What is Scrum ?

The Scrum framework was created to be used to resolve dynamic product development problems. It is based on the agile methodology and is used in the development, delivery, and support of products.

The name “Scrum” is derived from the sport rugby, where opposing teams huddle together during a scrum to restart the game.

This is very similar to how the team members huddle together for the daily stand-up meeting.

Scrum is commonly used in the software industry, but it is also used in other industries such as sales, marketing and research.

The Scrum framework is used by small cross-functional teams to decompose projects into small, achievable pieces of work.

The scrum team is made up of different members but there are key team members who must be included and they are the Product Owner, the Development Team members, and a Scrum Master.

The Scrum framework is built around the scrum events, which are :

  1. Sprint: the Sprint is the amount of time that is assigned to perform the assigned tasks. The sprint duration is usually two weeks and not more than one month.
  2. Sprint Planning: this sprint planning event is used to review the pending tasks that are available in the product backlog and assigning them to the team members based on their priority.
  3. Daily Standup: this a short meeting that is done every morning. It is used to discuss the work that has be done by each of the scrum team members the day before.
  4. Sprint Review: at the end of every sprint the team members would have a sprint review meeting to demonstrate the work that they had accomplished in that sprint.
  5. Sprint Retrospective: the sprint retrospective meeting is held after the sprint review to review what was done in that sprint and learn from it.
  6. Scrum Artifacts: the Scrum artifacts are used to review the work that is to be done in the project. These Scrum Artifacts are:
  7. Product Backlog: the product backlog is a list of the project work. It is used to keep track of the new features, changes to existing features and bug fixes. The work are usually described using user stories.
  8. Sprint Backlog : The sprint backlog meeting is used to review the list of tasks that should be accomplished in that sprint. The tasks are selected from the product backlog items.
  9. Increment: The Increment is the list of all the Product Backlog items that have been completed. At the end of each Sprint, the completed user stories are added to the increment list.

So how does the Scrum framework work ?

The Scrum framework process is :

  1. Once the team is assigned a project or an initiative, the product owner would input the stakeholder requirements in the product backlog.
  2. Then the team would have a sprint planning session to identify any additional requirements and break down the items on the product backlog into user stories.
  3. The team creates a sprint backlog and plans its implementation.
  4. The sprint duration is decided and the work is assigned to the scrum team members.
  5. Then the team meets for the daily standup meeting.
  6. At the end of the sprint, the team would have both the sprint review and the retrospective session.
  7. Then the process starts all over again.

The Scrum framework has its advantages which include the following :

  1. It helps the team fulfill the project deliverables quickly, effectively and efficiently.
  2. It is used to break the project down into manageable pieces of work that can be accomplished in sprints.
  3. It is ideal for dynamic, fast-moving software projects.
  4. It provides visibility into the development process.
  5. The team would be aware of each members contribution to the project.

But like all frameworks, it also has its disadvantages which include the following:

  1. It can lead to scope creep due to its dynamic and fast paced nature.
  2. It can be difficult to adopt the Scrum framework especially in large teams.
  3. The daily meetings can become tedious and boring.
  4. If a team member leaves in the middle of the project, it could lead to delays.
  5. It can be difficult to ensure that the quality standards do not fall below expectations.