Scrum what on Earth is that?
Scrum provides a framework for producing results while operating under changing requirements and with less than perfect technology and tools.
Scrum can be tracked back to William Deming and wartime production during World War 2 in the U.S. on to Toyota’s production model and even more their production development model further to the “The new-new product development game” by Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka and forward to Ken Schwaber’s book “Agile Software Development with SCRUM” from 2001. Scrum shares many ideas and ways of thought with the Lean philosophy.
- An empiric method for controlling complex projects, it builds on well-known and documented principles from non-IT industries.
- In IT projects with non-ideal or changing specifications and unknown or bug-ridden technology, Scrum gives a much higher success-rate than the traditional defined “Waterfall” method.
- The term Scrum is from Rugby, where a scrum is a method to get the ball back in action. The daily Scrum meeting has that function in a Scrum project, to keep the project moving, never stop and to get the opportunity to remove any thing blocking progress.
- One of the agile methods that are rapidly gaining acceptance in the IT world. Together with its cousin – eXtreme Programming – it is changing how organizations wrestle results out of increasing chaos.
Scrum is based on:
- An acknowledgement of the changing nature of requirements and technology
- The need for empirical process control rather than defined process control
- Self-organizing teams
- Japanese style methods of constant improvement (“kaizen”)
- The power of incremental delivery of functionality (sashimi)
- Cross-functional teams producing complete product increments
Scrum is about:
- Working in iterations that we call Sprints to constantly know where we are, to use our resources optimally and continuously gain knowledge about the assignment and its solution.
- Constantly prioritizing for every Sprint we take the most important sub-tasks or issues and solve those.
- Creating environments and working conditions so that the team that has to solve the task can “move” quite exceptional.
- To break the task down into sub-elements – themes is you like that can be finished in one Sprint.
- To get to a state that is imbued with the principle of constant improvement.
1. Scrum in practice
- A prioritized list of the things we would like to have – we call this list the “Product Backlog” and the things are “Backlog Items” or “subjects”.
- One person who will take resposibility for the Backlog and the prioritization we call him “Product Owner” (PO).
- A Team (five to eight members) who can and will solve the assignment and who are villing to estimate the subjects and take responsibility for the Sprints.
- One person who will take responsibilityfor the process and remove any obstacles that the Team wil encounter we call him “Scrum Master” (SM)
2. The goal
- To achieve maximal value for the intervention provided.
- To achieve maximal visibility in the process and the progress.
- To deliver quality solutions to the assignments.
- To create an attitude in the team of constant improvement.
- To give the team zest in their jobs and satisfaction by solving something important and doing it properly.
- To give the team the opportunity to continually grow in strength and competence.
3. The Method
- The Products Owner prioritize the Backlog based on business value and estimates.
- He selects a number of items together with the team – the ones that the team believes they can carr ythrough in the first Sprint. This meeting is called the Sprint Planning 1.
- The team breaks the choosen bcklog items down into tasks and puts these in the Sprint Backlog this is called Sprint Planning 2. The Team is self organized and they start to work.
- Every day the Team has a 15 minute Scrum meeting to synchronize where they are and to clarify if they have any obsticales that prevents them from working optimally.
- By the end of a Sprint another meeting is held – the Sprint Review where all stakeholders are invited – the Product Owner will accept the delivered (or he will not accept).
- Subsequently the team has a Retrospective meeting to assess how the Sprint went.
- The Scrum Master is the one making sure all of this happens – every day.