Scrum is a better way for development teams to work together and “manufacture” a product. In the Scrum Agile process, development is carried out in “small pieces”, with each piece contributing towards the product’s overall “growth”. Building a product in segment or pieces makes project management much easier. It is easier to track, monitor, and “redesign” small pieces of the product rather than the actual product. Moreover, when small segments of the product are developed on a periodic basis in a sustained manner, it becomes feasible to adhere to the project completion deadlines.
How does the Scrum process model work?
Scrum is a framework and not a methodology. Most people tend to confuse between a framework and a methodology. While methodologies are exact processes and have to be followed in a “prescribed” manner, frameworks are more flexible and have to be implemented in a project before their benefits can be availed. Quite often, a project has to be “molded” as per the framework. In Scrum, a project has to be “designed” in such a manner that it supports the principles and ideals supported by it. The actual product has to be broken down into smaller, easily developable “user stories”, and each story has to be designed and developed on an individual basis. Moreover, each story can be stringently tested for any bugs and should be “released” only when it is regression free. Scrum supports product incremental cycles i.e. the entire product is developed in parts through the consistent and sustained development of smaller, individual product features through repeated process cycles known as “sprints”.
Important features of the Scrum Agile process
Developing a complex project or building a complicated product may prove to be a difficult task. Scrum offers a framework specially designed to make “difficult” work easy and “more” manageable. The main reason why Scrum succeeds where other frameworks and methodologies fail is that it concentrates more on “human” involvement and decision-making. Scrum teams need to collaborate to get things done. Moreover, team members have to share their ideas and experience to expedite the development process. In many ways, Scrum is a simple framework and easy to implement if one “learns” it in a proper manner. It is important to know what is Scrum process before implementing it.
Three main roles govern how the Scrum process works.
- In the Agile Scrum model, the product owner plans what needs to be done and in what manner. He or she thinks about an effective project design and works out possible ways and means to implement it in a manner such that the product is developed in the least possible time, and the project maintains its “business value” or market worth at all times.
- The development team has to support the stakeholders and the PO’s vision regarding project development. It has to collaborate, plan, and actively facilitate the product increment process so that “shippable” user stories are developed at regular intervals.
- The scrum master has to ensure that the entire Scrum process is properly carried out and the team does not face any technical difficulties or hurdles.
The Agile Scrum model overview
- While discussing the Scrum process model, the product owner creates a master list containing all product features and prioritizes it depending upon the importance of the product feature, and how much the particular feature is “worth” in terms of its saleability. The list is called “product backlog”.
- During sprint planning activity, the development team extracts a small “chunk” of product features from the top of the product backlog for development purpose. The temporary list of features to be developed is known as a “sprint backlog”. The team decides how to proceed with the development work.
- The actual development is carried out in “short bursts” or activity known as sprints. The sprint has to be completed within a predetermined time limit. It cannot be extended or shortened. Traditionally it lasted from two to four weeks, but recent Scrum trends indicate it has shortened to last for seven to ten days. Each day before the sprint starts, a short meeting, not exceeding more than fifteen minutes, is held to “start” the day. The meeting is known as the “daily stand up” or the “daily scrum”.
- The sprint should ensure that only shippable and bug-free product features are developed. The development carried out by the team is verified by the PO and the stakeholders (if, and when necessary).
- During the tenure of the entire Scrum project, the scrum master collaborates and helps the implementation process. He or she ensures that the team remains focused, and resolves difficulties and problems as and when they arise.
- All Scrum events such as the sprint review meeting and the sprint retrospective meeting are to be conducted in an appropriate manner and at the correct time.
- The entire Scrum process has to repeat itself until the entire product is manufactured through sustained product increment cycles – sprints.