Over time, the popularity of Scrum has continuously grown resulting to high expectations and talks surrounding its capabilities. There is a lot of exaggerated expectations that often result to serious disappointments.
Whenever you are getting started with scaling agile in your company, the idea of bringing multiple agile teams together in one conference room can be frustrating.
What is Scrum Methodology
Scrum is an agile project management methodology or framework used primarily for custom software development projects with the aim of delivering new software capability very 2-4 weeks. It is one of the approaches that influenced the Agile Manifesto, which puts forward a set of values and principles to guide decisions on how to develop higher-quality software faster.
1. Who Uses Scrum
Scrum is widely adopted by software developer teams and happens to be the most popular agile methodology. According to some Agile reports, 70% of software teams use Scrum or some type of Scrum hybrid. Nowadays, scrum has penetrated into other business functions including IT and marketing where there are projects that require to be moved forward in the presence of complexity and ambiguity. Leadership teams are also basing their agile management practices on Scrum, often combining it with lean and Kanban practices- sub-groups of agile project management.
2. What is Agile
Agile is the ability to create and respond to change. It is a way of dealing with, and eventually succeeding in, an uncertain and turbulent environment.
The authors of Agile Manifesto chose “Agile” as the label for this whole idea because the word suggests the adaptiveness and response to change which was so important to their approach.
Agile Software Development
Agile software development is more than framework such as Scrum, Extreme Programming or Feature-Driven Development (FDD).
Agile development is more than practices such as pair programming, start-ups, test-driven development, planning sessions and sprints.
Agile software development is an umbrella term for a set of frameworks and practices founded on the values and principles expressed in the Manifesto for Agile Software Development and the principles behind it.
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.
- The Scrum methodology follows the values and principles of Agile, but includes more definitions and specifications, especially pertaining particular software development practices.
The main reason for the development of scrum was for Agile bespoke software development, however, it has become the preferred framework for agile project management in general, and is sometimes referred to as Scrum project management or scrum development.
What are the Benefits of Using Scrum Methodology
By using agile Scrum, organizations have benefited in the following ways.
- High productivity
- Better quality products
- Reduced time to market
- Happier employees
- Better team dynamics improved stakeholder satisfaction
What is the Special Aspect of Scrum Project Management
Scrum addresses complexity in work by making information transparent, to enable people inspect and adapt with regard to current conditions, instead of the predicted conditions. This enables the Scrum team to address the common shortcomings of a waterfall development process. This refers to chaos emanating from the constantly changing requirements, resources and cost, underestimation of time, compromises on software quality and inaccurate progress reporting.
Read the Blog: How Scrum has Saved My Job as a “Software Engineer”
Scrum requires the transparency of common terms and standards to ensure that the results are what was intended. Frequent inspection ensures progress and points out discrepancies early to allow quick adjustments.
3. Scrum is a Process Foundation, rather than a Set of Methods or Practices
Scrum is an Agile software development methodology whose basis is iterative development emerging from collaboration of self-organizing, cross-functional teams. Scrum is an agile development sub-branch characterized by low overhead, thus making it a lightweight process framework.
Scrum is a process foundation, a framework on the basis of which other processes will be built. However, the framework is totally indivisible, which means if one part is discarded, the rest will stop working.
The goal of scrum is always the achievement of clear, transparent, and concrete results in a short period of time. The process is referred to as sprint, and the end result, the sprint goal. Without a sprint goal, there is no need for a Scrum.
The scrum framework consists of scrum teams and their associated roles, events, artifacts, and rules. Each component within the framework serves a specific purpose and is essential to Scrum’s success and usage.
- Read the manual before starting work- Scrum is very well documented.
- Discarding an element from the scrum will cause the whole system to stop working.
- Scrum is not tolerant to the company’s existing culture.
- Scrum is precisely the process foundation on which all the company’s business processes are built. It is impossible to introduce Scrum in any one department since the established culture will absorb it eventually.
4. The Introduction of Scrum is Always a Revolutionary, Large-scale Process
Scrum makes clear the relative efficacy of your product management and work techniques so that you can improve the product, the team, and the working environment.
The established norm of your company will not auger well with the Scrum. Such norms become imperfections that need to be eliminated. Since human beings naturally are resistant to change, thy will inevitably resist the new processes.
- Scrum cannot be incorporated to the company’s culture, but the culture must change in accordance with the Scrum.
- The older and larger the company, the more complex it is to switch to Scrum.
5. Scrum Team: Marketer, Designer, Programmer Must be on the Same Wavelength
The main unit in Scrum is a small and close-knit team. Usually, self-organizing teams choose how best to accomplish their work, instead of being directed by others outside the team. It is important to realize that without cross-functional team, Scrum will not work. If a designer works on three teams, the marker is outsourced, and programmers switches between the three projects. In this kind of a team, they will not be able to focus on the goal of the sprint, and Scrum will not exist.
One common misconception is that a cross-functional team is the one whereby one person can perform various work functions within a team. However, a cross-functional team is composed of all the necessary expertise within the team to allow functionality without seeking external specialist not part of the group. If a member of the Scrum team has no tasks within a given period, the said member can find something useful to do or just stay idle.
- In case it is not possible to put together cross-functional teams, then there is little likelihood of Scrum being successful.
- Scrum is project activities can exist only if the team stands out for the whole project.
6. Scrum is not a New Way to Control Employees
Consider the following attributes: commitment, courage, focus, openness and respect. These are the qualities of a creative, strong professional who performs consistently. Control is not a problem because the responsibility for teamwork comes with the values of Scrum.
Scrum is team-oriented and is based on respect and openness. Scrum is not a control method and it takes root only in the presence of a culture of trust.
7. Scrum Requires a Financial Commitment in Personnel
Scrum is impossible without a Scrum Master which is responsible for promoting and supporting Scrum as defined in the Scrum Guide. Scrum Masters do this by helping everyone understand Scrum theory, practices, rules, and values.
It is important to understand that a significant commitment to personnel is needed to fund a person to implement Scrum.
The Scrum Master provides complex and important services to the Development Team.
- Removes obstacles to the progress of the Development Team
- Coaches the Development Team in those parts of the organization in which Scrum is not yet fully understood and accepted.
- Helps the development team create high-value products.
- Coaches the Development Team to be self-organizing and cross-functional.
Since people are corporate entity’s most valuable asset, Scrum thus majors on people. If an entity is not ready to invest in a professional Scrum Master, then there will be no member of the existing workforce responsible for to motivate the team.
8. Should You Adopt Scrum
Under normal circumstances, few people would opt to adopt Scrum. In case this question does not provoke a definite answer, then it is worth investing time in the following.
- Excursions to peer companies already making use of Scrum. Since one of the core values of Scrum is openness, the members will be willing to share their experiences.
- An honest dialogue with yourself on the subject of cultural values and goals.
- You have to recall that scrum is supposed to be introduced gradually and be distributed in the ecosystem that has developed and prepared for it.
Scrum is well-documented framework used by a bespoke software developer, thus you need to read the Scrum manual.