Scrum Methodology Overview: Is It Right for Your Team? (2023)

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You've probably heard of all kinds of project management methodologies: Scrum,Waterfall,Kanban,Agile—but which of these methodologies is right for your team?

This post will walk you through the basics of the Scrum project management methodology to see if it's a good fit for your team, and provide some resources to help you get started.

What is the Scrum methodology?

The Scrum project management methodology is a framework used to organize and manage the moving parts of a project. Originally designed for use in software development, Scrum is now used by organizations and project managers across all disciplines. The methodology works well for smaller teams dealing with projects with variable deliverables, unknown solutions, and frequent interaction with customers or end users.

Scrum favors incremental and iterative phases of production to deliver working products faster and more often. In the words ofAntonio Nieto-Rodriguez, the world champion in project management:

“Scrum is the perfect way to remove the rigid controls of traditional project management and unleash a team's creativity to meet changing customer needs.”

In addition to empowering teams to think creatively during their iteration, Scrum drives feature prioritization by organizing features and goals into deliverables that the team works on in two-week sprints. That way, the most important work gets done first.

The term Scrum is borrowed from rugby, where a Scrum is the group that the team forms on the field during the game to call plays and make strategic decisions. Scrum can be used by anyone who needs to produce an end product such as a web page, a software program, or even a construction project.

Let's take a closer look at the Scrum process, including the various Scrum functions, to see if this project management methodology is right for you.

Benefits of Scrum

Implementing a new project management method for your team will come with challenges, but Agile Scrum offers many unique benefits that you can articulate to your team and other stakeholders as you make the switch.

(Video) Introduction to Scrum - 7 Minutes

  • Adaptability: Agile Scrum projects involve frequent checks and updates, so if a project needs to change, it won't be weeks before someone notices. You'll be able to identify a problem or change needed and move quickly without wasting weeks of work. Also, your project undergoes continual improvements throughout its life, rather than just a few periods of big changes.
  • Visibility: Stakeholders have the option to see the progress of a project throughout its lifespan, not just at certain intervals at the beginning, middle and end. They feel more involved, as does the entire team, giving everyone the opportunity to collaborate and see the project progress from start to finish.
  • Efficiency: Any Agile process is aimed at doing more work, more efficiently, and if you and your team do Agile Scrum well, you will see these results.

Scrum Roles

To start using the Scrum methodology, there are some key roles that need to be assigned: the Product Owner, the Scrum Master and the Development Team.

product owner

Losproduct ownerYou are a customer surrogate, and you must keep your stakeholders' best interest in mind when working in sprints and prioritizing the backlog.

The Product Owner's role is to guide the team and encourage open communication across all roles. A successful Product Owner is organized and available to answer questions and provide clarity throughout the project lifecycle.

Scrum Master

LosScrum Masterremove obstacles and facilitate handoffs when necessary to keep the sprint running smoothly.

A key difference between a Scrum Master and a traditional project manager is that a Scrum Master does not give step-by-step instructions to the team. At the start of a project, the Scrum Master and Product Owner meet to prioritize features and organize the sprint.

Development team

The rest of the participants in a Scrum are development team members charged with executing product deliverables. Anyone involved in creating the product is on the development team, including programmers, designers, writers, and platform testers (also known as QA specialists).

In Scrum, the development team is self-directed, with each member working together to complete each sprint. The development team must decide among themselves the best way to achieve the deliverables.

Once roles are identified and defined, the Product Owner and Scrum Master will organize a series of planning meetings to identify the project's features.

Scrum Methodology Overview: Is It Right for Your Team? (1)

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3 steps of the Scrum process

During each two-week sprint, the Scrum process includes these three activities so that the team has checkpoints to communicate with each other.

Scrum Methodology Overview: Is It Right for Your Team? (2)

1. Sprint Planning

Before any work can begin, the Scrum Team must come together to prioritize product features and create a backlog of product features. The product backlog is a list of tasks that the team agrees to complete in an assigned sprint. Sprint planning should aim to answer two questions:

  • What features can we deliver in this sprint?
  • How will we work to achieve these deliveries?

You can plan the sprint using Scrum software or the old paper-and-pencil approach, but you may want your plan to exist as a living document that is updated as needed. With Lucidchart, you can easily map and visualize the tasks you plan to complete, and your entire team can edit and collaborate in real time as you create that plan.

Scrum Methodology Overview: Is It Right for Your Team? (3)

2. Daily Scrum meeting

A daily Scrum meeting is held to discuss the previous day's work, discuss issues, and define what work will be completed that day. Each team member updates the group on what they are working on and raises any questions or concerns.

Ideally, a daily Scrum meeting should not exceed 15 minutes.

3. Sprint Review e Sprint Retrospective

A sprint typically lasts about two weeks, at the end of which the team meets to review progress and processes. To optimize the next sprint, team members gather feedback on features and their functionality.

During a sprint review, the Scrum Master, Product Owner, Development Team, and stakeholders review what they accomplished during the sprint against what they intended to accomplish. This meeting may include a product demonstration for the customer or interested parties. The necessary changes are implemented.

during asprint retrospective meeting, the Scrum Team closely analyzes the sprint itself (what went well and what can be improved in the process) so that the team becomes more efficient and agile over time.

(Video) Scrum Methodology | Agile Scrum Framework | Scrum Master Tutorial | Edureka

Communication must be central in the planning and review processes, as the Scrum method depends on the transparency of the entire team to function correctly. Should roadblocks arise, team members must be ready to adjust their course and prioritize objectives as needed. As each product iteration is completed and feedback is collected, the project roadmap is subject to change.

Key Scrum Tools to Help You Get Through the Next Sprint

Now that you have the participants and process in place, let's look at the important scrum elements that contribute to this iterative process.

Product backlog

Throughout the life of a project, the Product Owner will manage the Product Backlog. TheProduct backlogIt's where all the features of a product are listed and prioritized. The Product Owner is solely responsible for any changes to organization and prioritization.

sprint backlog

Within a specific sprint, the sprint backlog lists all the tasks that need to be completed. Tasks are pulled from the product backlog, prioritized within the sprint, and assigned to the development team to complete during the sprint. It's up to the development team to work together to decide the best way to complete the tasks at hand.

scrum board

ONEscrum boardit is used throughout the sprint to track the progress of tasks. It is usually divided into these columns:

  • What to do:Product features planned for the sprint but not yet started
  • In progress:Tasks that team members are currently working on
  • Done:Tasks that have been completed

You might want to include an additional column to show when a feature is in testing, or vertical bands to further break down tasks by team member or user story. Some teams might even embed the product backlog in this document and just pull off that list each week.

With this visual, the entire team can see how the sprint is going and potentially reallocate resources or change course if tasks don't start on time.

evolution charts

Burndown charts are a visual representation of the work left in a sprint and should provide team members with a quick update on the sprint's progress.

A backlog chart can be created with a few sticky notes on a blank wall, an Excel document, a Google Sheet, or hosted in Scrum project management software.

Retrospective Sprint Activities

As mentioned above, at the end of a two-week sprint, Scrum teams meet to discuss what went well during the sprint and what can be improved next time. Scrum teams can use many different formats or activities during thissprint retrospective meeting, as:

  • Happy, Sad, Crazy:Team members identify their feelings to work toward an enjoyable experience each sprint.
  • Start, stop, continue:Improve the sprint process by asking team members what to start doing, stop doing, and keep doing.
  • 4 L:This method details what each team member liked, learned, missed, and wanted during the sprint.

Get started with one of the templates below - simply share the document with your team members and they can provide real-time sprint feedback.

(Video) What is Scrum? Agile Scrum Methodology Explained - Roles, Artifacts & Events | Invensis Learning

Above all, Scrum is about a handful of people working together efficiently to deliver iterative work. To use the Scrum methodology most effectively, team members must be available for communication and collaboration throughout the sprint. Team members must also be willing to step into different roles as needed to deliver a working product and meet the sprint goals.

As a result, people working remotely may find it difficult to fully participate in the process. But by using the above tools in a cloud-based visual workspace like Lucidchart, you can keep teams on the same page no matter where they work.

As teams work through these exercises, it's important to remember that Scrum is just one approach to project management methodology. Antonio says it is a frequent question:

“I am often asked if I prefer scrum or traditional project management, and the answer is that it depends. As with Leadership, it's about knowing what to apply and when, depending on the challenge at hand.”

So is Scrum the best methodology for you? To explore other project management methodologies, seeagile project managementowaterfall methodologyto find the best option for your projects and your team.

Scrum Methodology Overview: Is It Right for Your Team? (9)

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(Video) 5 Ways to Improve Your Scrum Team's Process

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How would you describe your Scrum team? › defines it as 'a framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value. ' This is what best describes a scrum team.

Who ultimately decide when the team has enough work for the sprint? ›

The product owner, ScrumMaster and team vote to determine when the sprint backlog is full.

Why should your company use the Scrum methodology? ›

Helps save time and money

With a traditional method and a responsible team, you can achieve wonders through SCRUM. The ability to manage tasks in an organized way and have the planning necessary to reach them makes it a crucial tool to save time and money.

Can you explain the Agile methodology in interview? ›

The Agile methodology doesn't tell you to stick to a set of prescribed steps or processes. It emphasizes adapting to the needs of your team, customer, and the changes in your environment and project requirements. The goal of Agile is to produce working results in a way that's repeatable and continuous.

How would you describe your team answer? ›

A good strategy in answering questions about teamwork is to use the STAR interview response technique where you describe a work situation involving teamwork, explain the team's task and mission, recount the actions you took, and explain the result of these actions.

What makes a successful scrum team? ›

A successful Scrum Team stands atop the pillars. The three pillars of Scrum are transparency, inspection and adaptation. Together these make it easier for the right decisions to be made at the right time.

Can you define what is scrum with your own words? ›

Scrum is a framework for project management that emphasizes teamwork, accountability and iterative progress toward a well-defined goal. The framework begins with a simple premise: Start with what can be seen or known. After that, track the progress and tweak, as necessary.

How does your team determine how much work they can complete each sprint? ›

You can calculate sprint velocity with a simple math equation: divide the number of backlog items (or story points, if that's what your team uses) by the total length of your sprint in days. Figuring out how much your team can complete in an average sprint is relatively simple.

Who decides how much will be done in a sprint? ›

In Sprint planning, the work to be performed in the Sprint is planned collaboratively by the Scrum Team. The Daily Scrum Meeting is a 15-minute time-boxed event for the Scrum Team to synchronize the activities and create a plan for that day.

Who decides what the team will work on in Scrum? ›

The members of each Scrum team decide how the group will work together. Each member is equally important (no hierarchy), but responsibilities are clearly defined.

What Scrum practices can help improve team performance? ›

Start on the Free plan!
  • Work on Internal Communication Skills. A Scrum team cannot function without communication. ...
  • Spend More Time on Retrospective. If you aren't totally familiar with Scrum daily meeting practices, then you probably have not heard of the Retrospective. ...
  • Focus on Individuality. ...
  • Push for Team Decisions.
May 28, 2019

When should you use Scrum methodology? ›

The term Scrum is borrowed from rugby, where a Scrum is the huddle the team forms on the field during the game to call plays and make strategic decisions. Scrum can be used by anyone who needs to produce an end product, such as a webpage, a software program, a marketing campaign, or even a construction project.

What are the three main challenges the Scrum team is facing today? ›

Common challenges of the Scrum framework

A drift back to waterfalling tasks. Lack of experience in team. Lack of management commitment to the process.

How do you explain Agile methodology? ›

Agile is an approach to software development that seeks the continuous delivery of working software created in rapid iterations. However, the phrase "agile methodology" is misleading because it implies that agile is a singular approach to software development.

What is Agile methodology real life example? ›

Examples of Agile Methodology. The most popular and common examples are Scrum, eXtreme Programming (XP), Feature Driven Development (FDD), Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM), Adaptive Software Development (ASD), Crystal, and Lean Software Development (LSD). Teams generally pick one or two methods.

What are agile methodologies explain in briefly? ›

Agile is an iterative approach to project management and software development that helps teams deliver value to their customers faster and with fewer headaches. Instead of betting everything on a "big bang" launch, an agile team delivers work in small, but consumable, increments.

How would you describe your team members? ›

Encouraging: I appreciate how encouraging you are with your team. Fair: You're always fair with how you treat others. Upbeat: Your upbeat, enthusiastic attitude has a big impact on the entire office. Open-minded: You're always open-minded and willing to consider all possible options.

What are three words your team would use to describe you? ›

Example answers
  • “My coworkers would describe me as an organized, thoughtful person who works well under pressure. ...
  • “My team knows me best for being a team-oriented leader. ...
  • “My colleagues have told me that they value my reliability, punctuality and analytical mindset.
Apr 17, 2020

How do you describe you work well in a team? ›

The qualities that make a good team player include: Commitment to ensuring the team succeeds with all tasks, duties and projects. Willingness to help a team member in need. Commitment to making sure team members are informed on any developments related to projects or the company's overall business.

What is the most 3 important things for a team to succeed? ›

Having mutual respect, common and aligned goals, open communication, and patience can all help make for a successful team.

What is the most important role in a Scrum team? ›

One of the most important things for the success of scrum is the role of the Product Owner, who serves as an interface between the team and other involved parties (stakeholders).

What are the three factors that are needed for a successful team? ›

The key elements to successful teamwork are trust, communication and effective leadership; a focus on common goals with a collective responsibility for success (or failure). However, without trust and communication the team will have difficulty functioning effectively.

What is Scrum methodology in simple terms? ›

Scrum is an agile development methodology used in the development of Software based on an iterative and incremental processes. Scrum is adaptable, fast, flexible and effective agile framework that is designed to deliver value to the customer throughout the development of the project.

What is Scrum methodology with example? ›

Here's an example of how Scrum works: Bill meets with a customer to discuss her company's needs. Those needs are the product backlog. Bill chooses the most important tasks to work on in the next two weeks. His team meets in a daily scrum to target work for the day ahead and address roadblocks.

What is a Scrum methodology and process explain? ›

In short, scrum is a framework for effective collaborations among teams working on complex products. Scrum is a type of agile technology that consists of meetings, roles, and tools to help teams working on complex projects collaborate and better structure and manage their workload.

What are the 5 principles of Scrum? ›

The Five Scrum Values

A team's success with scrum depends on five values: commitment, courage, focus, openness, and respect.

What is Scrum and why is it important? ›

Scrum helps people and teams deliver value incrementally in a collaborative way. As an agile framework, Scrum provides just enough structure for people and teams to integrate into how they work, while adding the right practices to optimize for their specific needs.

Why is Scrum easy understanding? ›

Easy to Understand: With just three roles, three artifacts, four ceremonies and 12 Agile values, Scrum is pretty easy to understand. Scrum is a collection of practices and concepts that teams use to build processes around. The Scrum Guide which is the Scrum bible is also easy to read and understand.

What is Scrum and its importance? ›

Scrum is the type of Agile framework. It is a framework within which people can address complex adaptive problem while productivity and creativity of delivering product is at highest possible values. Scrum uses Iterative process. Silent features of Scrum are: Scrum is light-weighted framework.


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