Scrum Principles

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StarAgile

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Feb 19, 2024

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Table  of Content:

Introduction

The term "Scrum" has developed beyond its rugby-related roots and taken on a new meaning in the modern workplace. Now, it acts as a thorough foundation for efficient task management. Scrum is currently widely used in project management across many industries, such as marketing, product development, and financial services, despite initially being primarily connected with software development.

You may come across unusual phrases like "sprint," "Scrum Master," and "product backlog" if you are interested in a job in any of these disciplines. Don't be intimidated; these phrases only denote various components of the Scrum framework. With the aid of this essay, you will be better equipped to comprehend Scrum principles and other concepts thus successfully using Scrum procedures at work.

Why is it Called Scrum?

In project management and software development, the name "Scrum" is derived from rugby, where it refers to a strategy for resuming play following a very small infraction, such a forward pass. The rugby scrum's atmosphere of cooperation and teamwork served as inspiration for Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber as they created the Scrum framework for agile project management. By placing a strong emphasis on concepts like cooperation, flexibility, and teamwork, they sought to develop a process that could swiftly produce results and respond to shifting requirements.

The goal of a rugby scrum is to obtain possession of the ball by having players press forward and assist one another in a well-coordinated configuration. Similar to this, the Scrum framework encourages a cooperative and iterative approach, with cross-functional teams cooperating in brief iterations known as "sprints" to produce useful increments of work.

In agile project management, the term "Scrum" refers to a cohesive team that works together, depending on transparency, inspection, and adaptability to accomplish their goals, simulating the coordinated effort observed in a rugby scrum. Scrum enhances the agile project management methodology by dividing huge projects into manageable tasks that can be finished in a limited number of iterations.

The idea of Scrum was first presented in the 1986 Harvard Business Review article "The New Product Development Game" by Takeuchi and Nonaka. The authors highlighted the advantages of comprehensive team cooperation, much to how rugby teams transfer the ball among one another as a unit. Scrum was further popularized in the 1990s by Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber, who modified it for software development. In the Official Scrum principle Guide, their ongoing efforts are described.

Adherence to the five basic Scrum principles are commitment, focus, openness, respect, and bravery. These are very essential for success with Scrum. The Scrum team's work, actions, and behaviour are shaped by these ideals, which offer direction. The team develops trust by upholding these values, and trust in turn brings the Scrum tenets and principles to life.

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The Six Scrum Principles

The values and principles defined in the Scrum Guide serve as the basis for the Scrum framework and serve as the cornerstone for its successful implementation. While Scrum does not have a set of six guiding principles, there are six fundamental concepts or "pillars" that each project must adhere to. Transparency, scrutiny, adaptability, empiricism, self-organization, and cooperation are some of these foundations. They provide Scrum teams with the rules they need to remain focused, make decisions based on facts, adjust to changes, operate independently, and promote cooperative cooperation. Scrum teams may increase their odds of project success and successfully provide value by following these pillars. 

The 6 Scrum Principle concepts are:

1. Control over the empirical process

Scrum uses openness, review, and adaptability to exert control over the empirical process. To make informed judgements and promote continual development, this strategy is dependent on empirical data, experimentation, and observations from the actual world.

2. Self-organization

Scrum encourages self-organization and gives teams the freedom to choose the methods that will work best for them. This encourages team members to take initiative, be motivated, and be involved. Scrum's emphasis on the three pillars of collaboration—awareness, articulation, and appropriation—is also reflected in its many roles. Teams may decide, work together, and produce value in a collaborative and empowered atmosphere as a result of these concepts.

3. Collaboration

Scrum is focused on collaboration, where cross-functional teams work closely together while drawing on a variety of skills and perspectives to reach shared goals. It promotes information sharing, fruitful conversation, and cooperative problem-solving. Collaboration encourages a collaborative mindset and produces successful results. It entails comprehension, expression, and appropriation.

4. Value-based prioritization

Transparency in Scrum encourages openness and visibility by informing stakeholders of information, advancements, and challenges. It ensures a detailed understanding of the project's state, enabling well-informed decisions. Prioritising tasks based on their relevance and the best approach to do them also supports this idea. Together, transparency and task prioritisation create a practical framework that promotes deliberate decision-making and effective project management.

5. Time-boxing.

In Scrum, time-boxing is used to schedule tasks, sprints, and meetings at certain times in an effort to cut down on delays and wasted time. The time provided for each stage is made clear to everyone using this methodical approach. Scrum also encourages routinely reviewing work-in-progress to identify deviations from expectations and standards. Teams are able to make the necessary adjustments and improvements thanks to routine inspections, which promote continuous improvement. Scrum initiatives encourage efficiency and adaptability through time-boxing and frequent review.

6. Iterative development

A key component of Scrum is adaptability, as teams modify their strategies in response to inspection findings and shifting conditions. This progressive and iterative approach allows for flexibility and responsiveness to changing consumer needs and feedback. The acceptance of the possibility that projects may require numerous iterations while in development enables teams to make modifications and successfully manage change. Scrum teams can deal with ambiguity and produce great results because of their capacity to adapt and iterate.

Also Read: Scrum Workflow

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Scrum project delivery success depends on the contributions of a varied team made up of people from different departments who have significant roles to play in the process. Within the Scrum team, there is no hierarchy; each member is treated equally in order to achieve goals. Teams should work together, share expertise, and support one another, according to the Scrum Guide. The key to Scrum's success is teamwork, which makes it possible to work together to overcome obstacles and produce outcomes of the highest calibre.

1. Cross-functional

In Scrum, every team member possesses the necessary abilities to add value. They are self-organized and given the freedom to use their knowledge to work independently towards the shared objective. They support the project's success by cooperating and taking personal responsibility.

2. Smaller

Scrum teams should be kept small, with 10 people or less, to preserve productivity and simplify communication. As a result, sprints may be completed with a great amount of work and agility.

3. Accountable

In Scrum, every member of the team is responsible for producing a useful increment each sprint. Three roles—the product owner, the scrum master, and the developers—are responsible for this responsibility. The product owner prioritises the product backlog and represents stakeholders. The Scrum Master assists the team and gets rid of roadblocks. The programmers work together to do excellent work. Together, they make incremental and iterative progress towards the project's goals.

Product Owner

As the main stakeholder and decision-maker for the project's success, the product owner is essential to Scrum. They create the project's vision and give the team the responsibility of carrying it out. According to Scrum.org, the main duties of the product owner are to create and communicate the product goal, create and organise the product backlog items, and make sure the backlog is transparent and easy to comprehend.

The function of product owners must change as project management techniques advance. Professional Scrum Product Owner certification is an option for those looking to flourish in this position. Such certificates provide thorough instruction and expertise to help individuals improve their abilities and keep current with changing industry norms.

Insights into efficient product backlog management, stakeholder involvement, and agile product development may be gained by expanding one's knowledge through a certification programme. Product owners who engage in ongoing education may successfully traverse the always changing field of project management and take well-informed decisions that promote project success.

Scrum Master

The project is frequently started by the product owner, however, the scrum master is very important in leading the team. They are in charge of directing the group, getting rid of roadblocks, and easing communication between the development team and the product owner.

The product owner prioritises the work into a product backlog, the team transforms selected work into a value increment during a sprint, and the team and stakeholders inspect and adjust for the next sprint, as mentioned in the Scrum Guide.

The mission of the Scrum Master is fundamentally dependent on adhering to agile concepts and practises. They assist in defining product goals, successfully managing the product backlog, educating and teaching the organisation on Scrum adoption, organising Scrum implementations, and advocating an empirical approach to difficult work in order to support the organisation and product owner.

The path to become a Scrum Master demands commitment and work. For certification, the Project Management Institute, for instance, demands a bachelor's degree and prior project management experience. Although there are online certificates that don't require a degree, it's important to thoroughly weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each choice before deciding.

Developers

The product owner and scrum master rely on the development team to realise the project vision during the sprint execution phase. The development team, made up of people with a variety of abilities, collaborates under the Scrum Master's direction to reach the objectives established by the product owner.

Depending on the needs of the project, the development team comprises of professionals allocated to various duties. As an illustration, the team may consist of a copywriter for content generation, a graphic designer for picture design, and a creative director for overall advertorial design.

The Scrum Master makes sure everyone remains on target and meets the deadlines throughout the whole creative process. The product owner is consulted when the project is finished to get their permission.

People may want to think about enrolling in a project management degree programme to obtain a deeper comprehension of the function of the development team. Additionally, Scrum.org provides Scrum Developer tests that are created especially for software development experts and can give insightful information on useful procedures and methods.

The Scrum Process and Terminology

Scrum functions as a well-organized procedure that is distinguished by a number of sprints that result in the conclusion of a project. The iterative cycle and each of its components will become very familiar to you as you adopt Scrum in your company.

What are the Three Scrum Artefacts?

Scrum functions as a well-organized procedure that is distinguished by a number of sprints that result in the conclusion of a project. The iterative cycle and each of its components will become very familiar to you as you adopt Scrum in your company. The three artefacts are: product backlog, the product increment, and the sprint backlog.

Product Backlog

  • The project's road map and the product owner's specifications are all included in the product backlog, which serves as a comprehensive task list.
  • It is a dynamic document that is constantly updated to reflect new learnings, successes, and challenges experienced throughout the project.
  • The product backlog is jointly managed by the development team, stakeholders, and the product owner.
  • Transparent communication is used to keep the team's alignment and provide a sense of understanding among team members when changes to the product backlog are made.

Increments

  • The project's plan and the product owner's specifications are included in the product backlog, which serves as an exhaustive list of activities.
  • It is a living, dynamic document that is constantly updated over the course of the project to reflect new information, achievements, and difficulties that are experienced.
  • The development team, stakeholders, and the product owner work together to manage the product backlog, ensuring that everyone contributes to its improvement and prioritisation.
  • To make sure that everyone on the team is aware and on the same page when there are updates or modifications to the product backlog, transparent communication is essential.

Sprint Backlog

  • The project's plan and the product owner's specifications are included in the product backlog, which serves as an exhaustive list of activities.
  • It is a living, dynamic document that is constantly updated over the course of the project to reflect new information, achievements, and difficulties that are experienced.
  • The development team, stakeholders, and the product owner work together to manage the product backlog, ensuring that everyone contributes to its improvement and prioritisation.
  • To make sure that everyone on the team is aware and on the same page when there are updates or modifications to the product backlog, transparent communication is essential.

A commitment is attached to each of the three artefacts according to Scrum Guide: 

  1.  Product Backlog <---> Product Goal
  2. Sprint Backlog <---> Sprint Goal
  3.  Increment <---> Definition of Done

What is the Sprint Cycle?

In Scrum, a sprint is a set amount of time during which a team focuses on completing a certain task or stage of a project. It's vital to understand that a sprint reflects a specific point inside the project's life cycle rather than the complete project from beginning to end. According to the Scrum Guide, a good sprint includes the following elements:

  • The sprint target is not modified in any way that would make achieving it more difficult.
  • The effort is of a constant calibre and does not deteriorate during the course of the race.
  • To keep it accurate and timely, the product backlog is regularly improved as needed.
  • Based on fresh insights and information learned throughout the sprint, the project's scope can be clarified and possibly modified.

Additionally, the sprint itself is made up of a number of recurrent activities that happen within the sprint cycle and aid in the execution and advancement of the sprint.

Sprint Planning

Sprint planning is used to plan the team's strategy for the following sprint. As its name suggests, the purpose of this conference is to identify the precise activities and goals that need to be done. It is important to keep in mind that sprint planning is a dynamic process that adjusts when various project components are finished, potentially causing changes in the schedule and deadlines. Making sure that every team member is motivated and is aware of all the requirements for the upcoming sprint is the major goal of sprint planning

The Scrum Guide states that three important questions need to be addressed for a sprint planning session to be successful:

  • What does this sprint have to offer?
  • What objectives may be met with this sprint?
  • How will the selected tasks be carried out?

Also Read: What Is Scrum Guide

Daily Scrum

Team members often get the chance to present progress updates and talk about upcoming requirements during daily Scrum sessions. The Scrum Master facilitates these daily 15-minute sessions, which happen at set times and locations throughout the sprint. They are conducted by the Scrum Master. The team may concentrate only on topics pertaining to the sprint and stay distracted by them by keeping meetings brief.

Sprint Review

Each sprint is followed by a review that includes a detailed assessment of the output. The procedures listed below, according to Dan Radigan, an Atlassian Principle Technical Account Manager, are necessary for a successful sprint review:

  • To sustain attention on work completion, specify the parameters for what constitutes "done" in clear terms.
  • Recognise and applaud the group's accomplishments, giving each person a chance to highlight their contributions and newly learned skills.
  • By producing casual movies that can be shared online, you may encourage communication amongst remote or scattered teams, keeping everyone updated on the project's status and connected.

Sprint Retrospective

While the Sprint Retrospective focuses on the team, the Sprint Review focuses on the product. The retrospective fulfils the following functions and is held prior to the subsequent sprint planning meeting:

  • Discuss the results of the most recent sprint and assess its accomplishments and shortcomings from the viewpoint of the team.
  • Find ways to improve efficiency, get rid of duplication, and promote team unity.
  • Improve the team's workflow in subsequent sprints by using the lessons learnt from the prior one.
  • In busy offices with several teams and projects, Scrum offers a framework for efficient communication, consistency, and timely product delivery. However, it's critical to recognise that Scrum is only one element of project management, and success depends on having a thorough grasp of the field. 

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Also Read: What is TimeBoxing and How it is Used in Scrum?

SUMMARY

The agile project management framework  prioritises collaboration, flexibility, and iterative development. These are the foundation of scrum concepts. It involves positions like the Scrum Master, who streamlines the procedure, and credentials like Scrum Master Certification (CSM), attests to the knowledge of Scrum procedures. You should consider taking the scrum certification course from Staragile firm, a reputable source in the industry, if you're interested in earning a CSM certification. Nowadays a certification is necessary to outstand the competitors in this field as a certified scrum master will hold greater position compared to the non certified individuals.

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