Scrum Methodology in Project Management – Workflow, Components & Benefits
What is Scrum?
Scrum is a framework in agile project management methodology using which people can solve complex adaptive problems, while increasing their productivity and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.
Scrum is iterative. The entire lifecycle is completed in fixed time-period called a Sprint. A Sprint is typically 2-4 weeks long.
- Simple to understand
- Difficult to master
Components of Agile Scrum Management
Defining the roles:
In a traditional project management methodology such as a Waterfall model, managing project scope, cost, quality, personnel, reporting status to stakeholders, managing risk, and adapting as requirements change all falls under the responsibility of a project manager. Agile project management divides these huge responsibilities among three agile roles:
1. Product Owner
The Product Owner handles setting up the project goals, managing the schedule against the scope, adapting to the change in project requirements and setting up priorities for product features.
Communication is a core responsibility of the project owner. The project owner will be focusing on the business side of the project management by coordinating with the stakeholders and leave the technical side of project management to other scrum members.
A product owner does the following activities
- demonstrates the solution to key stakeholders who were not present at a sprint review;
- defines and announces releases;
- communicates team status;
- organizes milestone reviews;
- educates stakeholders in the development process;
- negotiates priorities, scope, funding, and schedule;
- ensures that the product backlog is visible, transparent, and clear.
2. Scrum Master
The Scrum Master helps the team in managing the tasks and resolve any issues involved in the execution of the task. The Scrum Master is also called as a team facilitator or Servant-Leader.
A scrum master is not a traditional team manager or project manager. He/sche acts as a buffer between team resources. He/she is responsible for ensuring that there are no roadblocks for the development team members to deliver the deliverables.
3. Development Team Members
The Development Team Members manages the tasks assigned to them as well as managing daily details. They are responsible for delivering potentially shippable product increments every sprint. They report to the Scrum Master regarding the progress of their task and coordinate with him/her for quality control.
Scrum Life Cycle or Scrum Workflow
1. High level requirements are identified and based on customer’s inputs which is called user stories as the customers are the end-users. These requirements also known as user stories are broken up into numerous tasks. These tasks are created and documented in a product backlog by Product Owner in collaboration with customer. All the requirements/stories and tasks are prioritized.
2. Once the tasks are prioritized, the period which is used to execute these tasks are split into sprints. Each sprint will contain set of tasks. There will be a sprint meeting to determine which tasks will belong in which sprint. This is recorded in a document called sprint backlog. The entire responsibility of sprint backlog lies with Scrum team.
3. Once the sprint tasks are finalized, the sprint moves into execution phase where the team members work on executing these tasks by developing and testing. During the execution of a sprint phase, scrum team daily meets to discuss the progress of the tasks/activites finalized for that sprint. A burndown chart is created which is used to show the amount of work remaining in a sprint and provide an effective way to determine at a glance whether a sprint is on schedule to have all planned work finished.These meetings are facilitated by scrum master. These meetings are called daily standup meetings or daily scrum meetings. These meetings are each of 15 minutes duration. In these meetings each team members will talk on three questions i.e. what they have achieved till yesterday, what they are going to do and are there any impediments on the way of smooth work progress.
4. Once a sprint is completed, the scrum team will do sprint review to monitor the progress of the tasks, and do a retrospective sprint. This helps to plan the next sprints better.
5. After the sprint retrospectives the phase 1 or iteration 1 of the development is carried out. It is evaluated with definition of DONE which is also called as acceptance criteria. Now the increment 1 of the development carried out will be demonstrated to the customer and feedback will be obtained from the customer. This same feedback will be used again for upcoming sprints
6. Now a sprint cycle is over and the steps 1 to 5 are repeated again for the next sprint cycle. Thus the sprint life cycle is a continual cycle.
As you can see in the above lifecycle, here are main events that happen in a scrum workflow lifecycle
- The Sprint
- Sprint Planning
- The Daily Stand-up
- The Sprint Review
- The Retrospective
These are the artifacts to support the scrum workflow
- Product Backlog
- Sprint Backlog
- Burndown Charts
Benefits of Scrum Methodology
The benefits of Scrum over other frameworks or methodologies is that, scrum enables
1. Higher productivity
2. Better-quality products
3. Reduced time to market
4. Improved stakeholder satisfaction
5. Better team dynamics
6. Happier employees