How the SCRUM will help to Get Things Done
If you deal with project management, you’ve probably heard about SCRUM. It has become a bit of a buzzword in recent years. But what are its main components and principles? What do you use SCRUM methodology for? And how can it increase productivity? Let’s break it all down.
What is SCRUM?
SCRUM is a project management framework that helps to increase productivity and excel with cross-knowledge teams. Its main idea is constant improvement through continuous reviews. The main features include breaking down a project into sprints, working closely together in a self-management team, and frequent adjustments based on previous experience.
SCRUM is often confused with Agile. Let me address it right away. Agile is more of a mindset, and philosophy and SCRUM is a framework that helps to implement Agile principles in teamwork.
So what is SCRUM in business? Well, it is a certain way to manage a team and the project. Mostly, the IT industry uses it, which is not surprising as it was designed for IT. But it is not inherently technological and can be used in any business.
Moreover, its principles and guidelines can be used not only for teams. They apply to those who work alone too.
Principles, Values, and Roles in SCRUM
Why will SCRUM work for you? Well, because it is easy to adopt and understand. Of course, it won’t do everything for you, as meeting agendas writing service can. But it can make complex projects much more manageable and increase clients’ satisfaction.
In this project management environment, there are several roles, constant events, artifacts, and values. The principles of SCRUM are:
- Transparency. Everyone in the project is aware of all issues and processes;
- Inspection. Frequent inspections help to reflex on how the team performs, what can be done better, and what are the next steps;
- Adaptation. Reviews help to adapt and improve work processes after each sprint.
Now let’s define the roles:
- Product owner. The person that is responsible for the project and has direct communication with the client. It is a person that represents the client and makes the product backlog (the scope of the project) ;
- SCRUM master. It is a person responsible for the framework. A business analyst in SCRUM is not a manager of the team, but helps to follow the guidelines, sets up daily meetings, sprint reviews, etc.;
- Team. People that do the work. This is usually a team of cross-functional employees with a high level of responsibility and can self-manage their work scope. It is perfect if they are located together in the office.
The main difference between SCRUM and traditional project management is that the team has a high flexibility level. They figure out the scope of work for each sprint, decide who will do particular tasks, and have a common responsibility. So there must be no “not my job” mindset in the team. That’s why there are team values, such as:
All members of the team are equal in their work and responsibilities.
To give a better understanding of what SCRUM is in business, here is an example of the work scope on the project management with it.
Example of SCRUM Project Management
The product owner gets the requirements from the client regarding the project. Then he creates a project backlog – a scope of all tasks. It is an overall to-do list of the team to finish the project. These tasks are constantly adjusted after each sprint according to new requirements or arising factors.
After that, the team decides on the sprint deadlines. Each sprint usually takes about 1-4 weeks to do. The team creates a sprint backlog – the list of tasks to do in one sprint.
When the sprint is over, the team holds a review together with the product owner and SCRUM master. They reflect on what has been done and how work can be improved in the future. After the review, the result is presented to the client. And the new sprint starts.
What tasks do you see that are different each day for a scrum team versus a traditional team? First of all, the team decides what tasks go for each sprint. Secondly, they hold daily SCRUMmeetings in the morning. The main goal is to see the progress, delegate tasks, talk about any issues and the ways to resolve them.
How SCRUM Increases Productivity?
Why will SCRUM work for you in terms of productivity? Well, first of all, the studies show that there is a correlation between this framework and better workflow. Secondly, it offers a unique and flexible approach to managing the project, namely:
- It breaks down the project into manageable tasks and clear deadlines. No matter how big it is, it all comes down to each sprint and designated to-do list.
- It increases a team’s cooperation and partnership. As everyone is equal and pro-active, employees tend to perform better.
- It ensures constant client feedback. They see what has been done, review it, and make their new requirements or adjustments.
- The management, for example, a business analyst in SCRUM, has more time to focus on long-term goals and strategies as the team is self-managed.
- It is a simple framework that is easy to implement and understand. Adopting an agile mindset is hard and might take a while. But using SCRUM is much more efficient even for a team that hasn’t done it before.
- It endorses constant improvement through sprint reviews. Any issues can be addressed and resolved quickly. And the team can adapt to new situations, requirements, and ways of working.
Why will SCRUM work for you even if you are a self-employed individual? Because its principles and methods are easy to adjust. It is all about breaking down the project into manageable chunks, setting clear deadlines, and reflecting on one’s performance.
How Is It Different from Other Systems?
SCRUMis not the only Agile framework out there. As I mentioned before, Agile is a methodology, but SCRUM is a practical framework that helps to implement it. Another popular Agile framework is Kanban.
SCRUM vs. Kanban
- They are agile;
- Both allow adapting fast to new situations and changes;
- They are empirical;
- They both have transparency as they principle;
- They focus on early delivery.
- Kanban doesn’t require set roles; it is more flexible than SCRUM;
- SCRUM limits the work scope by time (sprints), Kanban – by delivery (new task can be added to board only when another one is complete);
- The to-do list in SCRUM is updated only with newsprint; in Kanban, it is a constant process;
- In Kanban team doesn’t have to be cross-functional.
Now let’s compare SCRUM with Waterfall methodology, which is the direct opposite. After all, Agile principles were developed in contrast to traditional Waterfall project management. So they have nothing in common. The Waterfall is a linear method that focuses on stages and goes to the next stage only when the first one is finished. The main differences are:
- The waterfall is heavily structured, there is no back, and forth, all the stages are given before the project begins;
- There is a direct hierarchy in the team;
- The waterfall is sequential;
- The client’s requirements are defined in the beginning, and there is no room for changes;
- In Waterfall, you cannot change what has been done in previous stages;
- The waterfall is heavy on project documentation.
SCRUM is easy to implement and agile framework that helps to increase productivity. One can learn more on the SCRUM website, for example, about the SCRUM guide or case studies. To sum up, it is a great framework that can help almost any team to perform better, adapt, and constantly learn based on their empirical experience.
Vitalii Anufriiev is a co-founder and marketing professional at WritingMetier. His areas of interest include digital marketing, brand strategy, and the use of social media for business growth.