A Beginner’s Guide to Scrum

Scrum is an agile way of managing a project, generally developing software. Scrum's agile software development is often regarded as a methodology; but rather than viewing Scrum as methodology, think of it as a framework for managing a process.

What is Scrum?

Scrum is an Agile sub-set. It is a lightweight, and most widely used, process framework for agile development.

  • A "process framework" is a specific set of procedures that must be followed to comply with the structure of a method. (For example, the Scrum process framework needs Sprints to use development cycles, the XP framework needs pair programming, and so on.)

  • “Lightweight” means that the process overhead is kept as small as possible, to maximize the quantity of productive time available for getting useful work done.

Specific ideas and methods distinguish a Scrum process from other agile processes, split into the three categories of Roles, Artifacts, and Time Boxes. These conditions are described below as well as other terms used in Scrum. Using iterative and incremental methods, Scrum is most often used to handle complicated software and product development. Scrum improves productivity considerably and decreases time to advantages compared to traditional "waterfall" procedures. Scrum procedures allow organisations to adapt to rapidly changing demands smoothly and generate a product that fulfills evolving company objectives.

An agile Scrum process benefits the organization by helping it to

  • Increase the quality of the deliverables

  • Cope better with change (and expect the changes)

  • Provide better estimates while spending less time creating them

  • Be more in control of the project schedule and state

The Evolution of Scrum

1986

Hirotaka Takeuchi
Credits: Wikipedia

In their 1986 Harvard Business Review paper, 'The New Product Development Game, ' Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka introduced the word scrum as part of product development. Takeuchi and Nonaka later argued in The Knowledge Creating Company that it is a form of "organizational knowledge creation, especially good at bringing about innovation continuously, incrementally and spirally".

Scrum in Rugby
Credits: Wikipedia

Based on case studies from manufacturing companies in the automotive, photocopier and printer sectors, the writers outlined a fresh strategy to business product development that would boost velocity and flexibility. They called this the holistic or rugby approach, as the whole process is carried out in multiple overlapping phases by one cross-functional team, in which the team "tries to go the distance as a unit, passing the ball back and forth." (In rugby football, a scrum is used to restart play, as the forwards of each team interlock with their heads down and attempt to gain possession of the ball.)

The Scrum structure was based on Schwaber's studies at DuPont Research Station and Delaware University with Tunde Babatunde. Tunde recommended that efforts to create complicated products, such as software, not based on empiricism, are doomed to greater hazards and failure rates as the initial conditions and assumptions alter. Empiricism, the most appropriate approach is to use frequent inspection and adaptation, with flexibility and transparency.

1990s

In the early 1990s, at his company, Advanced Development Methods, Ken Schwaber used what would become Scrum ; while at Easel Corporation, Jeff Sutherland, John Scumniotales and Jeff McKenna created a comparable strategy, referring to it using the single term scrum.

In a single structure, Scrum, Ken and Jeff worked together to incorporate their thoughts. They tested and continuously improved Scrum, resulting in the 1995 paper, the 2001 Agile Manifesto, and since 2002 the worldwide spread and use of Scrum.

Later 1995

In 1995, Sutherland and Schwaber jointly presented a paper describing the Scrum framework at the Business Object Design and Implementation Workshop held as part of Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages & Applications '95 (OOPSLA '95) in Austin, Texas.Over the years that followed, Schwaber and Sutherland collaborated to combine this material — with their knowledge and developing excellent practice — to create what became known as Scrum.

In 2001, in the book, Agile Software Development with Scrum, Schwaber worked with Mike Beedle to define the technique. Scrum's strategy to product development planning and management includes bringing decision-making power to the level of operating characteristics and assurances.

Schwaber established the Scrum Alliance together with others in 2002 and established the Certified Scrum accreditation sequence. Schwaber left the Scrum Alliance at the end of 2009 and established the parallel Professional Scrum accreditation series Scrum.org.

Since 2009, Schwaber and Sutherland have released and updated a government document called The Scrum Guide. It has been updated five times, with November 2017 being the present version.

What is a Scrum Software? What Does a Scrum Software Do?

Scrum offers a fixed structure for the manufacture of a product, whether an email campaign, software or consumer product. All Scrum instruments are based on the same fundamental Scrum elements structure.

Scrum software is intended to promote the Scrum framework, foster cooperation, transparency, and effectiveness between team members. Scrum software can actually be useful to nearly any organisation as it facilitates communication, organizes workload, and helps employees schedule various iterations.

Three Essential Roles for Scrum Success

In software development, three roles are defined in the Scrum framework as follows:

Product Owner

The Product Owner represents the customer. The PO prioritizes the backlog and coordinates the Scrum team's efforts.

Scrum Master

The Scrum Master is a servant leader for the Scrum team and makes sure that the team is following the Scrum rules.

Scrum team

The Scrum team is comprised of individuals who are working together in Sprints to meet the project goal.

What Is Scrum in Relation to Agile Project Management?

Scrum is a sub-group of agile:

  • Agile is a set of values and principles that describe a group's day-to-day interactions and activities.

  • Agile itself is not prescriptive or specific.

The Scrum methodology follows agile values and principles, but contains additional definitions and requirements, particularly with regard to certain methods for software development. Although developed for agile software development, agile Scrum has become the preferred framework for agile project management in particular and is sometimes referred to simply as Scrum project management or Scrum development.

A Quick Look At Basic Parts of Scrum Methodology And Software

Backlog is a critical element of any software for Scrum project management. Like a whiteboard or sticky notes ; here you list all of your final product's duties and specifications. It is essential that you prioritize your backlog according to each task's urgency and significance.

Product Owner is another important component of Scrum applications. This is the person who owns the discussion about which features are included or not as they manage the product's business and functional expectations.

The Scrum structure splits time from the backlog, known as Sprints, into predetermined pieces to complete each assignment. A sprint's graphic representation is called a Burndown Chart. To remain on track, these are useful in visualizing prog

Daily Scrums is a meeting for all members of the team to discuss their progress and raise any problems that need attention. Most Scrum instruments have characteristics for scheduling or meeting to schedule and coordinate Daily Scrums readily.

What Is Scrum in Relation to Agile Project Management?

Organizations that have adopted agile Scrum have experienced:

  • Higher productivity

  • Better-quality products

  • Reduced time to market

  • Improved stakeholder satisfaction

  • Better team dynamics

  • Happier employees

Scrum Principles

Scrum functions as per certain rules or principles which are very important for its efficient working:

  • Individuals and interactions over Process and tools

  • Working software over Comprehensive documentation

  • Customer collaboration over Contract negotiation

  • Responding to change over Following a plan

What Is Scrum’s Three Pillars?

To adapt to the evolving client demands, SCRUM utilizes an empirical strategy (or sometimes called empiricism). Empiricism is the decision-making act based on what is actually experienced. Empirical strategy implies operating in a fact-based, experience-based, and evidence-based way, and progress is based in specific on observations of fact, not on fictional plans based on big amounts of upfront requirements.

In brief, we can learn from previous errors and experiences and enhance them. Scrum's three pillars that maintain each empirical process control application are: transparency, inspection, and adaptation.

Transparency

Scrum transparency can be achieved through scrum instruments such as Product Backlog, Task Boards and Burndown charts, Daily Stand-ups, Retrospectives, Done Definition, Sprint Reviews, and so on. These are used by cross-functional team to transfer the workflow. This is one of SCRUM's main advantages – enabling visibility in terms of work and team advancement. This implies that those accountable for it can be acknowledged and valued for the attempts when the team achieves its objective.

Inspection

In order to detect undesirable variances, Scrum artifacts must be frequently checked and advancement towards a target. Scrum inspection can be carried out through scrum operations such as:

  • Use of a common Scrum board and other data to clarify the project's current status for all

  • Collection of client and other stakeholders' feedback during the Develop Epic(s)

  • Create Prioritized Product Backlog, and Conduct Release Planning processes

  • Create Prioritized Product Backlog, and Conduct Release Planning processes

  • The customer in the Demonstrate and Validate Sprint process

Adaptation

In Agile world, we always accept and adapt modifications in order to be able to enhance continuously. Adaptation means we're changing what isn't working or what might work better. It implies we operate tiny experiments on an ongoing basis, maintain what works and alter when we fail. To decide which experiments to run next, we use the outcomes of our inspections, for example:

  • Every day during the Daily Stand-up ceremony, Development Team, Inspect and Adapt.

  • Sprint Review is another ceremony where all stockholders will be asked by Scrum Team for feedback and Adapt accordingly.

  • Scrum Team addresses problems and possibilities for improvement internally during Sprint Retrospective. To generate more value, the will prepare and adapt new plan as a team.

Essential Components of Agile Scrum Development

The Scrum methodology is defined by events and artifacts.

The Scrum Events

Scrum uses prescribed activities to generate regularity and minimize the need for non-scrum conferences. All events are boxed in time. Once a Sprint is started, its duration is fixed and can not be shortened or prolonged. The remaining activities may end whenever the objective of the case is attained, ensuring that an adequate amount of time is spent without enabling the method to waste. The Scrum Events are:

With all this movement, you will sometimes need to look back at the path the card took. To do this, locate the card's activity stream, likely on the card "back" which you will find by clicking on the card.

  • Sprint

  • Sprint Planning

  • Daily Scrum

  • Sprint Review

  • Sprint Retrospective

The Sprint

A sprint is a period of time-boxing during which particular work is finished and prepared for evaluation. Sprints generally last for 2-4 weeks, but they can be as brief as a week.

Sprint Planning

Planning team meetings are time-boxed events that determine the delivery of item backlog items and how the work is to be accomplished.

The Daily Stand-up

The Daily Stand-up is a short communication meeting (no more than 15 minutes) in which each member of the team covers progress quickly and transparently since the last stand-up, planned work prior to the next meeting, and any impediments that might block their progress.

The Sprint Review

The Sprint Review is the team's "show-and-tell" or demonstration event to present the work done during the sprint. The Product Owner checks the work against predefined criteria of recognition and either accepts or rejects the work. Stakeholders or customers provide feedback to guarantee that the increment provided meets the company needs.

The Retrospective

The Retrospective, or Retro, is the Sprint's final team session to determine what was going well, what was not going well, and how the team could enhance in the next Sprint. The Retrospective, attended by the team and the ScrumMaster, is a significant chance for the team to concentrate on their general results and define on their processes strategies for continuous improvement.

Scrum Artifacts

Product Backlog

The product backlog is the most significant single document outlining any system, project or product requirements. The product backlog can be considered as a to - do list of job products, each producing a company value deliverable. The Product Owner will order backlog items in terms of business value.

Sprint Backlog

A sprint backlog is the specific list of items to be completed in a sprint from the product backlog.

Increment

An Increment is the amount of all product backlog items finished since the last release of the software. While it is up to the Product Owner to decide when an increase will be released, it is up to the team to ensure that all that is included in an increase is ready for release. The Potentially Shippable Increment (PSI) is also known as this.

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