What is Scrum and How Does It Work?
Scrum is a framework or methodology used in teams that manage complex projects. In other words, Scrum is an Agile methodology that aims to submit valuable deliverables in short periods. Scrum is fostered on three pillars: transparency, inspection, and adaptation. This focus allows the client, along with their Sales team, to bring their product to market quickly and start garner sales in a process called Sales Enablement.
What’s the basis for Scrum?
Since Scrum is a methodology founded on Agile principles, Scrum’s founding components include:
Flexibility in making changes and new requirements during a complex project.
The human component.
Client collaboration and interaction.
Iterative development aimed at ensuring adequate results.
As we previously noted, SCRUM’s most essential characteristics are:
Everyone involved in a Scrum project knows what’s going on in the project and how it’s happening. This transparency ensures that there’s a mutual understanding, or global vision for all stakeholders.
The members of a Scrum team often inspect its progress to pinpoint potential hiccups. This review is not a daily examination but rather a way of determining if the work goes well and the team works in a self-managed fashion.
When something needs adjusting, the team adjusts to meet the goal of the sprint. That’s the secret to success in complex projects with requirements that continuously change or lack definition and where adaptation, innovation, complexity, and flexibility are fundamental.
In Scrum, the team’s goal is to deliver value and offer quality performance that allows them to meet their client’s business goals.
Scum meets rely on a multifunctional, self-organized structure, or that every person on the team is in charge of a set of tasks and completing them during the stipulated time. These parameters ensure the team hands in the full deliverable without any help or minimal supervision from other members of the organization.
There are three crucial roles in the Scrum methodology: the Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Development Team.
1. Product Owner:
The Product Owner’s in charge of maximizing the value of the development team’s work. They maximize this value through efficient managing the Product Backlog, which we’ll go into a little later on.
The Product Owner is the only Scrum role that is in constant contact with the client, and as such, requires a lot of business acumen.
A Scrum team can only have one Product Owner, and the Product Owner can be part of the Development Team.
2. Scrum Master:
The Scrum Master makes sure that everyone in the organization understands Scrum techniques and that the organization follows through with applying Scrum principles. This person is the Scrum manager in charge of getting rid of roadblocks that arise for a team during a sprint (another term we’ll review in a bit) who’s applying the best techniques for strengthening the digital marketing team.
The Scrum Master is responsible for taking on the role of the Scrum guide as they aid every team in an organization in their adoption of Scrum project management techniques.
3. Development Team:
These are those in charge of completing tasks according to the order of importance that the Product Owner establishes. As we previously noted, the Development Team works with a multifunctional and self-organized structure. Plus, they are the only ones who estimate the tasks in the product backlog without any outside influence.
Development Teams do not have subteams or specialists. The reason for this is to have shared responsibility if the team doesn’t complete every task in a sprint.
Scrum Project Management Milestones
This diagram illustrates the milestones within the Scrum project management methodology. You carry out the development of a project in iterative processes called sprints. Every sprint includes the following Scrum rituals: sprint planning, daily meeting, sprint review, and sprint retrospective.
The sprint is the heart of Scrum because it’s the epicenter of the other milestones in the process. Every action taken to submit a deliverable is part of a sprint. Sprints last a maximum of a month, but the stipulated period depends on how much communication the client wants to have with the team. Long sprints can mean you lose valuable client feedback and put the project in danger.
2. Sprint Planning
This meeting is where the whole Scrum team defines the tasks to complete and the goal of the sprint. The first meeting in a sprint can end up lasting eight hours for a month-long sprint.
The team asks itself then the following questions:
How will we carry out the sprint? The group chooses Product Backlog tasks based on their answers.
How are we going to do it? The Development Team designates what the essential tasks to complete every item on the Product Backlog are.
Defining the to-do list for the sprint implies that the team has a goal and is committed to submitting that proposed set of deliverables at the end of the sprint. That’s called a sprint goal.
The result of this meeting is the sprint goal and a sprint backlog (that we’ll see later).
3. Daily Meeting
This daily ritual within the sprint is limited to a maximum length of 15 minutes. The Development Team must attend, as well as the Scrum Master. The Product Owner’s presence is not required.
The Development Team asks the following questions:
What did I do yesterday?
What am I going to do today?
Is there a roadblock that I need someone’s help to resolve?
This meeting is the most suitable encounter to inspect the work and be able to adapt in case there’s a change in tasks during a sprint.
4. Sprint Review
This ritual at the end of every sprint is for reviewing the deliverable(s) to submit to the client. If our sprint lasts a month, the sprint review will last for four hours and will be the only Scrum ritual where the client can attend. The Product Owner presents the new developments to the client, and the Development Team will demonstrate its functionality. The client will approve the changes we carried out, as well as give its feedback on any new tasks the Product Owner will have to add to the Product Backlog.
5. Sprint Retrospective
The retrospective is the last Scrum ritual. If the sprint lasts a month, then it will last for three hours. It’s a team meeting where we evaluate how we carried out Scrum project management techniques in the last sprint.
This ritual is a fantastic opportunity for the Scrum team to take stock and inspect itself to propose improvements for the next sprint.
We come out of the retrospective with a list of improvements to start applying the next day, since the new sprint starts immediately after this ritual. And we start the process all over again.
The tools used in Scrum maximize transparency in a team for everyone to have the same view of everything going on inside the project.
The primary Scrum tools are the Product Backlog and Sprint Backlog.
1. Product Backlog
The Product Backlog is essentially the list of tasks that make up a full project. Anything we do has to be in the Product Backlog with an estimated execution time from the Development Team.
The Product Owner has exclusive responsibility for ordering the Product Backlog and is in constant contact with the client to ensure that the project has well-established priorities.
The Product Owner also has full responsibility for ordering it, and as such, the tasks that are higher up on the Product Backlog should have higher priority.
The Development Team chooses tasks from the Product Backlog in the sprint planning meeting to create a sprint backlog and sprint goal.
2. Sprint Backlog
This term is the task group from the Product Backlog that the Development Team chooses in the sprint planning ritual along with the plan to execute them. The whole team has to be aware of it to ensure that their focus remains on this task group.
The sprint planning does not change during the sprint; you can only make changes to the plan to carry out the sprint.
Benefits and drawbacks of using Scrum
Now that we’ve gone over how Scrum works, let’s go over the benefits and disadvantages:
The benefits of working with Scrum
Scrum is easy to learn: the roles, milestones, and tools are clear with a single goal, making it very related to our day-to-day work.
The client can quickly start working with the product.
The process becomes more agile through a persistent series of deliverables.
There’s a lower likelihood of surprises or unexpected events because the client has an uninterrupted view of the project.
The drawbacks of working with Scrum
While it’s easy to learn Scrum, implementing it is a challenge. It requires a willing organization that’s open to change that has to go from senior leadership to clients.
The need for having multifaceted teams could be taxing since it may be challenging to find people who can fill every role on a team.
The team can tend to carry out the shortest path to meet the sprint goal, which may not necessarily lead to optimal performance.
Scrum is particularly appealing for projects that aim to deliver continual value for a client to start seeing results as soon as possible. This methodology also lets us make processes more agile, practice transparency, and motivate the team through autonomy and independence.
Agile Scrum Implementation
At We Are Marketing, we work using Scrum and have team members who boast Scrum Master certifications on the official Scrum website. While this project management methodology initially came out of the web development world, we also implement it in our 360° Marketing campaigns to grant our clients greater visibility and control over the tactics we carry out.
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