Scrum is the most widely used Agile management framework, particularly in software development. However, the Scrum framework is becoming increasingly popular across many sectors and business functions, not just in the software industry.
The corporate world is getting increasingly turbulent, intricate, and demanding, mandating the need for ongoing evolution. The Scrum framework relies on flexibility and the ability to adapt to ever-changing conditions.
Whatever your job title, this guide gives you an in-depth understanding of the Scrum process, practical suggestions, and examples on how to adopt it in your team or organization at every level.
Scrum's primary goal is to establish and maintain strong connections in teams, deliver customer value, collaborate with all stakeholders, respond quickly, and constantly improve the team's performance. This can be accomplished with a well-defined range of tools and techniques. So, without further ado, here we go.
What Is the Scrum Guide?
In 1995, Ken and Jeff presented at the OOPSLA Conference on the iterative software development process. It wasn't until years later that these principles were made accessible to the general public in the form of the Scrum Guide. In 2010, the first edition of the Scrum Guide was published, and since then, it has undergone several revisions and updates.
In the Scrum Guide, you'll find all the scrum values, principles, and definitions in one place. Each concept in the guide represents an essential aspect of Scrum that performs a specific purpose. The goal here is to deliver value and incrementally improve performance.
Changing the fundamental values or deleting the Scrum rules reduces the total benefits of Scrum, which results in meaningless results at the project's conclusion.
Key Features of the Scrum Guide
Scrum's core principles are straightforward. Its essential elements are scrum roles, scrum events, and scrum artifacts. Each of these elements is vital, has a specific purpose, and is necessary for the framework to be used successfully.
Scrum framework has the following components:
- Scrum Roles
- Scrum Events
- Scrum Artifacts
First, grasp how Scrum roles are different from traditional project management positions. Scrum participants are called roles because everyone has a distinct role, i.e., performs a specified task, and is "responsible" for specific matters.
Even though Scrum only has three primary responsibilities, they don't often correspond to titles we're familiar with.
There are three roles in Scrum:
- Development Team
- Scrum Master
- Scrum Product Owner
Scrum does not have any other roles. There is no conflict between these roles and the official positions of the organization's employees.
The developers are grouped in the development team. People directly involved in completing the duties are included in this role. Although uncommon, engineers can serve as Product Owners or Scrum Masters. However, this practice is not recommended.
The development team can comprise persons with a wide range of talents, abilities, and roles. Many people are involved in the product's development, from programmers to architects to engineers, quality controllers to business analysts.
Scrum Product Owner
The Product Owner's role in Agile development is assigned to an individual representing a company or user community. This individual is responsible for collaborating with the user group to decide which functionalities are included in the new product.
The Product Owner has the following primary responsibilities:
- Include short- and long-term goals for the products and services in the strategy's development
- Be knowledgeable about the service or product
- Recognize and articulate consumer requirements to the product team
- Collect, prioritize, and organize the needs for a product or service.
- Assume all budgetary duties, including ensuring the service or product is profitable
- Determine when the product or service's features can be made available
- Collaborate with the development team regularly to answer queries and make choices
- Approve or disapprove of the Sprints' finalized features
- End each Sprint with a summary of what the development team accomplished
- Be in charge of managing the product backlog
Scrum Masters are actual leaders that support the Scrum Team and the rest of the company. The Scrum Team's efficiency is directly tied to their performance, allowing the Scrum Team to enhance their methods within the Scrum framework.
There are several ways the Scrum Master helps out the Scrum Team, such as:
- Help the team adhere to Scrum principles and behaviors by acting as a mentor
- Provide self-management and cross-functionality training for the team members
- Help the Scrum Team focus on producing high-value increments that adhere to the Definition of Done
- Remove obstacles to help the Scrum Team's development
- Maintain a good, productive, and strictly adherent timebox for all Scrum events
- Make complex tasks easier to understand through the use of an empirical method
The Product Owner benefits from the Scrum Master in a variety of ways, including:
- Assisting in the development of methodologies for successful product goal definition and backlog management
- Creating product backlog items that are clear and succinct – these are critical to the success of the Scrum Team
- Helping to build an environment where product planning is based on actual data
- Making it easier for Scrum Teams and stakeholders to work together
- Inspiring the team and other stakeholders to work effectively
Organizations benefit from a Scrum Master in a variety of ways, including:
- Advising, teaching, and coaching the organization in the deployment of Scrum
- Implementing and advising on Scrum projects within the company
- Removing any barriers and safeguard the team from outside interferences
- Protecting the team against organizational distractions and promote common sense
Scrum events are just regular meetings with a clear goal in mind. Every event has its own set of challenges.
Official Scrum events include:
- The Sprints
- Sprint Planning
- Daily Scrum
- Sprint Review
- Sprint Retrospective
Sprints are the beating heart of Scrum, where value is created.
They have a set duration of one month or less, to maintain uniformity. After the preceding Sprint has ended, a new Sprint begins instantly.
During a single Sprint, all of the work necessary to meet the Product Goal is completed, including Sprint Planning and Daily Scrums.
During the sprint:
- Alterations do not jeopardize the Sprint Goal
- The level of quality remains constant
- Product Backlog can be fine-tuned as necessary
- The project scope may change as new information is obtained from the Product Owner
The Sprints Planning
There are no Sprints without a well-thought-out plan. The team must decide in advance which deliverables should be included in the Sprint and commit to completing them.
The Scrum Master has an opportunity to shine at this point. It's the Product Owner's job to determine what their company and customers want and need, the Scrum Team's job to figure out what they can give, and the Scrum Master's job to bring it all together.
As soon as the team has agreed on the Sprint's deliverables, it is time to begin. Every day, the team will gather for a stand-up meeting to discuss its progress. The primary goal of this meeting is to ensure that all members (and any observers) are aware of the progress made:
- What they've accomplished
- Their plans for the day
- What is preventing them from achieving their goal
The provided Increment is reviewed and accepted by the Product Owner.
After a Sprint has ended, it is customary to conduct a retrospective. This is a common practice for many teams right after the Sprint Review. Scrum Master and Product Owner should engage in the process as a whole. Scrum retrospectives can be scheduled for approximately an hour, typically more than enough time. The retrospective is an opportunity for the team to focus on three main areas:
- What should you do first?
- What didn't go as planned (and shouldn't happen again)?
- What worked well (and should be continued), and what needs improvement?
Scrum artifacts include a variety of tangible items. They are utilized in Scrum and product development daily. The Scrum Team uses these artifacts and other non-Scrum stakeholders to track product development progress, events, and everything else.
Scrum's artifacts include:
- The Product Backlog
- The Sprint Backlog
- The Increment
The Product Backlog
In product management, Agile settings, and the Scrum framework, the term "product backlog" is becoming increasingly popular.
It is a list of all the ideas, items, and suggestions that have been gathered and organized.
The Sprint Backlog
The Sprint Backlog provides a snapshot of the Product Backlog as a whole. When working on a specific sprint, the Development Team has a "list" of "tasks" they must complete (period).
To put it simply, the Product Backlog consists of all the items that make up the product's content. List items include everything from ideas to requests to projects. They are referred to as "items" since they can take various forms.
Ideas, tasks, defects, suggestions for improvement, user stories, etc., can be in a single graph or a diagram.
The Increment refers to the present state of the product in development. This version has all the work done on the product so far, plus the work that has been done in the current sprint.
The term "work done" refers to completed Product Backlog Items from the Sprint Backlog.
Scrum is a method for managing projects that emphasizes collaborative effort, individual responsibility, and incremental advancement toward a specific objective. The model starts with a straightforward concept, beginning with what is immediately visible or understandable. After that, you should monitor the progress and make adjustments as required.
If you are new to Agile product development, then the information in this guide can help you grasp the Scrum process and the primary responsibilities involved in Scrum.