Scrum is a methodology that allows team members to address complex adaptive problems, while effectively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.
The methodology creators, Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland, define Scrum as lightweight, simple to understand but difficult to master framework. What is so special about it that IT giants, such as Microsoft, Adobe, and HP, are practicing it? What is Scrum methodology, and what is Agile Scrum? Let’s get this sorted out.
1986 — Management experts Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka published a paper “The New New Product Development Game,” where they used the word ‘Scrum’ to stress the importance of team collaboration for project success.
1995 — Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber presented the methodology to the Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages & Applications (OOPSLA) conference in Austin, Texas. They then published a paper called “SCRUM Software Development Process.”
2001 — Sutherland, Schwaber, and 15 other software development leaders created the Manifesto for Agile Software Development.
2001 — The Agile Alliance was founded, and Schwaber became its first chairman.
2002 — Schwaber, Mike Cohn, and Esther Derby founded The Scrum Alliance.
2006 — Sutherland created Scrum, Inc.
2009 — Schwaber left the Scrum Alliance to open Scrum.org, which offers the Professional Scrum Series.
You might have noticed that the term Scrum is teaming up with Agile. In fact, Scrum is a sub-group of Agile, in other words, a part of agile software development.
Agile is a set of values and principles that describe a team’s day-to-day interactions and activities.
Scrum is a specific methodology that follows the values and principles of Agile and also includes its own definitions and specifications, especially regarding certain software development practices.
The Scrum framework emphasizes teamwork and iterative progress towards a well-defined goal. The name originates from rugby, where Scrum is a method of restarting a game that involves players packing closely together with their heads down and attempting to gain possession of the ball. Likewise, team members adhering to the Scrum methodology, have a specific role but work towards a common goal.
The framework is a part of Agile software development and involves three actors: Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Development Team.
The Product Owner sets a clear direction telling the Development Team what is important to deliver. The Product Owner should understand the customer’s requirements and have a clear vision of the value the scrum team is delivering to the customer. Another role of the Product Owner is to balance the needs of other stakeholders in the organization.
The most important Product Owner’s responsibility is to put together all the inputs and prioritize the work. The PO is the only one who should do it because conflicting priorities and unclear directions from other people may reduce the effectiveness of the Development Team.
The Scrum Master‘s role is to glue everything together. It means, they help the Product Owner define value and the Development Team to deliver the value. The Scrum Master collaborates with the Product Owner in sprint planning and reviews ensuring that clear directions are set. They also serve the development team in the daily scrum meetings by ensuring that work is in progress. The Scrum Master’s major focuses:
The Development Team doesn’t always consist of engineers. It may also include designers and writers, all the people who actually make the product. The Development Team’s responsibilities include:
Scrum framework encompasses 6 successive steps: product backlog, sprint planning, sprints, testing and product demonstration, review, and next sprint planning.
According to the 12th annual State of Agile report, 70% of software teams use the Scrum framework. Small wonder. The Scrum methodology has proven to address complexity in work making software development teams more efficient and reducing time to market.