maximum of 8 hours for a one-month Sprint. However, if it is a shorter Sprint, this event may be shorter. 

Daily Scrum 

The development team conducts approximately 15 minutes of daily scrum every weekday to plan the work for the next 24 hours. This allows them to inspect the progress of the work done since the last Daily Scrum and to plan for the next work. 

It’ll be the same place and the same time every day. The team can share what they did yesterday, what they are doing today, and mention anything that is stopping them from doing their job. 

Sprint Review 

The Sprint Review takes place at the end of the Sprint. Here, stakeholders and the Scrum team will review the Product Backlog and what was done during the Sprint. They will also discuss what needs to be done to increase the value of the product. For a one-month Sprint, this conversation would take a maximum of 4 hours. 

Sprint Retrospective Sprint 

Retrospective refers to the final Sprint meeting where the Scrum team comes together to discuss what went right or wrong regarding people, processes, relationships, and tools. It also talks about how to improve to perform better in the next sprint.

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