Scrum – Interesting word, right? Scrum is a strong and widely adopted framework within the Agile Project Management methodology, especially in software development. The Agile Project Management methodology uses short cycles in development to prioritize continuous progress in creating a product or service. Scrum can sometimes be confused as the Agile methodology, but actually, it’s one of several frameworks within Agile. There are other Agile frameworks including Extreme Programming (XP), Feature Driven Development, Lean, Crystal, Rapid Application Development (RAD), Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and more. To put things into perspective, think of Agile as a pizza, and Scrum, Extreme Programming, Lean, etc. as different flavors of pizza, like cheese, pepperoni, veggie, and so on.
Scrum is an Agile framework that utilizes iterative development of a product, emphasizing stakeholder feedback and collaboration. Scrum breaks down a project into short iterations of work called “sprints” and daily meetings called “scrums” to complete incremental pieces of a project until it’s complete. The three key roles within Scrum are the Scrum Master, the Product Owner, and Scrum Team Members. The Scrum Master is the project manager, the Product Owner is the Key Stakeholder responsible for the ultimate success of the project, and the Scrum Team Members are the individuals working on the project.
Why Should I Learn Scrum?
If you’re interested in getting into the project management realm of IT, things are looking good. According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), the average salary of project managers with three or more years of experience in the United States is $115,761. Those with less than three years have an average salary of $76,489. In the same study, 71 percent of respondents said that they have a project management career path within their current organization and 73 percent of respondents said that their project management career path is connectedto roles in upper management. Many companies are adopting the Agile methodology of project management with Scrum being the framework they focus on. Locally, major companies like GE, Fifth Third Bank, Great American Insurance, 84.51°, Paycor, Vantiv and more are utilizing Scrum for project management. By learning Scrum, you’ll be poised to lead innovative new projects while positioning yourself to be attractive to employers across a diverse range of industries.
What is a Scrum Master?
The Scrum Master is the leader of the Scrum project team. The Scrum Master manages the project timeline, ensuring that milestones are hit and that the work is completed on time and on budget. The Scrum Master creates and maintains a work environment that is creative, open to ideas, productive and collaborative. This leader maintains consistent communication with the Product Owner to keep them apprised of progress while also ensuring satisfaction and understanding of Scrum practices. The Scrum Master also provides guidance, mentoring and coaching to support facilitation among the team and remove obstacles that they may run into. Ultimately, the Scrum Master is a leader who weaves all the different facets and people of a project together to deliver a final product or service that meets its requirements, completing the project on time and within budget. It’s a no brainer why Scrum Masters are in high demand.
Why Should My Business Adopt Scrum?
1) Scrum is an accelerator for your business in developing new products or services. It empowers your team to accomplish projects faster, more efficiently and with fewer hiccups. Research argues that about 80 percent of all market leaders were first to market, and Scrum enables businesses to accomplish early and regular product releases.
2) Scrum encourages greater transparency through active involvement with the Product Owner and other key stakeholders throughout the project’s cycle and its deliverables. This greater involvement with the Product Owner and key stakeholders helps to ensure that expectations are appropriately managed and achieved.
3) It has risk management built in. With sprints, Scrum has your project management team complete the work in iterative chunks versus tackling the entire project all at once. Sprints enable the team to collect, present and act on feedback from fellow team members and company stakeholders, collected data and observed objective reality before moving on to the next thing. This gives the team more opportunity to discover issues or defects, and then resolve them. The increased transparency among the team, the Product Owner and key stakeholders reduce the risk of the project failing.
4) Creating and maintaining high quality is a key element in Scrum. Every sprint tests each step, enabling the project team to regularly inspect the product as the project progresses. Sprints allow the project team to discover any quality issues at an early stage while also giving them the opportunity to make necessary fixes and adjustments. With the increased transparency between the project team, the Product Owner and key stakeholders, Scrum results in greater business engagement and customer satisfaction.
5) Change is an accepted and expected reality of Scrum project management. In classic project management, an established comprehensive scope of a project with a rigid set of features, budget and timelines is agreed upon and inflexible to change. Change is often the reality in project management, and Scrum accepts that as the project evolves during product development. Under this framework, all active parties, especially the Product Owner and key stakeholders, must be involved and understand that changes may be necessary. Thankfully Scrum allows the Scrum Master to keep all involved parties informed of progress and proposed changes at the right time during the appropriate sprints.
Is Scrum Right for My Business?
Scrum is a very powerful project management framework, but that doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to work for everyone. The key stakeholders must be clear on goals and be engaged during the project life cycle. If they don’t have that bandwidth, then Scrum or Agile altogether may not be suitable. Businesses must understand and accept Scrum’s more flexible processes. More traditional businesses with a deeply rooted culture of rigidity may hinder the Scrum Team’s effectiveness. Scrum is an encouraging and exciting project management framework to adopt if your business wants to release new products or services with higher quality, quicker speed and with deliverables that may not fit within the original scope of the project. If your business is ready for an Agile transformation, you want your employees to be highly engaged in projects that will benefit their division or department – and ultimately the customers your company serves, then Scrum is an exciting project management framework that we encourage you to explore.
Are you interested in learning more about Scrum or how to train your team within the Agile methodology? Learn more about our certification courses and training programs at www.maxtrain.com