Scrum Is A Better Way Of Working

The agile methodology is not a new concept, but one that was implemented in 2001 in response to the overriding project management standard: Waterfall. The agile methodology emphasizes communication and collaboration, fully functioning software, and the flexibility to adapt to emerging business realities; it made great strides in the name of software development, but there’s one thing it didn’t do: The agile methodology did not deliver the concrete processes development teams must depend on when deadlines, and stakeholders apply pressure.

For this purpose, software developers continue to turn to various subsets of the agile methodology, subsets that include Crystal Clear, Extreme Programming, Feature Driven Development, and Scrum — the latter being the subject of our discussion here.

What Makes Scrum So Special?

Scrum is all about “empirical process control.”

And what exactly does that mean?

Scrum considers the project at-hand — not just the idea of the project, or a general forecast — and the progress the team has made to plan and schedule the release of the software. Such project plans are divided into one-, two-, or three-week sprints, after which all stakeholders and team members come together to assess the headway made, and to make a new plan for next steps.

A project planned based on measurable benchmarks, and not speculation can be shifted and readjusted as needed. Scrum works, and is popular with managers and developers (like those hard at work at Innolance) because it offers a rigid set of roles, responsibilities, and meetings. While Scrum is adaptable and flexible, it is, too, stable, and provides a framework for developers to depend on when the development process descends into chaos.

What Are The Roles Of Scrum?

There are three: Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Team Member

It is the Product Owner who has the vision. And it is his (or her) role to communicate that vision to the development team. He (or she) must always consider the customer’s interests, and to translate these interests, must set requirements and priorities for the team. The Product Owner is in the position of most authority, and also the position of most responsibility.

The ScrumMaster serves the role of facilitator between the Product Owner and the team. It’s important to note that the ScrumMaster is not a manager of the team, but one whose task it is to eliminate impediments or obstructions that might keep the team from meeting its sprint goals. It is the ScrumMaster who works to maximize the team’s creativity and productivity, all while highlighting the team’s successes to the Product Owner.

A proper, effective Scrum team is made up of seven versatile Team Members: A mix of software engineers, architects, programmers, analysts, quality assurance experts, testers, and UI designers. The team and its members set their own goals for each sprint, and then work to meet these goals.

Scrum, In A Word: Autonomy

From the Product Owner who doesn’t micromanage, to the Scrum Master who encourages creativity, to the Team Member given the autonomy to work at his most productive speed, Scrum leverages the strengths of each of us — you, me, and the next guy — to give us the power to learn, to create, to grow, and to do great things together.