Amit and Anjali are both project managers with over a decade of experience in the industry. While both are highly respected by their peers, they have a crucial difference. Amit is old-school and unwilling to embrace new approaches, whereas Anjali is always open to evolving and trying out the latest techniques.

When the pandemic forces both Amit and Anjali to work from home for more than a year, Amit struggles to coordinate meetings, relay instructions and delegate responsibilities for upcoming and pending projects. When one of Amit’s colleagues urges him to use agile methodologies instead of traditional models of project management, Amit replies in his characteristically stubborn manner: “What is Scrum? I’ve never heard of it, I’m not going to shift my operations to it.”

Anjali, on the other hand, makes full use of the agile methodologies, including Scrum. Not only does she listen patiently to explanations of “what is Scrum?”, but she makes it compulsory for her team members to learn the same. Anjali faces no issues in carrying on with her project management responsibilities as scrum’s seamless interface keeps her work ticking along.

After six months, Amit’s organization takes a big hit, registering record losses, while it’s smooth sailing for Anjali and her efficient scrum team.

 

  1. What Is Scrum?

  2. The Scrum Methodology

  3. Scrum Principles

  4. Phases In Scrum

  5. Scrum Examples

  6. Understanding Scrum Comprehensively

What Is Scrum?

“What is Scrum?” is a question countless project managers have asked in the last few years, ever since scrum shot to popularity as one of the most effective and versatile approaches to project management.

Scrum is a type of agile methodology that’s used primarily for the development of software. The Scrum methodology relies on adaptability, speed and flexibility to provide value to customers throughout the duration of a project.

The basic objective of Scrum, or Scrum methodology, is to meet the customer’s needs in a manner that is responsible, transparent and indicative of continuous progress.

While scrum is a term drawn from rugby, where it refers to how the game is restarted after a foul or when the ball has gone out of play, the question “what is Scrum?” in project management originates from an article in the Harvard Business Review (HBR) in 1986. This article, which provided a blueprint for Scrum, is called “The New Product Development Game” and was authored by Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka, both of whom emphasized the importance of empowering self-organized teams.

In 1993, Jeff Sutherland and his colleagues at Easel Corporation used the most important ideas of the article in tandem with object-oriented development, empirical process control and other processes and systems to create the first-ever Scrum methodology for software development.

Thereafter, Scrum methodology has been used mainly for software development, though industries like sales, marketing and HR are also starting to optimize scrum for their benefits.

 

The Scrum Methodology

 

Based on a set of precisely defined practices and roles that shape the software development process, the Scrum methodology is a flexible one that revolves around the application of the 12 Agile Principles, including simplicity, sustainability and attention to detail. The application of the agile principles must be agreed upon by all the team members in the Scrum methodology.

Generally, the execution of scrum takes place in temporary blocks that are short but regular. These blocks, called sprints, typically range from two to four weeks and involve feedback and reflection. Each sprint in Scrum is an entity in itself, as it provides a complete result that simulates a variation of the final product that’s required to be delivered.

Scrum teams have a neat division of roles and responsibilities, without which they can’t deliver projects satisfactorily. Each team has a scrum master in charge of rules compliance, supervision and leadership. The scrum master often works closely with the product owner (PO) to maximize the return on investment in a particular project. The PO is the representative of the stakeholders and customers who use the software after development and works to translate the vision of a project to all its team members, focusing on the ideas and stories that the final product should reflect.

The rest of the scrum team consists of professionals with technical expertise who’re tasked with completing the targets set for them at the start of each sprint.

 

Scrum Principles

 

Before moving on to find out about the phases in Scrum as well as looking at some Scrum examples, it’s vital to understand the Scrum principles or the values of Scrum that characterize agile development:

  • Easy Scalability

Scrum processes are iterative, which allows a team to prioritize different functionalities for each period or phase of Scrum. This not only offers better deliverables for the customer but also lets teams scale their work in terms of functionality, design and scope.

  • Meeting Expectations

The customers for the products developed by Scrum outline their expectations before a project begins, indicating the various periods within which they require updates and deliverables. Once these expectations have been outlined, the values of Scrum dictate that the expectations must be met at any cost. The scrum team gets to tally the expectations of the customers with their own projections for the deliverables before a final set of objectives is established that can drive the Scrum process forward.

  • Making Predictions

One of the biggest values of Scrum is its ability to make fairly accurate predictions on when certain phases can be completed and functionalities delivered. Making predictions, as one of the most basic Scrum principles, can be relied upon to study the average speed of scrum teams and how they perform against the expectations set out for them.

  • Quality And Quick Availability

Among the Scrum principles that have made it one of the most popular methodologies is the relatively short span of time between the designing and the availability of functionalities. Scrum sprints are tailored to let customers use the most important functionalities of the project before the product is completely ready. The need to obtain a functional version after each iteration of scrum also helps obtain a higher quality product at the end of the entire process.

  •  Risk Reduction

Most of the values of Scrum combine to create risk reduction in the development process, which is mostly a source of stability for teams and projects. As Scrum can carry out the most important functionalities at a brisk speed, it allows teams ample time to steer clear of risks and assess their performance against their objectives.

 

Phases In Scrum

 

Any Scrum process consists of certain distinct Scrum phases, each of which is contained in individual sprints. These phases are explained as follows:

  • Sprint planning is the first major phase of a Scrum process, during which a team figures out how and when sprints are to be organized and executed, without creating too many backlogs or failing deadlines
  • The next phase of scrum is the daily scrum, which is used to synchronize activities as part of the overall Scrum plan on a regular basis once the first sprint is underway
  • The third of the Scrum phases is the sprint review, which is used to verify and scrutinize the work that has been finished, especially with regard to backlogs for future deliveries
  • The last Scrum phase is the sprint retrospective, which kicks into gear once a sprint is finished and there’s time for reflection on what could be done better for subsequent sprints.

 

Scrum Examples

 

A look at a couple of Scrum examples will make the Scrum process even clearer:

 

  • Vinay is the scrum master for the development of a software that uses artificial intelligence to recommend medicines and treatments for certain diseases. As scrum master, Vinay’s first task is to meet with potential customers to figure out their needs and demands. This creates the product backlog or the deliverables for Vinay’s organization. Next, Vinay chooses and assigns the most important tasks for the software development process. Third, Vinay or his team divides the tasks into phases and sprints. Lastly, Vinay reviews the work against the deliverables once each sprint is completed
  • Sneha is part of the scrum team working on developing a software for an online teaching app. As a team member, Sneha’s primary task is to receive instructions about sprints and complete her assigned roles before the deadline for the sprint expires. As part of the Scrum process, Sneha is also expected to join the sprint reviews and team meetings, where she has a chance to voice her thoughts on how the project is being handled and offer her suggestions for more efficient functioning

 

Understanding Scrum Comprehensively

 

Scrum process, or Scrum methodology, is in great demand at present. It’s not enough to have a basic understanding of scrum if you’re managing projects or supervising them. Only a thorough and comprehensive training in scrum will be good enough to take you to the next level as a professional. To help you do that, Harappa has come up with the Executing Solutions course, where you’ll learn how to delegate deliverables, monitor progress and navigate crises. With assistance from a world-class faculty and proven frameworks such as the Bifocal Approach and the BLAST (Believe, Listen, Apologize, Satisfy and Thank) Approach, you’ll be able to manage expectations, optimize performance ahead of deadlines and master the communication skills required to thrive in the Scrum phases.

 

Sign up for the Executing Solutions course right away and learn how to get the most out of Scrum.

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