Scrum – Going Beyond Agile

Agile practices are elements that complement one another for the benefit of companies’ projects. Agile aims to facilitate development teams in their process of creating products for the market in a much cost-efficient fashion. And one of the elements of the Agile family is Scrum

Scrum is an efficient framework for project management. As this Asana article points out, Scrum is “effective for teams that need to build and ship things frequently”.  

And, just like in Agile, Scrum has its foundation of rules – its values and principles. They were set to define and simplify the structure of the framework and what its practitioners should keep in mind. 

 

 

Scrum is consisted of five values. They are: 

- Courage: Team members do the right thing and work on tough problems 

- Respect: Team members respect each other to be capable and independent 

- Commitment: Team members personally commit to achieving team goals 

- Openness: Team members and stakeholders are open about all the work and the challenges the team encounters 

- Focus: Concentrate on the work identified for the sprint and the goals of the team 

And its principles – known as the Three Pillars – are: 

-Transparency: The team must work in an environment where everyone is aware of what issues other team members are running into. Teams surface issues within the organization, often ones that have been there for a long time, that get in the way of the team’s success 

-Inspection: Frequent inspection points built into the framework to allow the team an opportunity to reflect on how the process is working. These inspection points include the Daily Scrum meeting and the Sprint Review Meeting 

-Adaptation: The team constantly investigates how things are going and revises those items that do not seem to make sense 

 

The Roles played in Scrum 

Now that we understand what Scrum is, we then must ask ourselves – who makes the projects possible? Who is behind of it all? 

There are three main components involved in each Sprint: the Scrum Master, the Product Owner and the Development Team. 

The Scrum Master is a servant-leader committed to the values and principles of Scrum. They guide the Development Team throughout the project without authority, but simply by being flexible and keeping communication open for the work to flow better. 

 

 

The Product Owner manages the product backlog. They keep the items in order, defining the level or difficulty, urgency or importance in them in order to assist the Development Team in performing their tasks efficiently. 

The Development Team creates the product. The members perform tasks se by the Product Owner, with the help of the Scrum Master, making sure all the set phases of the Sprint Lifecycle are correctly followed. 

 

The Sprint Lifecycle 

Scrum allows teams to think of a strategy, elaborate on it and see if it works. As the Agile Alliance puts it, Scrum is capable of embodying other frameworks as long as it makes sense with what the team is working on – it is efficient as long as it lasts throughout the iteration it was set to: a couple of weeks. 

Once a team starts to work on a project, the Sprint Lifecycle is also initiated. In a series of iterations – that is, the Sprints –, the product is developed up until it is shippable, and the lifecycle contains all the tasks necessary for this outcome. 

Sprints have a set duration of a few months; with defined start dates and deadlines the development team must follow. When one Sprint ends, the next one should start immediately. 

And, for a Sprint to come to life in the first place, a backlog needs to be created, containing all the tasks that are to be completed by the end of the sprint – and the tasks must be ordered by importance.  

Sprints Once that is done, the Sprint Lifecycle beings. 

 

Sprint Planning 

This is where the team defines the scope and delivery of the Sprint. The development team discusses which and how many items from the backlog are going to be worked on – generating a Sprint Backlog.  

This is the first part of Sprint Planning. During the second part, the team discusses on the delivery and defines the necessary steps for the outcome. On a daily basis, the development team lays down their next-day activities in a short meeting called “Daily Scrum”. 

 

 

Sprint Review 

When the activities come to an end – that is, when an item from the Product Backlog is completed, achieving its “definition of Done” –, everyone involved in the process reviews the results with stakeholders to get feedback on the product. Any discussions or comments are added into the Backlog for future reference. 

Sprint Retrospective 

At the very end of the Sprint, the entire team gets together to make reflections – they note what was rightfully done, what was well done, what were the mistakes made and what were the lessons learned with these mistakes. Then, the cycle repeats itself – until the product is ready to launch. 

 

 

Scrum constantly proves itself to be a great ally when it comes to not lonely project management – but also great teamwork, open communication and fair leadership.  

A business that applies Scrum and Agile into their workplace environment and project aspirations goes above and beyond. 

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