We often talk about agile project management in our daily lives. More and more companies are embracing this philosophy, which allows for a measurable ROI right from the early stages of a project (by breaking it down into small steps).
The iterative nature of agile processes helps to improve efficiency by reducing implementation time.
But which method should you choose from the many existing ones that are based on this philosophy? We’ve already talked about the Kanban method but in this article we delve into Scrum methodology.
The main characteristics of Scrum methodology
The basis of Scrum is the identification of four elements: what needs to be done, who will do the work, how the work will be done and when the deadline is. It’s an empirical method, whereby processes are optimised gradually as knowledge increases.
There are three main components in Scrum methodology: roles, artefacts and events.
- Product Owner: knows all project requirements and acts as an intermediate between all stakeholders (company, team, customer, end users, etc.).
- Team: composed of a few people (maximum 9) that are able to meet all the project requirements.
- Scrum Master: project manager who’s resposability is to organise the team and remove external obstacles that could have negative consequences on the final result.
- Product Backlog: document that includes the list of all the requirements needed to deliver the project. It’s created at the beginning, but can be modified several times during the project.
- Sprint Backlog: list of activities to be completed by the end of the Sprint, a period of time that can range from 2 to 4 weeks, according to the Product Backlog.
- Increment: sum of all the completed and qualitatively accepted Product Backlog activities (generally by the customer).
Events (planned in advance)
- Sprint Planning: first meeting with all roles where the Product Backlog is presented.
- Daily Scrum: daily update between Team and Scrum Master, to anticipate the next day’s activities.
- Sprint Review: meeting at the end of each Sprint, to evaluate if the requirements have been achieved.
- Sprint Retrospective: analysis that can take place in conjunction with the Sprint Review, to assess what to maintain and what to improve in the next Sprint.
What are the advantages of Scrum?
The Scrum methodology eliminates the bottlenecks that can occur when only one person makes project decisions. Leadership is shared within the project because the Scrum Master’s role is mainly one of coordination and “protection” from external negative events.
The greater involvement of the team also has advantages in terms of productivity, because all collaborators are more involved in the project’s success.
When is Scrum methodology advantageous?
It depends on the type of project and the skills (soft and hard) of the team members. The Scrum method is mainly suitable for organised, skilled and responsible people who are able to deal with constantly changing processes. Some examples? Software development, new technological product design or website creation.