SCRUM METHODOLOGY

The scrum methodology is a very popular way to practically use the Agile principles to implement projects.

There are many aspects to the scrum methodology, so let's start with a couple of basics.

Scrum methodology principles

The scrum methodology prescribes the following principles:

  • Empirical process control

This principle in the scrum methodology focuses on the main ideas of transparency, inspection and adaptation.

  • Self-organization

This principle in the scrum methodology focuses on today's workers, who deliver a lot better value when self-organized, resulting in shared ownership and a creative environment, which is more conductive for growth.

  • Collaboration

This principle in the scrum methodology focuses on the three core dimensions for collaborative work: awareness, articulation and appropriation. Project management becomes a shared value-creation process.

  • Value-based prioritization

The scrum methodology principle that highlights the focus of scrim to deliver maximum business value, as soon as possible, and continuing to do so during the whole project.

  • Time-boxing

The scrum methodology describes how time should be a limiting constraint, and should be used to help be effective with project planning and execution. Many meetings are time-boxed and sprints as well.

  • Iterative development

For iterative development, the scrum methodology uses sprints. These sprints are repeated throughout the whole implementation phase, and are a good way to help with the application of the following Agile principles:

  • Satisfying the customer through early and continuous deliveries. The sprints of the scrum methodology allow to choose the length of the sprint, so deliveries of small components can start early in the process.
  • Welcoming changing requirements, even late in development. The sprints of the scrum methodology will use a new prioritized backlog upon each iteration, allowing to add new requirements easily.
  • Delivering working software frequently.  The sprints of the scrum methodology are repeating continuously, so new software can be produced per sprint.
  • Promoting sustainable development. The sprints of the scrum methodology allow to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
  • Simplicity, the art of maximizing the amount of work not done. The sprints of the scrum methodology will facilitate the prioritization of the project backlog, and each have an own sprint backlog.
  • Reflection at regular intervals to become more effective teams. One of the ceremonies during a sprint within the scrum methodology is the 'sprint retrospective', in which the team reflects on the lessons they learned during the last sprint.

Scrum methodology aspects

Agile Scrum Methodology Framework

The scrum methodology describes multiple aspects as well

  • Organization: the scrum methodology distinguishes between core roles (which are essential for a scrum implementation) and non-core roles (which are optional)
  • Business justification: the scrum methodology focuses on value-drive deliveries, which helps to justify the projects that are being implemented with it
  • Quality: the scrum methodology allows for easy measuring of the quality of the delivery by checking the delivery against the acceptance criteria.
  • Change: a primary principle of the scrum methodology is acknowledgement that stakeholders (sponsors) change their mind about what they want and need, and that it is nearly impossible to define all requirements at the beginning of a project.
  • Risk: the scrum methodology adds risk management as 'facts of life' to the project, and considers risks that with a positive impact 'opportunities', and risks for averse effects 'threats'. The scrum methodology describes how to identify, asses and respond.

Scrum methodology processes

The scrum methodology describes 19 processes in the 5 phases it considers to happen during the course of projects. Describing them all individually might be a bit too far-fetched for a basic overview of the scrum methodology, so contact us if you are interested to learn more.

 The Scrum Process

Scrum methodology events

The scrum methodology describes many different meetings, called events. Not all of them are mandatory, but some are.
For example, here are some scrum events that can be kept during the sprints:

  • The scrum methodology prescribes that there should be a sprint planning meeting at the beginning of the sprint, where the backlog is prioritized and metrics are defined. User stories are defined and tasks are used to fine-tune these user stories.
  • The scrum methodology also highly recommends the daily scrum meeting, which is also known as 'the daily huddle' sometimes. This short meeting should facilitate the scrum team to provide an overview of the things they worked on, the things they will work on, and any impediments they face.
  • At the end of every sprint, the scrum methodology also describes two other meetings: the sprint retrospective, where the team reflects on the past sprint, and the sprint review meeting, where the work that was finished in the sprint is reviewed and presented to the stakeholders and product owner.

When working in large and complex environments, there will be a need for interactions of teams. An example of a scrum event facilitating in these interactions is the 'scrum of scrum' meeting.

Scrum methodology core roles

The scrum methodology describes multiple core roles:

  • product owner, who is the 'voice of the customer'. This person's role is to represent the business.
  • scrum master, who guides the scrum team when there are questions about the scrum methodology, as well as helps resolve any impediments that are raised.
  • scrum team, which is the collection of the other people in the 'core team' that is set up. The scrum methodology prescribes that this team consists of people with multiple backgrounds, who all collaborate on the user stories and tasks that are assigned to them.

Scrum methodology values

The scrum methodology has defined 5 values as an addition to the Agile manifesto: Commitment, Focus, Openness, Respect and Courage. They are intended to be reflecting the ethics that should be upheld while using the scrum methodology. In the current market situation, it is difficult to hire new people, as well as retain them. By using these values, a company has a clear advantage on that level, as it stimulate and motivates.

Scrum methodology estimation and prioritization

As it is important that the scrum teams bring the best business value at the earliest possible, there is quite some focus on prioritization and estimation techniques in the scrum methodology. Here are some examples:

  • Wideband Delphi
  • Planning Poker
  • Fist of five
  • affinity estimation

Scaling scrum

The scrum methodology prescribes that teams should have an ideal size of 6 to 10 members, to be effective. Hence, one might argue that the scrum methodology seems to be focusing on small teams, and is only suitable for small projects.

To the contrary: the scrum methodology  equally describes guidelines to define collections of projects, called 'programs', and extends even further to collections of programs, called 'portfolios'. Multiple teams can be formed to work on projects in different locations and organizations. 

The scrum methodology makes a distinction between large project and using scrum in the Enterprise.

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Scrum methodology principles
Scrum methodology aspects
Scrum methodology processes
Scrum methodology events
Scrum methodology core roles
Scrum methodology values
Scrum methodology estimation and prioritization
Scaling scrum