Principles of Scrum

When you first hear terms like the sprint, the Scrum Master, and the product backlog, you might be perplexed if you're considering a career in this area. These terms simply refer to various components of the Scrum methodology and are not intended to be confusing. Think of this article as a helpful manual for comprehending those concepts and implementing Scrum at work.

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The agile approach to project management, which entails "breaking down large projects into the more manageable tasks, which are finished in short iterations all through the project life cycle," is enhanced by the Scrum methodology. With the Scrum framework, teams can easily finish a task within the allotted time before moving on to the following project phase. The word "scrum" is used in the modern workplace because of the collaborative spirit and teamwork it entails among rugby players.

Principles of Scrum - Table of Contents

What is Scrum?

Scrum is a framework for team collaboration. Scrum principles encourage teams to learn from experiences, self-organize whilst also tackling a problem, and portray on their wins and losses to continue improving, much like a rugby team practicing for the big game (hence the name). The scrum I'm referring to can be used for all types of teamwork, even though software development teams use it most frequently. This is just one of the many benefits of scrum. Scrum is a set of meetings, tools, and roles that help teams organize and manage their work. It is usually considered as an agile scrum principles and project administration framework.

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6 Principles of Scrum

Six fundamental principles, which are rules that must be followed in every project, form the basis of the Scrum framework. The operative word here is "must," as Scrum practitioners are adamant that each principle be upheld and followed, lest the team lose focus or the project encounter any setbacks. The six guidelines are:

1. Control Over the Process of Empirical Research

Instead of relying on theory, Scrum's empirical process is founded on the observation of verifiable data and experimentation. Transparency, inspection, and adaptation are the three central principles of empirical process control.

2. Self-Organization

Self-organization is crucial because the Scrum process depends on numerous people. The self-organization principle encourages greater buy-in from all parties while making it simpler to evaluate individual contributions. Everyone involved is given the freedom to work independently.

3. Collaboration

The numerous roles involved in Scrum are evidence that it is a collaborative process. The three aspects of collaboration that this principle emphasizes are awareness, articulation, and appropriation.

4. Value-Based Priority

Using this principle, tasks are arranged and given a priority according to their importance and the manner in which they must be finished.

5. Time Boxing

Scrum mandates that tasks be completed in "sprints," each of which has a set amount of time. Other elements, like "sprint planning" and daily meetings, also have designated start and end times. This time-boxing ensures that everyone involved is aware of how much duration is allotted to every step in order to prevent wasted time and delays.

6. Iterative Design

This last principle refers to the knowledge that a project may have to be adjusted more than once as it is being developed. The team can make adjustments and handle change more easily when using iterative development.

[ Check out Scrum Workflow ]

Importance of Teamwork

Any project must rely on the donations of the Scrum team to be successfully completed. The team's members don't all have to be from the same department; teams can have people from purchasing to marketing; however, each one of them must contribute to the process in some way. Every member of the Scrum team is treated equally in order to complete each task; the team is not hierarchically structured. Scrum teams should be:

  • It is cross-functional: Each team member possesses the abilities necessary to add value. They are self-organized and given the freedom to pursue their own objectives while working independently to achieve the shared objective.
  • Way smaller: Teams should always consist of no more than ten members in order to avoid communication problems and decreased productivity. 
  • It is accountable: The entire Scrum team is accountable for producing a valuable, useful increment every sprint. Within each team, there are three distinct roles with distinct responsibilities: the product owner, the scrum master, and the developers.

What is a Product Owner?

As the project's primary stakeholder, the product owner will, in the end, have the final say regarding the project's success. A product manager will come up with a concept or objective and assign the team the responsibility of carrying it out. The product owner is also in charge of managing the product backlog, which entails:

  • Creating and outlining the product's objective.
  • Creating and expressing product backlog items clearly.
  • Ordering backlog items for products.
  • Making sure the product backlog is clear, readable, and understandable.

The function of product owners will change along with project management. You can keep up by earning a professional Scrum Product Owner certification; you can easily find a number of them online.

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What is a Scrum Master?

Although the product owner is frequently the initiator, the majority of the team looks to the Scrum Master for guidance. The responsibility of the Scrum Master is to improve communication between both the product owner and the development team, keep the team on schedule and focused, and remove roadblocks to progress. A Scrum Master must promote an atmosphere in which:

  • A product owner adds the work needed to solve a challenging issue to the product backlog.
  • During the third sprint, the Scrum team converts a portion of the work into an increment of value.
  • The Scrum team reviews the outcomes with its stakeholders and makes adjustments for the following sprint.

The primary goal of the Scrum Master is to ensure that agile principles, procedures, and practices are followed. According to Scrum.org, the Scrum Master also serves the organization and the product owner in addition to the development team by:

  • Assisting with methods for managing the product backlog and defining product goals effectively.
  • Leading, educating, and coaching the company's adoption of Scrum.
  • Organizing and advising internal Scrum implementations.
  • Aiding stakeholders and employees to comprehend and implement.

[ Related Article: Scrum Master Roles and Responsibilities ]

What are Developers?

The product owner and scrum master transform to the development team to carry out the sprint. The teams, which can be big or small, will be made up of a number of people who are in charge of carrying out the product owner's vision under the guidance of the scrum master. The development team would be made up of specialists, each of whom will be given a specific task to complete. Consider the scenario where you must create an advertorial for your company. Your development group may consist of the following people:

  • To produce content as a copywriter.
  • Image creation by a graphic artist.
  • The advertorial's overall design will be created and approved by the creative director.

The Scrum Master will ensure that everyone stays on task, that deadlines are met, and that the finished project is delivered to the product owner for approval throughout the entire creative process.

Three Scrum Artifacts

Scrum does not use the term "artifacts" in the conventional sense. The product backlog, the sprint backlog, and the product increment are examples of artifacts that keep the project on track.

1. Product backlog: The product owner organizes and prioritizes the requirements in the product backlog, which serves as a to-do list for those involved. The product goal is identified as the long-term objective. As new information, accomplishments, and obstacles are overcome throughout the project lifecycle, the product backlog is continuously updated. Many of these updates will emerge from the innovation team and stakeholders, so it's important to let the team know when the product backlog needs to change in order to keep everyone in the loop.

2. Sprint backlog: Developers choose items from the product backlog that represent the most crucial tasks to be finished during the upcoming sprint, and these items become the basis for the sprint backlog. Since priorities frequently shift throughout the process and the product backlog is updated, this is done sprint by sprint. Everyone will be able to see which tasks are being worked on and by whom with the help of a successful sprint backlog, which will also serve to reinforce the sprint's common objective.

3. Increment: An increment is described as a tangible step toward the product goal. Each increment is thoroughly tested and added to all earlier increments, ensuring that they all function together. Each of the three artifacts includes a commitment that is used to gauge success, they are: 

  • Product Backlog <---> Product Goal.
  • Sprint Backlog <---> Sprint Goal.
  • Increment <---> Definition of Done.

What is Sprint Cycle?

Simply put, a sprint is the allotted amount of time for a team to finish a particular task. One sprint refers to the conclusion of a particular stage of the project lifecycle rather than the completion of an entire project. An effective sprint entails:

  • No adjustments are made that could jeopardize the sprint objective.
  • The standard of quality does not decline.
  • As necessary, the product backlog is adjusted.
  • As more information becomes available, the project's scope may need to be revised.

What is Sprint Planning?

Sprint planning, as the name implies, is a meeting where the team decides how it will approach the following sprint. Sprint planning changes as each project component is completed, so the schedule and due dates may also change. The purpose of sprint planning is to make sure that everyone is motivated and aware of what will be expected of them during the upcoming sprint.

A productive sprint will cover the following three areas:

  1. What makes this sprint worthwhile?
  2. What is possible during this sprint?
  3. How will the selected task be completed?

What is Daily Scrum?

Throughout the sprint, daily Scrum meetings act as temperature checks. Each team member has the opportunity to give an update on their work and identify what they need going forward. The Daily Scrum is conducted every day during the sprint at the same time and location for 15 minutes, under the direction of the Scrum Master. The 15-minute time limit enables everyone to concentrate solely on the sprint without being sidetracked by other concerns.

Learn Top Scrum Interview Questions and Answers that help you grab high-paying jobs

What is Sprint Retrospective?

The Sprint Retrospective is about the team, whereas the Sprint Review is about the product. The retrospective is held prior to the subsequent sprint planning meeting and serves the following purposes:

  • Talk about the results of the most recent sprint and explain how your team members' contributions made it successful or unsuccessful.
  • Identify the changes that could be made to boost productivity, get rid of duplications, make improvements, and foster team harmony.
  • Apply the knowledge gained from the prior sprint to the team's future work processes.

Scrum provides a framework for preserving communication, consistency, and quality whilst also delivering a product on time in a fast-paced workplace where multiple teams are frequently juggling multiple projects.

Conclusion

To succeed, whether you are starting your college career or going back to school to update your skill set, you must have a comprehensive understanding of the discipline of project management, which Scrum is only one part of. Therefore, it is quite essential to understand the importance of CSM as well.

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Last updated: 04 Apr 2023
About Author

Viswanath is a passionate content writer of Mindmajix. He has expertise in Trending Domains like Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain, etc. His articles help the learners to get insights about the Domain. You can reach him on Linkedin

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