What is Agile Scrum Project Management? (Definition, Benefits, Roles)

In this guide, I explain exactly what Scrum project management is, who should use it, and everything you need to know about it.
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If the use of a product management software has become the norm for most businesses, many employees are not entirely happy with the way things are managed.

In a recent survey, 52% of respondents said they were quite unhappy with the current project management arrangements in their company.

Scrum is an agile project management methodology that can be used for any type of software development, web or mobile.

Scrum, which comes from rugby and means “melee” in its literal translation (hence the name), promotes experiential learning by encouraging organizations to put into practice everything they have learned.

It is one of frameworks most used by developers today. By using this project management methodology, it is possible to plan work, monitor progress, and complete projects successfully.

In this article, I'll give you an overview of Scrum and answer the most crucial questions about this popular project management methodology.

Read on to find out more.

What is Scrum Project Management?

Scrum is an iterative framework that works in increments and allows you to manage your projects in short cycles called sprints.

A Scrum team works together to get the work done on a project. Often, a cross-functional team combines resources to achieve this.

What is Scrum Project Management?
Photo credit : http://pmi.org

The main idea of Scrum is to allow a team to create software through small, time-limited iterations called sprints that last 2 to 4 weeks.

During each sprint, the team plans and estimates all of its tasks based on a prioritized backlog.

That way, you'll always know the next steps and the amount of work that awaits you on future iterations.

Thanks to a workflow management software, the Scrum process becomes iterative and allows for change and flexibility throughout the project lifecycle so that teams can respond to new challenges and opportunities. It is based on transparency, inspection, and adaptation, so that progress can be measured and issues resolved quickly.

There are four phases in a Scrum project:

  1. Sprint planning - Planning the goal for your next sprint.
  2. Daily meetings - Fast update of each team member's progress and difficulties.
  3. Sprint Review Meeting - Presentation of the results of the last sprint.
  4. Sprint retrospective meeting - Analysis of what worked and what did not work during the previous sprints and how to make improvements in order to improve continuously.
 four phases in a Scrum project
Photo credit : http://nutcache.com

A successful Scrum methodology involves a self-organizing team that holds itself accountable for completing tasks. Scrum ensures project success by motivating the team to deliver results at regular intervals, allowing them to respond quickly to new opportunities, needs, and changing requirements.

Why use Scrum Project Management?

Using the Scrum methodology with a agile project management tool can be applied to any type of business, to any size of project team, and to any type of product/project. Scrum isn't just used by software teams; it's also used in construction, development, manufacturing, and beyond.

Why use Scrum project management?
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Here are a few reasons why you should use Scrum:

1) Projects end more quickly

Your team will generally complete projects more quickly and reduce expenses through regular deliveries.

2) Scrum teams deliver better quality results

Scrum's transparency and flexibility mean more listening and collaboration between your team members, allowing them to build better products together.

3) Improving customer satisfaction

Customers will know what is going on at each stage of the process and feel that their needs are being addressed.

4) Improving team morale

Because Scrum encourages self-organization, individual autonomy, and transparency, your teams will feel more motivated. Productivity is higher when people are happy.

5) Easy to learn

Scrum is known to be simple enough that you can understand it in minutes, but powerful enough to put it into practice right away. There are lots of resources available online to help you get started with Scrum.

6) Increase in project visibility

The concept of transparency at each stage of the Scrum process gives managers better insight into the workload of each team member, making future planning much easier.

7) Reduced risk of failure

The risk is reduced because the Scrum methodology does not require prior design, instead focusing on building a minimal viable product that can be released quickly to obtain customer feedback.

8) Simplified resource management

Because Scrum is flexible, you have fewer replanning and meetings to organize for each stage of the project. Additionally, Scrum teams use a variety of some of best project management tools instead of expensive software suites. That means more money in the bank at the end of the day.

9) Reduced time to market

You will have a shorter time between publication cycles, giving you more chances to innovate and stand out from your competitors in an increasingly competitive digital world.

10) A better return on investment (ROI)

Your team will finish projects faster with better quality results using Scrum, which means you get more results for less money.

How do you implement a successful Scrum team methodology in your organization?

Scrum works best when your organization is ready to embrace change. So it's best not to try to impose Scrum on your team. Here are some guidelines for a successful Scrum implementation.

1) Train your managers

Managers play a key role in the successful implementation of Scrum by giving their teams the space they need to self-organize. They should be prepared with the tools needed to support their team as well as an understanding of the Scrum methodology.

2) Ensure cultural preparation

All project participants should understand the objective from day one because without the buy-in of everyone in your organization, the final product will not be successful.

3) Identify a single product owner

There should be a product owner for the project who is responsible for prioritizing work and ensuring that everyone understands what the customer needs.

4) Identify key team members (Scrum master, developer, tester)

Your Scrum team should be made up of developers, testers, and a Scrum Master; these people will be responsible for leading meetings, writing code, and testing your product.

Make sure you identify the most appropriate person to take on each role early on - that way, you'll have a successful Scrum project more quickly.

scrum master vs project manager

5) Start with short sprints

Sprints are time-limited periods of work during which your team focuses on achieving specific goals within your project framework. At first, it's best to start with one-week sprints that allow you to break the work down into smaller pieces.

6) Hold daily Scrum meetings

Be sure to organize the daily melee - these are short meetings that take place every day so everyone knows what they are working on and where their project is at.

7) Introduce new members to your team gradually

If you introduce too many people at once, there will be confusion about who does what. So be sure to gradually add key players, such as QA analysts or UI designers, as you evolve.

FAQs

What does Scrum mean?

Scrum is a flexible, iterative, and highly productive Agile framework that allows you to build complex products like software. It is a methodology that gives your team the freedom and responsibility to carry out projects in a self-organized manner.

Instead of committing to fixed phases and deadlines, Scrum starts with monthly sprints where teams can deliver functional products on a regular basis. It is also particularly effective when other project management methods seem to be failing.

What does Scrum stand for?

This means they can adapt more easily to changing market conditions by adding or removing features without needing approval from their managers.

In addition, since they know exactly what the team needs and what needs to be done by the end of the sprint, developers can organize themselves around the project.

What is the difference between Scrum and Agile?

Agile is a wide range of methods that all revolve around iterative development. It allows teams to constantly adapt their processes as they progress through a project.

It has a strong focus on communication between team members, who organize themselves into self-managing, self-organizing units, called functional squads or teams, that can function independently.

Scrum is one way to implement an Agile methodology; it consists of time-limited sprints that deliver functional software every month. The roles of product owners, developers, testers, and Scrum masters are clearly defined, encouraging the accountability of team members.

The product owner sets backlog priorities before each sprint, allowing him to guide development according to conditions. Since testing is only done after the sprint is over, teams incorporate quality right from the start.

What are the 6 principles of Scrum?

These are the principles that teams need to adapt to succeed using Scrum:

  1. The top priority is to satisfy the customer by quickly and continuously delivering quality software.
  2. Welcoming changing needs, even at an advanced stage of development Agile processes put change at the service of the customer's competitive advantage.
  3. Deliver functional software frequently, from a few weeks to a few months, with a preference for the shortest deadlines.
  4. Businessmen and developers need to collaborate daily throughout the project.
  5. Build projects around motivated people. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
  6. The most effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.
 6 Scrum principles

Is Scrum a project management framework?

Scrum is both a methodology and a framework that can be applied to any type of project or work scenario.

It is an agile process that accepts change and encourages communication throughout the product development cycle.

By following the Scrum framework, you can deliver functional products at regular intervals instead of committing to fixed phases and deadlines.

What does the term “time-boxed” mean?

Scrum has no deadlines because projects are supposed to adapt to change. Instead, there are time boxes with strict time limits such as two weeks or one month for sprints. This makes it easier to organize your schedule to align project work with other responsibilities.

What are the roles of Scrum in an agile project management framework?

There are three main roles in Scrum, which can be filled by team members or external stakeholders.

  • Product Owner : This role is filled by the person who has ultimate authority over the product backlog. She also prioritizes tasks for each sprint using her vision of the product and market conditions.
  • Developer : These people create functional software every month through self-organizing teams or specialized teams.
  • Scrum Master : The Scrum Master works directly with developers to improve processes, remove barriers, and facilitate communication throughout the development cycle.

What is a “Product Backlog” and how does it work?

This is a list of priority features that should be integrated into the product. It is constantly updated by the product owner and reviewed during sprint planning meetings where it is broken down into manageable tasks for each developer team.

Additionally, team members and stakeholders can collaborate and add their ideas to the product backlog throughout the development cycle.

How do you manage a product backlog throughout the project lifecycle?

The product backlog should be managed collaboratively by the team and the product owner. Anyone can add, remove, or change items from the list as soon as they see that a change needs to be made.

Prioritizing tasks during sprint planning meetings ensures that everyone is working toward a common goal through constant progress updates.

Good decision-making is critical and Scrum minimizes risks and wasted effort by placing a high value on teamwork and transparency throughout the product development cycle.

What are user stories and how do they help manage the product backlog?

They capture the brief but comprehensive user and company requirements of a project. They are used to run agile Scrum projects and involve everything that needs to be included in an application, such as performance levels, user interactions, and potential pitfalls.

User stories help product owners prioritize tasks throughout development by getting them to agree on what should be built first according to their overall vision.

scrum user stories

At the end of each sprint, the team can choose a few user stories to turn into functional software for users to test.

This ensures that they are continuously providing valuable feedback on their product experience, which is then used to better prioritize tasks on the product backlog.

What is Kanban?

Kanban is a lean process that focuses on continuous delivery and eliminating bottlenecks in software development projects.

Tasks are divided into different categories such as “to be done,” “in progress,” and “completed.”

Work items can be moved from column to column throughout the development cycle, with visual markers representing steps to keep everyone up to date.

what is kanban?

What does the Waterfall model refer to?

It is an old-school approach to project management that promotes phased development with distinct milestones.

The Waterfall model ignores requirements changes and does not allow developers to make incremental updates before the final stages.

This model is outdated for many reasons, but it is still taught in some software engineering courses.

What are the most important Scrum keywords to understand?

Spring planning meetingt: This is where the Scrum Master and the product owner sit down with the developers to prioritize tasks for each sprint.

Sprint Backlog: This is a list of tasks that the product owner has prioritized for each sprint. It is divided into two categories: essential tasks and interesting tasks.

Agile software development : Agile is a philosophy and a set of values rather than a specific development process. It focuses on continuous improvement and functional software rather than comprehensive documentation.

Self-organizing teams : an entire team (or even multiple teams) can work on separate features without the need for a traditional project manager. Each team member is responsible for making decisions about how to carry out their tasks.

Certified Scrum Master : An individual who has completed an online training course and meets the requirements to become a certified Scrum Master.

Daily Scrum Meetings (DSM) : It's time for developers to share what they did yesterday and plan their day through a stand-up meeting.

Scrum board : This is a table that shows the sprint backlog on one side and daily tasks on the other. It is useful for keeping track of urgent tasks and for facilitating communication.

Sprint coming soon : This is a time-limited sprint that has not yet started.

Agile teams : The functionality of these teams is optimal when there are 5 to 9 people working on a specific feature for each sprint.

Summary.

In conclusion, Scrum is a simple approach to project management that focuses on team collaboration and task delegation.

By using the best task management software Available on the market today, Agile allows an organization to be more flexible than it would be using other traditional project management approaches.

Keep in mind that for this to work, you need buy-in from the entire organization as well as clear, concise requirements for each item in the product backlog.

More importantly, Scrum aims for continuous improvement throughout the development cycle so that teams can adapt quickly to new information and produce functional software every month.

At the end of the day, meeting customer expectations is what matters, and Scrum makes that easy.

Finally, if you're a business and want to make sure you're getting the most out of your resources, check out this article on best enterprise resource planning software after reading this article.

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Stephen MESNILDREY
CEO & Founder

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