So, What is Scrum all About (Part 2)

10/6/2013 Carsten Howitz Project Management

So, What is Scrum all About (Part 2)

Scrum resolves the three main issues with the waterfall model:

1. Product is shipped early and often.

The scrum framework will deliver value often by shipping a product increment on a regular basis after each Sprint (typically). The product will include the deliverables the development team has finished, and the customer can subsequently review and test the deliverable.

2. Much less planning and much more doing and collaboration.

Since we are postponing the decision, which stories are executed until the very last moment we only analyze, design, and develop the stories that bring the most value to the product and the client. Scrum values the individuals and their interactions and has ways for the team and the client to collaborate and align on a regular basis to increase the transparency of the project.

3. Change is expected and embraced.

According to Scrum, responding to change is more important than following the plan. Clients always change their mind during the duration of a project and scrum embraces this change. All we need to do is write the change as a User Story and place it in the product backlog. If it has high enough priority it will get executed sooner than later. If not, it wasn’t important enough to make it into the project in the first place.

Scrum is an innovative Approach to Getting Work Done

Scrum is an agile framework for completing complex projects. Scrum originally was formalized for software development projects, but works well for any complex, innovative scope of work. The possibilities are endless. The Scrum Framework is deceptively simple.

The Scrum Framework in 30 Seconds

  • A product owner creates a prioritized wish list called a product backlog.
  • During spring planning, the team pulls a small chunk from the top of that wish list, a sprint backlog, and decides how to implement those pieces.
  • The team has a certain amount of time, a sprint, to complete its work-usually two to four weeks-but meets each day to assess its progress (daily scrum).
  • Along the way, the ScrumMaster keeps the team focused on its goal.
  • At the end of the sprint, the work should be potentially shippable, as in ready to hand to a customer, put on a store shelf, or show to a stakeholder.
  • The sprint ends with a sprint review and retrospective.
  • As the next sprint begins, the team chooses another chunk of the product backlog and begins working again.

The cycle repeats until enough items in the product backlog have been completed, the budget is depleted, or a deadline arrives. Which of the milestones marks the end of the work is entirely specific to the project. No matter which impetus stops work, Scrum ensures that the most valuable work has been completed when the project ends.

Why is it called Scrum?

When Jeff Sutherland created the scrum process in 1993, he borrowed the term “Scrum” from an analogy put forth in a 1986 study by Takeuchi and Nonaka, published in the Harvard Business Review. In that study, Takeuchi and Nonaka compare high-performing, cross-functional teams to the scrum formations used by Rugby Teams.

Scrum is the leading agile development methodology, used by Fortune 500 companies around the world. The Scrum Alliance exists to transform the way we tackle complex projects, bringing the Scrum framework and agile principles beyond software development to the broader world of work.


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