What Is Scrum

Using Scrum, teams collaborate to build a product that solves a specific problem while delivering value that can be used from the very beginning. 

Welcome to the world of Scrum, a powerful framework for managing and completing projects in a collaborative and efficient manner. 

Whether you’re new to the field of project management or a seasoned pro, Scrum is a methodology that can help you and your team achieve great things. 

From software development to marketing campaigns, Scrum is a versatile tool that can be applied to any project. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore the basics of Scrum and how it can benefit you and your team. 

So let’s get started and learn how to master the art of Scrum!

Once upon a time… There was a group of friends who loved to build things together. They had a big field where they would gather to build forts, tree houses, and even a castle.

They loved to work together, but they soon realized that they were having a hard time finishing their projects.

One day, they heard about a special way of working called Scrum. They decided to give it a try and see if it would help them with their building projects.

Scrum is like a magic recipe for building things. It has three important ingredients: a team, a plan, and a way to check on how things are going.

First, the friends formed a team of builders. They had builders who were good at cutting wood, builders who were good at hammering nails, and builders who were good at painting.

They were all different, but they all loved to build.

Next, they made a plan. They decided on what they wanted to build, like a treehouse or a castle, and how long it would take to build it.

They called this a “sprint.” They also decided to have regular meetings where they would check on how things were going. They called these meetings “scrum meetings.”

During the scrum meetings, they would talk about what they had done, what they were going to do next, and if they needed help with anything.

They also had a special leader called a Scrum Master who helped them stay on track and made sure that they were following the magic recipe of Scrum.

With the help of Scrum, these friends were able to build beautiful and amazing projects. They were able to finish their treehouse and castle on time and everyone was happy.

From that day on, they always used Scrum when they built things together. It helped them work better as a team and made building fun and exciting again.

The end!

What Is Scrum

Scrum is a framework for managing and completing projects in a collaborative and efficient way. 

It is commonly used in software development but can be applied to any project. 

It involves a cross-functional team working together to accomplish specific goals within a set timeframe, called a sprint. 

The team uses regular meetings, called scrum meetings, to plan, update and review progress. 

The team also has a Scrum Master, who facilitates the process and ensures the team is following the Scrum methodology. 

The goal of Scrum is to deliver a working product incrementally, with the ability to adapt to change and make adjustments as needed.

The History of Scrum

The name “Scrum” is derived from the sport of rugby. In rugby, a scrum is a method of restarting play in which players from both teams bind together in a tight formation and try to gain control of the ball.

The Scrum framework for project management was named after this rugby formation because it emphasizes teamwork, collaboration, and a shared purpose.

Like in a rugby scrum, the Scrum team works together closely to achieve a common goal and make progress through a series of small, incremental steps.

The name also suggests that the work is intense and requires the team to work closely together.

The history of Scrum can be traced back to 1986 in the Harvard Business Review article titled, “The New Product Development Game” by Hirotaka Takeuchi & Ikujiro Nonaka. 

This article describes how companies such as Honda, Canon, and Fuji-Xerox produce new products worldwide using a scalable and team-based approach to product development.

This approach emphasizes the importance of empowering self-organized teams.

The article is considered to be one of the most influential articles in the field of project management once it introduced the concept of “Scrum” as a new approach to product development that emphasized the importance of cross-functional teams and flexibility in responding to change.

In the article, Takeuchi and Nonaka describe the traditional product development process as a “waterfall” approach, in which each phase of development is completed before the next phase begins.

They contrast this with the “Scrum” approach, which is characterized by a flexible, cross-functional team working together to deliver a working product incrementally.

The authors argue that the Scrum approach is better suited for dealing with the complexity and uncertainty of product development.

The paper also highlighted the importance of the role of the product manager and the importance of customer involvement in the development process, which are key elements of the Scrum framework.

The article has been widely cited in the literature and has been translated into multiple languages and continues to be widely read today.

It is considered a classic in the field of project management and has had a significant impact on the development of the Scrum framework.

The article was an influence to develop many of the concepts that gave birth to what we now call Scrum.

Scrum was first introduced in the field of software development in the early 1990s by Jeff Sutherland. 

He based the framework on his experiences working on complex software projects and his observations of how successful teams worked.

In the early days, it was primarily used in the software industry but over time it has been applied to many other fields such as construction, marketing, healthcare, and more.

In 2001, Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland co-authored “The Scrum Guide” which formalized the framework and set the standard for how it should be used.

Since then, Scrum has become one of the most widely used project management methodologies in the world.

It’s now taught in universities and organizations worldwide.

Scrum has been embraced by many organizations due to its flexibility, adaptability, and its ability to deliver working products incrementally. It is also well-suited for projects that are complex, and uncertain, and require teams to be able to respond to change quickly.

It was basically a change in the software development process by combining the concepts of the 1986 article with the concepts of object-oriented development, empirical process control, iterative development, and incremental, software processes and productivity improvement, as well as the development of complex and dynamic systems.

A general idea of what needs to be built leads to a list of characteristics ordered by priority (product backlog) that the product owner wishes to achieve.

Scrum Principles

Control over the empirical process – Empirical process control aids learning through experimentation, especially when the problem is not well-defined or when there are no clear solutions.

Self-organization – Creating better team buy-in and shared ownership in an innovative and creative environment that is more conducive to growth and innovation, where everyone feels safe to work without stress.

Collaboration – It is a collaborative process, as evidenced by the many roles involved focusing on delivering the same goal and sharing the same space, working together, and innovating to create the best product.

Value-based prioritization – This principle involves organizing and prioritizing tasks based on their value and how they need to be completed, avoiding spending time on anything that does not make sense or add value.

Time-boxing – Tasks are completed in sprints with specific lengths of time which ensures that all involved know how much time is allocated to each step, with the goal of eliminating wasted time and delays.

Iterative development – This final principle speaks to the understanding that a project may need to be refined multiple times during the development process, allowing the team to make adjustments and manage change easier.

Scrum Values

Commitment – Each member of the team personally commits to achieving the team’s goals. It’s a commitment to learning, quality, doing their best, and the team and its collaboration.

Courage – Team members need to have a backbone and not waver in the face of difficult challenges. This courage also extends to supporting the agile mindset and enacting its values, even when faced with skeptics or detractors.

Focus – Unfortunately, distractions abound, and some of them may even seem important enough to address immediately. But team members must keep their eyes on the prize and power throughout the project.

Openness – Team members and project stakeholders must keep the lines of communication open and honest. Changes come fast and furious in the digital world, as innovations are rolled out, and the old orthodoxy gets tossed out in favor of a new approach. Scrum team members need to be open enough to embrace these changes.

Respect – Team members must respect each other, including each member’s opinions, experience, and culture. Mutual respect strengthens the bonds between team members and increases the team’s effectiveness.

Scrum Pillars

Transparency – Transparency means that everyone involved knows what’s going on with the product, with the team, and around their goals.

Inspection – The process and the product, in its incremental iterations, are regularly inspected as part of Scrum to review and improve the process.

Adaptation – Using transparency to ensure in-depth and comprehensive inspection, we adapt (the process, team, communication, etc) to reach our goal.

Scrum Artifacts

Product Backlog – The product backlog is an ordered list of everything that is known to be needed in a product based on the product goal.

Sprint Backlog – The sprint backlog is a list of everything that the team commits to achieve in a given sprint. Once created, no one can add to the sprint backlog except the development team.

Sprint – They are fixed-length events of two to four weeks where the team will work to complete the prioritized items in the sprint backlog. A new Sprint starts immediately after the conclusion of the previous Sprint.

Product Increment – At the end of every sprint, the team delivers a product increment that is potentially releasable and it is ready to be used by the customer.

Scrum Roles

Scrum Master – A Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring a Scrum team is operating as effectively as possible with Scrum values, removing obstacles to the team goals, and coaching people about the agile mindset.

Product Owner – A product owner ensures the Scrum team aligns with overall product goals, understanding the business needs of the product, like customer expectations and market trends, and prioritizing the backlog to ensure that the team is working just in things that make sense to spend time.

Development Team – A development team is composed of professionals who do the hands-on work of completing the tasks in a Scrum Sprint. They have all the knowledge needed to complete the goals and they know how to do that.

Scrum Ceremonies

Sprint planning – The team consults the prioritized backlog, which is a list of all desired features and bug fixes that the team can select from as they determine what to accomplish during the sprint and estimate how many items from the backlog they can complete with their existing resources.

Daily Meeting – Quick daily meetings that ensure the sprint is proceeding effectively and everyone is aware of the progress, helping to identify any roadblocks and allowing team members to describe their current tasks, goals, and obstacles.

Sprint Review – After the team has completed the sprint, it’s time to meet with the stakeholders in a sprint review meeting to showcase what they accomplished during the sprint.

Sprint Retrospective – During this last phase, the team should identify how it can improve its processes to have more effective sprints in the future. Agility and adaptability are core values of the Scrum process, so teams should strive to identify potential improvements without blame or judgment.

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