Thursday Management Series

Scrum – A brief overview

For most of the people who have been working in the field of IT must be aware of Scrum methodology and might have even used it in their projects. Scrum is one of the frameworks for implementing agile.

Now, what is Agile?

Agile is alternative to traditional waterfall development and is known to be more flexible and iterative. Instead of using the waterfall approach, (which includes namely four stages i.e., project planning, requirements gathering, coding and testing), Agile, breaks down the tasks into multiple stories (or tasks) and lets each one of these stories pass through all the four stages.

Then, what is Scrum?

People often confuse between Scrum and Agile and use it interchangeably. But, Agile is a methodology whereas Scrum is one of its frameworks. Scrum is one of the frameworks to implement agile methodology for product development.

The project that uses Scrum, develops the product in iterations. These iterations are fixed-length and are called Sprints. The sprint could last a week, or two weeks or even a month. This can be decided by studying the nature of the project. Every sprint has an end that is called the Milestone.

A scrum team has three specific roles which are defined as follows:

  1. Product Owner

They are responsible for understanding the business requirements and prioritizing work that needs to be done by the development team.The work items that need to be done are managed and tracked in Backlog. The items are prioritized depending on the features that are to be delivered next. They know everything about the business and can help in clarifying any queries that the development team might have with the requirements. Remember that Product Owners are different from Project Managers.

  1. Development Team

This is the technical team that is responsible for coding and testing. They develop the code for the items mentioned in the Backlog by working on tasks as per their priority. These items are divided amongst team members. The team is responsible for giving estimates for the work item assigned to them and is also expected to complete that item in a particular sprint.

  1. Scrum Master

Scrum Master is the person who drives the whole scrum process smoothly. He works with the Product Owners and the development team to see how scrum can be implemented in their project, how it progresses and also shares best practices that can be followed to ensure smooth delivery of the product.

This is just a brief overview to get a little clarity on what Scrum means and what kind of roles are defined in a Scrum. The next few articles will focus on some terminologies commonly used in Scrum and some use cases to understand the process in depth.

Stay tuned for the next article in this series!

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