Scrum is an iterative and incremental Agile framework for solving complex adaptive problems. Its focus is on “a flexible, holistic product development strategy where the Scrum Team works as a unit to reach a common goal” as opposed to a “traditional, sequential approach”. Scrum’s definition is done on the Scrum Guide site. The Audio Guide to Scrum guide recorded by us is also a good quick reference.
A key principle of Scrum is its recognition that during a project the customers can change their minds about what they want and need (often called requirements churn), and that unpredictable challenges cannot be easily addressed in a traditional predictive or planned manner. As such, Scrum is founded on Empirical Process Control Theory, or empiricism. Empiricism asserts that knowledge comes from experience and making decisions based on what is observed. Scrum Employs an iterative, incremental approach to optimize predictability and control Risk.
The fundamental building blocks of Scrum include
- The Scrum Artifacts (work to be done or value to be created) – There are 3 mandatory Scrum Artifacts – Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog and The Increment
- Each artifact is measured using 3 commitments – Product Backlog is measured using Product Goal, Sprint Backlog is measured using Sprint Goal and Increment is measured using Definition of Done
- The Scrum Team consists of 3 mandatory accountabilities – Product Owner, Scrum Master and Developers
- The Scrum Events are formal opportunities given by Scrum to inspect and adapt. These opportunities are via 4 meetings Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective. The opportunity to inspect and adapt is also fulfilled via the 5th event known as Sprint. Sprint is a Timebox of one month of less which is a container for all the other events. Sprint is timeboxed so that a usable increment (value) is created every sprint and more importantly it gives the Scrum Team to seek feedback from stakeholders and adapt if required.
Brief History of Scrum
|In rugby football, a scrum refers to the manner of restarting the game after a minor infraction.
Scrum was first defined as “a flexible, holistic product development strategy where a developers works as a unit to reach a common goal” as opposed to a “traditional, sequential approach” in 1986 by Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka in the “New New Product Development Game“. Takeuchi and Nonaka later argued in “The Knowledge Creating Company” that it is a form of “organizational knowledge creation, especially good at bringing about innovation continuously, incrementally and spirally”.
|The authors described a new approach to commercial product development that would increase speed and flexibility, based on case studies from manufacturing firms in the automotive, photocopier and printer industries. They called this the holistic or rugby approach, as the whole process is performed by one cross-functional team across multiple overlapping phases, where the team “tries to go the distance as a unit, passing the ball back and forth”.|
In the early 1990s, Ken Schwaber used what would become Scrum at his company, Advanced Development Methods, and Jeff Sutherland, with John Scumniotales and Jeff McKenna, developed a similar approach at Easel Corporation, and were the first to refer to it using the single word Scrum. In 1995, Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber jointly presented a paper describing the Scrum framework at the Business Object Design and Implementation Workshop held as part of Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages & Applications ’95 (OOPSLA ’95) in Austin, Texas, its first public presentation. Schwaber and Sutherland collaborated during the following years to merge the above writings, their experiences, and industry best practices into what is now known as Scrum.
In 2001, Ken Schwaber worked with Mike Beedle to describe the framework in the book Agile Software Development with Scrum. Its approach to planning and managing projects is to bring decision-making authority to the level of operation properties and certainties.
Please refer to the following links to know more about Scrum
- Changes in Scrum Guide 2020
- Bursting Myths Around Scrum
- Antipatterns in Scrum
- What is DevOps?
- What is Lean?
- Applicability of Scrum
- Empirical Process Control
- Scrum Values
- Servant Leadership
- Scrum Team
- Scrum Artifacts
- Definition of Done
- Scrum Events
- Product Backlog Refinement
- Story Point Estimation