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Discover What Is Scrum Methodology And How It WorksBy Expert Author:
At times, projects can be very big. You need a lot of patience while dealing with extremely big projects or highly complex ones. Even experienced project managers tend to get discouraged and start losing hope when the project keeps on extending beyond the deadline, or when things start going wrong with the project. Usually, the management and stakeholders tend to exert undue pressure to the project manager and the development team to perform, and deliver the project, well within the time frame. Projects have a certain financial liability associated with them, so the sooner the project is completed, the quicker the returns are availed from it. During times when things do not go as per plans, managers start losing hope, and at times wonder if there is a better way of doing things and completing the projects in time so they don’t cost anything extra to the management in terms of increased overheads or reduced returns over investment. This is where scrum comes in - it offers an opportunity to develop your project in a manner such that the stakeholders remain in touch with what is happening to their project, what is proceeding as per plans, and what needs to be removed or done away with so the project can get completed in time and they can start benefiting from the investment they have carried out in the project.
What does scrum methodology offer?
Scrum framework was originally envisioned and developed to be flexible in nature and possess the capability to adapt itself to the changing development requirements. If during the course of the development, if the stakeholders change their minds regarding the project, or desire to change their project related requirements, the situation can be handled in a more beneficial and cost effective way using scrum methodology. Scrum is synonymous with Agile. Scrum, or Agile framework offers an opportunity to make amendments in the project definition while the project is underway. This is a unique feature, since most development methodologies such as the waterfall, which supports a linear structure for development, have no answer or solutions which can effectively cater to changing project requirements. Moreover, a project can be modified to include additional or new functionality when it is underway. If the client decides that a project should offer some features which have not been thought of before, or thought about during the project planning stage, scrum can incorporate these requirements within the development plan. On the other hand, if the project owner feels that some of the features offered by the product may fail to score in the market when the product is launched, those specific features can be easily removed and replace by new ones. Scrum focuses upon development at a micro level. The development activity is implemented and controlled at a very low level, where it is possible to interact with the basic components which constitute to form the project as a whole. It is always much easier to deal with smaller things and change them when they are small in size, rather than wait for them to attain a big size when managing them becomes very complex, and impossible.
How does scrum work?
It would take a very long time to discuss in depth exactly how scrum operates and what its technicalities are. However, its main features and the method of working can be summarized as:
· Unlike traditional waterfall methods, scrum does not start with the entire development activity at a go. Rather it breaks up the entire project into smaller functional parts known as user stories, and creates a product backlog which is a kind of master list which includes everything needed to develop the project in totality. Product backlogs contain user stories.
· Once the product backlog is created by the product owner, a person who represents the interests of the investors or stakeholders, a portion of the backlog is extracted and transferred to a temporary development list known as a sprint backlog. This list contains all the tasks which are to be developed by the team members.
· Once the sprint backlog is created, the team members distribute the list items or user stories amongst the developers based upon their levels of expertise. Thereafter the actual development starts. Development is carried out in short bursts known as “sprints”. Each sprint can last from one week up to a month.
· At the end of the sprint, a meeting is held to evaluate the outcome of the sprint. Completed items are accepted as “Done” while unfinished ones may be transferred back to the product backlog.
· The entire process keeps on repeating until all product backlog the user stories in the backlog are “Done” and there are no further requirements to be developed.
Mrugesh Panchal is a director in Bharti Consulting Services SARL, an ISO 9001-2008 certified IT Service Provider Company having its headquarters in Clichy, France and its operations center in Vadodara, Gujarat - India. Mrugesh is a co-founder of the QuickScrum tool, a powerful, easy to use, and versatile web based scrum tool application centered upon Scrum framework. The tool incorporates scrum methodology into project development, and offers a dynamic scrum management environment. To know more about QuickScrum please visit Quickscrum.com
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