Scrum is an iterative and incremental Agile software development framework for managing product development. It defines “a flexible, adaptive process that delivers valuable, working software frequently.” Scrum is not a software development methodology or process per se but rather a framework within which various processes and practices can be employed.
The name “Scrum” was first used by Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka in their 1986 article “The New New Product Development Game”. The term is derived from rugby football, where a scrum is a formation of players.
How does Scrum work?
The Scrum framework is deceptively simple. It consists of three roles (Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Development Team), four events or ceremonies (Sprint Planning, Sprint, Sprint Review, and Retrospective), and three artifacts (Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, and Increment). These elements interact with each other to form a complete picture of the sprint cycle.
Despite its relatively simple ruleset, Scrum has been shown to be incredibly effective in the development of software products. Studies have shown that Scrum can increase productivity by up to 50% and reduce time-to-market by up to 30%. Furthermore, Scrum has been shown to improve satisfaction levels among both developers and customers. In a world where speed and agility are increasingly important, it’s no wonder that Scrum has become so successful.
The Product Owner represents the voice of the customer and is responsible for the business value of the product. The Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring that the team adheres to the values and practices of Scrum. The Development Team consists of self-organizing and cross-functional individuals who are responsible for delivering working software at the end of each sprint.
The Sprint Planning event is used to determine what can be delivered in the upcoming sprint. The Sprint itself is a timeboxed period during which the team works on delivering the agreed-upon items from the Sprint Backlog. The Sprint Review is held at the end of the sprint to demo the working software to stakeholders and get feedback. The Retrospective event is used to reflect on what went well and what can be improved in future sprints.
While it might seem like there are a lot of moving parts to Scrum, it is actually a very straightforward framework that has been proven to be successful time and time again. If you’re thinking about implementing Agile/Scrum into your organization, I highly recommend giving it a try!