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Making The Move To Agile With Scrum - How Scrum Supports Agile

We should probably start clarifying what is the relationship between the two. Let's put it this way:Agile is the mindset, the WHATIt is not about ‘doing’ Agile but being Agile.Scrum is the framework, the HOWIt is one of the available frameworks most used to become more Agile.The Agile Manifesto tells us that it values the items on the left more than the items on the right:Individuals and interactions over processes and toolsWorking software/product over comprehensive documentationCustomer collaboration over contract negotiationResponding to change over following a planScrum defines specific concepts and practices, divided into the three categories of Roles, Artifacts, and Time Boxes. This aims to get the most out of uncertainty.So the question is, how is Scrum supporting the Agile principles?(1) Individuals and Interactions over processes and toolsThe Scrum team members work together to achieve a shared business goal. The set of roles (Product Owner, Scrum Master & Development team) and how these are 'played' / contribute to each sprint is the key to success.Each individual within the Scrum team has a high responsibility and ownership towards the goal: from refinement of the work (backlog items), to their estimates, which are actually committed (sprint items), removing obstacles, optimising the backlog, definition of what a 'Done' item means.To enable the interactions in a consistent manner, Scrum framework uses:Sprint Planning - To discuss items of most value, clarify, decide which to commit to the Sprint, breakdown some tasks which enables seeing different approaches / points of view for the very same item.Daily Sprint - For progress transparency, collaboration, ownership, clarification, obstacles and team alignment.Review - Open to all stakeholders where the 'potentially shippable product' is transparently reviewed, demoed and new possible increments may arise. The review is the 'what', the deliverable tangible concept.Retrospective - Internal for the Scrum team where openly the 'how' is reviewed, to determine what could be changed that might make the next imminent sprint better.The Agile principle of Individuals and Interactions is supported by the 3 pillars of Scrum: Transparency, Inspection & Adaptation.(2) Working software/product over comprehensive documentationScrum requires a working, finished product increment as the primary result of every sprint which the team had chosen and commit to it at the start of the sprint.Even that the increment may not be 'shipped', the team’s job is to ensure the functionality is delivered by the end of the sprint as a 'potentially shippable product' which could go to market.During the sprint, the team works together, cross-skilled, with continuous testing, focusing on the defined goal to be achieved.Agile values the working product more. A quick note on documentation, avoid long winded documents no one will read, think of it with your Agile hat on: modular, iterative, easy to digest and reuse.Agile principle of Working product is supported by the Scrum pillar of Inspection.(3) Customer collaboration over contract negotiationMore often product reviews (including demos) enable more often feedback, and the frame on the event sets an open and transparent environment, so that the increment of product is being delivered early and often.The role of Product Owner is the key here to work closely with the business to prioritise the possible future increments by value (return on investment, refinement, size, risks etc)Collaboration is supported by the Scrum pillar of Transparency. At the beginning of the sprint you have a very open and clear prioritised committed items into the Sprint and the Review openly show what was accomplished and a place to highlight obstacles that may have disturbed the flow within that cycle.(4) Responding to change over following a planScrum is based on empiricism (inspect and adapt) which uses feedback loops to cope with complexity and risk. Scrum emphasises decision making from real-world results rather than speculation.Empiricism is a theory that states that knowledge comes only or primarily from sensory experience.As new information is discovered, the team updates the backlog, adapts towards the goal and constantly responds to change to deliver what has been committed as a 'possible shippable product'.Responding to change is supported by the Scrum pillar of Adaptation. Out of the 12 Agile principles, personally if I had to choose one it will be “Reflect regularly, tune & adjust to become more effective”, Retrospectives are the key to this. Only the organisations following this will keep up with the future.
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Making The Move To Agile With Scrum - How Scrum Supports Agile

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  • by Ines Garcia
  • 05th Jun, 2018
  • Last updated on 05th Feb, 2019
  • 3 mins read
Making The Move To Agile With Scrum - How Scrum Supports Agile

We should probably start clarifying what is the relationship between the two. Let's put it this way:

Agile is the mindset, the WHAT
It is not about ‘doing’ Agile but being Agile.

Scrum is the framework, the HOW
It is one of the available frameworks most used to become more Agile.

The Agile Manifesto tells us that it values the items on the left more than the items on the right:

  1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  2. Working software/product over comprehensive documentation
  3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  4. Responding to change over following a plan

values the items in Agile
Scrum defines specific concepts and practices, divided into the three categories of Roles, Artifacts, and Time Boxes. This aims to get the most out of uncertainty.

So the question is, how is Scrum supporting the Agile principles?

(1) Individuals and Interactions over processes and tools

The Scrum team members work together to achieve a shared business goal. The set of roles (Product Owner, Scrum Master & Development team) and how these are 'played' / contribute to each sprint is the key to success.

Each individual within the Scrum team has a high responsibility and ownership towards the goal: from refinement of the work (backlog items), to their estimates, which are actually committed (sprint items), removing obstacles, optimising the backlog, definition of what a 'Done' item means.

To enable the interactions in a consistent manner, Scrum framework uses:

Sprint Planning - To discuss items of most value, clarify, decide which to commit to the Sprint, breakdown some tasks which enables seeing different approaches / points of view for the very same item.

Daily Sprint - 
For progress transparency, collaboration, ownership, clarification, obstacles and team alignment.

Review -
Open to all stakeholders where the 'potentially shippable product' is transparently reviewed, demoed and new possible increments may arise. The review is the 'what', the deliverable tangible concept.

Retrospective -
Internal for the Scrum team where openly the 'how' is reviewed, to determine what could be changed that might make the next imminent sprint better.

The Agile principle of Individuals and Interactions is supported by the 3 pillars of Scrum: Transparency, Inspection & Adaptation.


Scrum Framework

(2) Working software/product over comprehensive documentation

Scrum requires a working, finished product increment as the primary result of every sprint which the team had chosen and commit to it at the start of the sprint.

Even that the increment may not be 'shipped', the team’s job is to ensure the functionality is delivered by the end of the sprint as a 'potentially shippable product' which could go to market.

During the sprint, the team works together, cross-skilled, with continuous testing, focusing on the defined goal to be achieved.

Agile values the working product more. A quick note on documentation, avoid long winded documents no one will read, think of it with your Agile hat on: modular, iterative, easy to digest and reuse.

Agile principle of Working product is supported by the Scrum pillar of Inspection.

(3) Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

More often product reviews (including demos) enable more often feedback, and the frame on the event sets an open and transparent environment, so that the increment of product is being delivered early and often.

The role of Product Owner is the key here to work closely with the business to prioritise the possible future increments by value (return on investment, refinement, size, risks etc)

Collaboration is supported by the Scrum pillar of Transparency. At the beginning of the sprint you have a very open and clear prioritised committed items into the Sprint and the Review openly show what was accomplished and a place to highlight obstacles that may have disturbed the flow within that cycle.

(4) Responding to change over following a plan

Scrum is based on empiricism (inspect and adapt) which uses feedback loops to cope with complexity and risk. Scrum emphasises decision making from real-world results rather than speculation.

Empiricism is a theory that states that knowledge comes only or primarily from sensory experience.

As new information is discovered, the team updates the backlog, adapts towards the goal and constantly responds to change to deliver what has been committed as a 'possible shippable product'.


Responding to change is supported by the Scrum pillar of Adaptation. Out of the 12 Agile principles, personally if I had to choose one it will be “Reflect regularly, tune & adjust to become more effective”, Retrospectives are the key to this. Only the organisations following this will keep up with the future.

Ines

Ines Garcia

Blog author

Founder at get:Agile. Empowering Agile mindset evolution (not revolution). Helping organizations to become more Agile with Scrum framework and Kanban elements while delivering Salesforce technology.

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1 comments

Sarvani jujare 27 Nov 2018

Love the way you explained it. Thank you

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As far as CSM is concerned, CSM is just like any other diploma or degree program where you have to be enrolled in the institution and have to attend the classes and all the assignments. In the end, you have to pass the CSM test, and you have only two attempts at taking the test. On the other hand, PSM is entirely different from CSM. There is no need to attend any classes for this program neither any test for the PSM 1 and PSM 2 both. What is the passing grade? For CSM, you have to secure at least 69% marks or 24 out of 35 to get through the Certified Scrum Master program which is very low as compared to PSM. In PSM, the passing criteria are quite tough. You would get 80 questions and have to complete it in only 60 minutes. You have to be accurate in the answers because only those attendees with the final marks of 85%+ will pass the test and will get the Professional Scrum Master certificate. What is the exam format?   The exam format of CSM is quite simple. 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The CSM is attached to the course, and many different institutions offer this certificate program. However, the general fee of CSM starts from the US$400 to US$2,500 based on the tuition fee. Since there is only one body that offers Professional Scrum Master Program that is why they have a standard fee of PSM. The PSM 1 only US$100 and the PSM 2 cost only US$500. Moreover, the students of PSM also given one free attempt for the PSM 1 exam for the assessment.  What is the Renewal Duration? You have to renew your CSM credential after every two years. The first two years from you get the degree, the fee of the credential would be added in the tuition fee.  Later on, you have to renew it by paying only $100 every two years. This fee is subjected to change on the authority of the institute from where you get your CSM degree. On the other hand, there is no need to renew your PSM credentials. Once you got this, this is yours for all of your life, and no one can take it from you. How consistent is the both program’s content? Because many institutes are providing CSM program that is why the program content varies from institutes to institutes and trainer to trainer.  Whereas PSM has only one body, and all the teachers of that body follow only one content. However, the interpretation of the trainers may vary.   What is the reliability of the Program content? Because the program content in the CSM varies from trainer to trainer, that is why it is hard to keep the reliability of the program content at its top. Every Scrum trainer creates its own program content and also its interpretation. That is why it is impossible to maintain the monotonous or the quality of the program content.  Whereas only one body provide Professional Scrum Master program and their trainers follow only one content, that is why the reliability of the PSM program is at its highest, and there is no comparison between CSM and PSM contents. Last Words: Both of the programs are highly compatible, and both have their own importance. CSM may look back in the race but its originality and the history of this program makes it equal to PSM. However, aspects like no renew, content reliability and the tuition fee of PSM makes it a better choice to take if you want to be a Professional Scrum Master with the certificate. Go ahead, reach your destination. All the best.  
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What Are The Main Differences Between CSM & PSM Ce...

Agile and scrum are the two dynamic tools ruling t... Read More