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Scrum – A Basic Overview

Scrum is an extremely popular agile project management method. Here we look at a brief overview, so you can understand the benefits and consider introducing it to your organisation.

Projects are temporary activities with a defined start and finish. They are undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives. Projects are time-based, involving and requiring special skills to manage,which is exactly where a project manager comes in.

A project manager should have some prior project management training and some experience relevant to the project at hand. If not qualified, a project manager should undertake the relevant project management courses. This can be achieved by taking classroom based courses, attending workshops or training online. Project management training is so flexible these days, everybody can access it if they want to.

Scrum is a vital tool in project management. However, it is not in itself a process but rather a technique for building products. Projects are often focused around products, and the techniques and process involved in product development can be applied within a framework to achieve desired project goals and objectives. By definition, it is a framework that assists people to address complex adaptive problems while striving to deliver high-value products.

 

Theory

Scrum is originated on empirical process control theory – which asserts that knowledge develops from experience and decision-making based on what is known.

 

Teams

The Scrum framework is made up of teams, with each classification serving a specific purpose. The teams that organise themselves and work in cohesion include one Product Owner, a Development Team, and the Scrum Master. The teams exist for the purposes detailed below:

 

  • The Product Owner, who is an individual, maximizes the product value and the work of the Development Team. As much as he is responsible for managing the Product Backlog, he can delegate some work to the Development Team, but he remains accountable. He exercises reasonable authority over the Development Team to handle Product Backlog and influences them stick to predefined activities.

 

  • The Development Team is a team of professionals tasked with delivering a potentially functional Increment of a complete product. Their efficiency and effectiveness arise from empowerment to be self-organising and cohesive. Their collective specialised skills guide their individual areas of focus, but they are still collectively accountable as a team. A smaller team works best, but they might experience skill constraints as opposed to larger teams that encounter management challenges.

 

  • The Scrum Master guides the Scrum and ensures it is understood well. He also ensures the Scrum Team sticks to the Scrum Theory and the accompanying rules and practices. People who are not within the Scrum Team need to understand the benefits of their interactions with the Scrum team, this responsibility also lies with him or her.

 

Events

These events, all revolving around the Sprint are essential in establishing orderliness and control to eliminate unnecessary meetings. Events are bound by strict timing and durations followed to the letter.

 

Artifacts

They are defined by Scrum to maximize transparency of key information for everyone to understand artifacts.

 

In conclusion, Scrum is a flexible way of managing a project, usually, but not always,  in the development of software. The processes involved in managing projects smoothly fall into place where Scrum is applied since it’s a framework that simplifies and aligns processes that would otherwise appear complicated and unachievable in project management.

 

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