With the challenges in developing and managing complex softwares, it is getting challenging to manage the software development cycle with traditional approaches. That is when Scrum comes into the picture. Scrum is a commonly used agile development methodology where it helps several software businesses to deliver efficient and timely products.
Today, many businesses are adopting Scrum methodology for faster delivery of their softwares. The most important thing is that it lets you handle complex projects by breaking them into smaller and simpler tasks.
With its increasing popularity, there has been an increase in Scrum professionals who can help companies create innovative products within time. If you did not get the opportunity to get accustomed to Scrum, then you must enroll in the Agile Management Certification courses.
What is Scrum Methodology and How Does It Work?
Scrum is a commonly used agile development technique that helps the software development team develop softwares in small iterations. This fast and adaptable technique will not only help your business but also aids clients by regularly keeping a check on their requirements.
What is Scrum in Simple Terms?
The main focus is always giving into the changing requirements of the customers and satisfying their needs by having transparent communication, instant response, and providing consistent progress reports of the project.
The Scrum process starts with an innovative idea of what needs to be created, followed by finding the characteristics, and then steps taken by the product owner.
Why Use Scrum?
Despite many software development techniques, the main reason for implementing Scrum was to emphasize teamwork and interaction with the client. Below are some reasons that made Scrum more popular among companies:
1. Better Quality
With Scrum, team members will get consistent feedback and exposure. This process helps the team member define and discuss the requirements to understand the project better and conduct daily testing to get clients' feedback.
It includes sprint reviews for continuous improvement. Thus, maintaining consistent quality throughout the development of the product.
2. Decreased Time to Market
It is because Scrum has a dedicated product owner who keeps track of all requirements throughout the development to clarify requirements better. They keep higher priority tasks separate from lower ones, thus helping team members to schedule their tasks. At the end of each sprint, teams provide deliverables of projects so they can review them for feedback.
3. Improved ROI
As Scrum speeds up the delivery process it gets more return on the investment. To increase your ROI, you can also get regular feedback from your stakeholders and customers to improve the product with additional features in the next release. You can automate the tasks to avoid bugs and test your product frequently to get faster deployments. Not only this, you will get the indication of failure at an earlier stage so that you can fix them without spending much before launching it into production.
4. Improved Customer Satisfaction
As we have already mentioned, that Scrum majorly focuses on satisfying its customers by providing them with what they want. They even show the working of the product to customers to know their reviews. It lets the team collaborate with the customers and keep them posted about the project's progress. It encourages the team to constantly update the product backlog so they can respond to the changes quickly.
5. Boosts Team Morale
Scrum methodology has helped increase the team members' productivity by making them happy with the work. The work has been distributed based on the skills and interests of the members to avoid boredom and less productive output. Besides this, it brings fun to the team working by eliminating the blame game. It emphasizes team collaboration, so they all stay on the same page.
6. Enhance Collaboration
The exciting thing about the Scrum team is that they take full responsibility for each task they have been assigned. They maintain the quality of their tasks, and to create a single project, different teams work together. If there is no communication among them, they cannot help the project. But the Scrum technique emphasizes on team collaboration. Each decision is made after discussion and everyone's suggestions so that no one will be left out.
History of Scrum
The history of Scrum started in 1986 when an article by Hirotaka Takeuchi & Ikujiro Nonaka titled "The New Product Development Game" was published. This article was about how companies like Honda, and Canon, can launch a new range of softwares or products worldwide using a team-based approach to product development.
This raises the need for a new approach that emphasizes having self-organizing teams. That time we needed an improved methodology for software development, then Scrum came into the picture as an extension of the agile software development methodology.
In 1993, the Scrum process was introduced by Jeff Sutherland, that are used by any development process to handle complex software developments.
The Scrum framework does not require that team members should know everything at the start, but the learning evolves gradually by working on the project. The team starts with priority works that the clients define then works around that set priority and collaborates with clients for consistent feedback.
The process is not set, you can customize the execution as per the project requirement. Below are some common pillars of the Scrum framework:
- Scrum Artifacts
- Scrum Roles
- Scrum Rules
- Scrum Events
A Scrum process has three primary artifacts consistently visited by each team member- product backlog, sprint backlog, and sprint goal. These are the documents that software teams create throughout the development cycle. Such as tools, docs, etc., are essential as all team members use them to stay on the same page. But what is the backlog in Scrum?
These artifacts make the process smoother:
- what is product backlog in Scrum - it includes a list of features, requirements, improvements, etc., used as input for the Sprint Backlog. The product backlog stores all the defined customer requirements to better understand what they want. It is like a to-do list that the product owner creates.
- The sprint backlog consists of user stories, work items, bug fixes, etc.. the Scrum team prepares this list. It helps the team to implement and execute the current sprint cycle. This artifact divides the requirements further based on the details of the product backlog.
- Sprint Goal- it is a usable end product created after the completion of the Sprint, defining the objective of the development team. This artifact is created after the discussion between the Product Owner (PO) and the Development Team.
You cannot distribute the tasks among team members without deciding the roles. It is necessary to streamline the procedure. There are three different major roles in the Scrum. Not only this, it is necessary that each of them work together to complete their project.
The significant roles are:
- Who is a Scrum product owner? He is a representation for the customers and is a significant role in agile testing. He is responsible for creating stories (Scrum stories are requirements set in backlogs) and explaining the requirement to the Scrum team. Each Scrum team has a single product owner. He defines the project in terms of customers, adds details to the product backlog, and defines the priority of tasks. He accounts for the releases, interacts with the delivery team, shares the progress data with the Scrum team and customers, and negotiates the priorities. But, is Scrum master a project manager? No, both are different.
- What is a Scrum team? (Scrum or development team) includes developers and testers who work together to complete the project per the client's requirements. The team sets the priority to the task defined in the product backlog. This team's efficiency helps in delivering the project on time. The role of Scrum master is self-organizing and cross-functional, he assures tasks are accomplished efficiently.
- What is Scrum master, or what is agile Scrum master? A Scrum master helps the development team to work efficiently. He is a facilitator who ensures every resource is available to team members without impacting their efficiency. The Scrum master manages Daily Scrum Meetings, Sprint Planning Meetings, and Sprint Retrospective meetings. He ensures the team follows the right way to do the task.
Due to Scrum's incremental & iterative approach, it can predict the risk and tries to minimize it at an early stage. Three pillars that keep the Scrum process streamlined.
- Transparency: There should be transparent communication and genuine updates on the tasks to understand better what is going on within the project.
- Inspection: Makes sure to check artifacts daily for any updation.
- Adaptation: Assures you conduct meetings to discuss the work done, what tasks are pending, and how to do that.
These events maintain regularity within the team and help them get the work done in time. These events are time-boxed. A Scrum meeting is where everyone gather to discuss the requirements of the project and client. A daily Scrum is where everyone discuss the progress of the project.
Scrum Methodology and Process
Scrum is a modern form of agile management. The Scrum methodology focuses on rules and practices that must be followed to get better output. You can execute the Scrum tasks in temporary and short blocks. This is what is a sprint in a Scrum , with a time duration of 2 to 4 weeks.
Each Scrum process has a starting point defining a long list of objectives that defines the working plan for that project. The client defines the priorities for these tasks mentioned in the product backlog.
While the market wants quality and fast delivery at an affordable budget, to ensure that, your company must use an agile and flexible process in developing products with short development cycles satisfying the customer's needs without impacting the quality of the result.
Software companies and other sectors are also leveraging its advantage in sales, marketing, & HR teams, etc. Let us explore what is Scrum model;
There are five Scrum values:
- Courage: Team must be able to present their views without worrying about being judged.
- Commitment: It ensures the team works together to complete their tasks.
- Focus: The team can deliver what they promised within time and with excellent quality.
- Openness: Lets the team member to be creative and share their ideas.
- Respect: Allows team members to listen to everyone’s ideas without disrespecting and listening to them.
Challenges Faced in Applying Scrum and How to Overcome Them
Despite several benefits and simple processes, there could be some challenges that you might face while implementing Scrum practices within your project. Some of them as discussed below:
- Scrum master takes care of the time-boxing of tasks and conducts meetings to share the update and discuss. But, if there are some distractions or unclarity about the task, the team can take more time than expected. This might delay the entire development process. So, it is better that the Scrum master understands what is the role of Scrum master and clarifies everything in the meetings. As in Scrum practice, delivering the project within time is his primary concern.
- Some people do not understand what is the characteristic of an effective Scrum master. With the contribution of a Scrum master, everything falls into place, and the team can complete their tasks within time. A Scrum master should have friendly communication with everyone without being bossy.
- As an extension of agile practice, Scrum strongly ensures that everyone within the team should participate in the process. In some scenarios, the top management does not participate and leaves everything to their team. This demoralizes the team.
- Some people do not understand the importance of meetings and think they waste time. But, without attending meetings you won’t understand the project requirements and start your task appropriately. Hence, make sure to attend meetings and the Scrum master should look into why a person is not attending meetings.
List of Scrum Certifications
There are several certifications available based on the role you want to go for. For better understanding, you can enroll in KnowledgeHut’s agile management certification courses. what is Scrum master certification, and what is Scrum certification?
1. Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)
what is a certified Scrum master? The Scrum Alliance administers this certification. It is an important certification for all aspiring Scrum team leaders across industries. You will get to know what is not a core responsibility of a Scrum master and what are responsibilities of a Scrum master are, and the tasks of a Scrum master.
Cost: ranges from $450 to $1000, including exam costs.
2. Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)
Offered by the Scrum Alliance, this certification will help you to be a product owner with a basic knowledge of Scrum in the CSPO, including product-specific training. It helps you to understand how to communicate and handle multiple stakeholders' requests and create a product vision. Cost: ranges from $299 to $1000 as of May 2022.
3. Professional Scrum Master (PSM I)
Offered by Scrum.org. This certification validates your basic understanding of the Scrum framework. Cost: $150
4. Certified Scrum Professional (CSP)
Offered by the Scrum Alliance. It is mainly for developers and is designed to help them become a professional in improving Scrum and Agile implementation. Cost is around $100 application fee, an additional $150 certification fee
5. SAFe Scrum Master (SSM)
It is for Scrum Master. Scaled Agile Cost administers the certification: ranges from $600 to $1099. Course fees include the exam fees.
6. Professional Scrum Product Owner I (PSPO I)
It is a certification from Scrum.org to improve your ability to maximize the product's value developed by a development team. It will test your capability and basic understanding of Scrum.org's Product Owner Learning Path ascribed by Scrum.org. Cost: $200.
7. Certified Scrum Developer (CSD)
This certification is designed for product developers in Scrum environments. You can learn a basic understanding of Scrum and Agile in the context of product development. Cost: around $1000.
Scrum is considered to improve the agile software development management technique. It emphasizes understanding the precise requirements of the clients and update in the product backlog. It has helped them to focus on delivering a quality product within time. Not only this, the delivery is done while maintaining transparent communication with the customers.
This process involves three roles with different and mandatory responsibilities. If everything falls into the right place and is done per expectations, you can get increased ROI on your released products. So, adopt Scrum for your business to get guaranteed results and progress.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is a Scrum in Agile?
Scrum is a subset of Agile. It is a framework that has gained much popularity among software developers. It comes with a particular set of rules that need to be followed while maintaining agile practices.
2. What is Scrum example?
Scrum has been applied in Software Project on Dutch Railways – InfoQ article:
They must develop travel information software for passengers, specifying the times, destinations, and intervals. These details should be displayed on displays automatically. With Scrum, it was possible to make incremental deliveries while communicating with the customer in all development phases ensuring better management.
3. What are the three roles in Scrum?
Scrum teams have three specific roles:
- Scrum team
- Scrum Master (SM).
- Product Owner (PO).