A new way to address complex problems
Scrum is a newer way or framework for developing and sustaining complex products. As a framework, Scrum provides a broad structure consisting of a Scrum Team, and associated roles, events, artifacts and rules.
Is Scrum a proven approach?
Scrum has been used to manage complex product development since 1990. Several organizations and practitioners have applied it with profound results. Today, Scrum is the most widely adopted framework among all frameworks intended to bring agility into producing software. Agility indicates the ability to respond in time to emerging product requirements, and the term ‘Agile’ is an associated philosophy of software development.
Vehicle of Scrum – An absolute and less complex team
The vehicle of Scrum is the Scrum Team. It is a small team that has a clear focus on product ownership and has a less complexity in the way it works. A Scrum Team plans, executes, and controls its own work without any one individual managing their work. It is a self-organizing team.
The team contains only three roles: Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Developer. A Scrum Team must have a minimum of three and maximum of nine Developers, so the team can have all skills necessary to create the product. The Scrum Team is also cross-functional and self-organized.
Early feedback – 5 events
There are a total of five events within the Scrum framework. Each event implements the theory of empiricism by offering the opportunity to get early feedback and the opportunity to best utilize that feedback.
- Sprint: Sprint is the heart of Scrum. It is like a mini-project that contains the other four events.
- Sprint Planning: This is the first event of the Sprint. A small amount of work is chosen and a plan of how to deliver that work is put together.
- Daily Scrum: The short and quick daily recurring event where the team members synchronize their progress with each other and confirm the next 24 hour plan.
- Sprint Review: This one-time event within the Sprint is where the team makes their progress visible to the stakeholders. Both the team and the stakeholders collaborate to adjust their next steps.
- Sprint Retrospective: This is the final event of the Sprint. This is an inspection and adaptation opportunity for the Scrum Team to inspect their way of working and identify potential improvements.
Scrum artifacts – Tracking the information about the Product and the work
A Scrum Team produces and maintains artifacts that help them to plan their work, track their progress, and share information visibly to required stakeholders. Scrum mandates only three artifacts:
- The increment which is a body of inspectable and usable outcome, is the mark of the real progress, and it provides information for required stakeholders about the progress so far.
- The Product Backlog is the product definition in terms of ordered product features. It is never closed for changes, and is a continuously evolving artifact because the Scrum Team and Product Owner in particular are always looking for changes and opportunities to maximize the value of the product. Using the ordered features, one can understand what the team will work on in the future.
- The Sprint Backlog is a temporary artifact created for each Sprint. It contains the subset of the Product Backlog Items chosen to be delivered in the upcoming Sprint, the plan of how to deliver them, and at least one improvement required in the team’s way of working. It is the plan maintained by the team about what tasks should be performed within the current Sprint.