Normally, companies have doubts such as “How to improve the company’s productivity?” or “My projects take too long, what can I do to improve the company’s time-to-market? Well, Scrum can help you to solve these doubts. This management process has been booming for years because it can improve the organization of your company’s work in an impressive way. But what exactly is Scrum based on? Here we will explain the most important aspects of this topic.
What is Scrum?
Scrum is a framework based on agile methodology. The Agile Methodology is based on the optimization of time and work, generating project deliveries in a short time, all this with a multidisciplinary team where everyone helps each other and everyone is kept informed. Well, Scrum is an implementation of these methodologies, it is a framework that will help you improve your productivity, your project delivery and completion times, and the internal organization of the company.
Scrum is often mistaken as a “methodology”, however, Scrum Professional Trainer, Jeronimo Palacios, states that Scrum is an “implementation of the Agile Manifesto, not part of the Agile Manifesto”.
The name Scrum comes from Rugby, in this sport, this term is a reference to when teams intertwine and fight to be able to get possession of the ball. Now, when we talk about Scrum applied to the business world, this term emerged in Japan, where in 1986, from a study conducted by Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi, give to understand the meaning of this term as a different approach to work to increase productivity in the development of economic projects. And by 1995, a set of rules had already been created and implemented for the development of different types of software, these rules, or framework, were called “Scrum”.
Does Scrum work for innovative companies?
Although this framework was born to optimize the software development process, Scrum can be applied to almost any business project that normally experiences constant changes in its products or services.
For this reason, Scrum can be indispensable in the development process for those innovative companies, since they will undoubtedly have to experience abrupt changes in order to produce such goods and services in an optimal way, where they will have to go through a learning process that, within the framework of Scrum, This learning process is divided by phases, and by learning by phases and not in a general way, the attention is more focused, so there is no saturation of content that can make the learning process more dispersed and thus, get a more focused knowledge in each specific area of your project.
But, “By having a lot of changes and being very flexible to them, will my project be affected?”. The answer is no, the idea of Scrum is to adapt to constant changes but without lowering productivity, or the quality of the final product.
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Who are the members of the Scrum Team?
For the Scrum framework to work optimally and effectively, the three main roles, which are the Product Owner, the Scrum Master and the Development Team, must be well implemented. Each of these roles is essential in Scrum, so we will explain below what each role consists of and what their functions are.
The Product Owner is the intermediary that exists between the clients and those involved with the project, with the development team and the Scrum Master. The Product Owner is in charge of inserting everything that needs to be created to produce the final product in a Product Backlog, through this Product Backlog the different customer needs will be prioritized and each activity will be developed and delivered individually.
These customers do not have to be external, when we refer to customers, we can also talk about internal customers who know what needs to be done to have a quality product, therefore, in this case, they will be the ones who make the decisions about the product.
A Product Owner is not a boss, its function is to decide which activities are going to be performed, which ones are prioritized, which ones are discarded, etc.
On the other hand, we have the Scrum Master, who, as his name suggests, is an expert in Scrum. Although the Scrum Master is not a boss, it can be said that he is a moderator, he is in charge of making sure that all activities are being carried out correctly under the Scrum framework.
He is also in charge of helping the development team so that they can fulfill their guidelines adapted to the Scrum framework.
Another function of the Scrum Master is to solve any impediments that the team of developers may have, trying to solve any problems that may arise.
The Development Team, also known as the development team, is the team in charge of creating the product, this team is made up of several professionals in the area they are working in, where they are self-sufficient and fulfill the sprints in the time required.
Within the Development Team, each professional will fulfill a role, where they must fulfill their tasks, however, they can also help each other so that the fulfillment of the “sprints” is successful.
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Scrum is a process where project phases are delivered quickly, so that the customer can see how the project evolves over time. For this, there are the “Sprints”, these “sprints” are these deliveries that are made, are the objectives that are met in a certain amount of time, which generally vary between one week and four, depending on how much work takes the objective of the sprint.
Product Backlog Definition
The first step is based on the definition of the document that will tell all the activities and mini projects that will have to be carried out in order to reach the final product. The Product Backlog is defined by the Product Owner, where he collects all the customer’s needs, and then translates them into this Product Backlog.
This Backlog is divided into “user stories”, these are those questions that a user would ask when being inside our work interface. For example, let’s say that the final project is the creation of a software that sells Legal and Accounting services, then, a user story could be that the user, when entering the company’s software, wants to see an interface where the different reviews of the services provided by the company are specified. This need, called user story, will have to be broken down in order to know which activities must be performed to satisfy this need. All this will be defined in the Product Backlog
Sprint Planning Meeting
Once the customer’s needs have been defined, the Product Owner should organize a meeting where the Product Backlog will be shared. This meeting will define what are the objectives of the sprint, how long it should be delivered, and what requirements it should meet.
The sprint is the process of developing the objective that was raised in the Sprint Planning Meeting, as mentioned above, sprints usually last between one to four weeks. In this period of time, the team must meet the objectives set, without deviating from the main purpose, and the Product Owner and Scrum Master must ensure that the objectives are met within the established timeframe.
During the Sprint period, there will be daily meetings with the entire Scrum Team, where each one must specify what he/she did the previous day, what he/she will do that day and, if there are any, the inconveniences he/she has experienced while doing his/her work. These sessions are approximately 15 minutes, the idea is not to raise everything again, but to make a quick and simple meeting so that everyone is updated and know what activities are being performed by each team member.
At the end of the sprint, the Scrum Team should perform a review of the activities that were performed, to verify whether it actually meets all the requirements that the customer wants, here you should raise possible improvements to the product, what can be removed, if something is left over, if something is missing, etc..
After going through all these processes, the Product Owner must deliver the project to the client, so that they can see for themselves the work that was done and if they wish to provide any comments on it.
Once all the sprint processes are finished, a meeting should be held to discuss possible improvements to the project so that they can be applied to the next sprint. Therefore, after this step, another sprint should begin immediately with the objectives that are raised in the Sprint Planning Meeting and, in this way, it will return to the beginning of the cycle with different objectives until the final product is reached.
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Scrum is a success in Spain
A study in 2018 called Primer BACómetro sobre adopción Agile en España, conducted an interview with 40 major companies in Spain, where the result was that approximately 70% of these companies employed Agile methodologies, while 20% had already adopted these methodologies as fixed.
Outside Spain, the largest companies in the world also use the Scrum framework, here are some examples:
Bank of America
There is no doubt that the Scrum framework could greatly benefit your company, if it is applied in an optimal way. That is why we recommend that you consider all the pros and cons that this could mean for your company. If you liked this article, do not hesitate to visit our blog where you can find a wide variety of topics that will be useful for your company.