What is Scrum? How does it benefit you?

Background

Partially derived from the minds of Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka back in 1986, Scrum is a concept that began as a flexible, holistic approach to new product development designed for a past-paced, results-oriented atmosphere. It was furthered confirmed in 2001 as the Agile Manifesto further defined Agile approaches into what we see today. This concept still holds true as an innovative leader as an Agile product development framework, offering a stable base on which to create and deliver business goals collaboratively. The bottom line on the value of Scrum is that it's fun and allows business people to enjoy being creative, again, thanks to a fairly simple formula. This approach is different because it embraces dynamic thinking in terms of team and project management, as opposed to the traditional bureaucratic hierarchy of team members reporting results to bosses through the chain of command, points out Forbes.

What is Scrum?

While it may sound like nothing that would encompass complex business development goals, Scrum is just that: a framework used to complete complex projects. And even though it was originally intended for the software development realm, it can be easily adapted to fit any scope of work. In fact, Scrum for software development was created by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland, which you can read about in the books "Agile Project Management With Scrum" and "Succeeding With Agile," according to Winnow Management. At its core, this is a product development framework that comprises clear tasks that can be checked off to achieve goals. Pretty basic, right? The results are anything but. It's touted as a revolutionary way of collaborating within a team to achieve the highest levels of communications and rapid responses to an issue. By giving the entire team visibility and a hands-on approach to a project, Scrum uses versatile approaches to track, plan and implement progress.

Benefits

There are many benefits to Scrum as it applies to you and your business:

  • Feedback from customer helps keep the team on track.
  • There is a predictable flow to the project.
  • The progress is highly visible at all times.
  • The productivity of the team is measurable and quantifiable.
  • Teams are able to self-organize and self-regulate.
  • Not as much need for frequent meetings with management and time-consuming updates on all levels.
  • Face-to-face interaction is encouraged.
  • Adaptable approach fits many business models.
  • Projects can mutate accordingly to any changes that may come up.
  • Problems are pinpointed early on in the process and addressed.
  • A clear schedule for delivery is maintained.

The Value of Scrum

Having trouble keeping your team on track? Need a way to pull everyone together and get focused? You can use Scrum to achieve that. You team can benefit from this agile development process to come up with usable results peppered throughout the life of your project, adapting to change as it progresses. This is a refreshing approach that doesn't allow for stagnation; instead, it encourages a priority-based system with a ScrumMaster as leader to keep the whole team focused. The process works like this:

  • A Product Backlog is developed that is sort of a "wish list" of deliverables that should be completed.
  • During a process called "Sprint Planning," the team takes a few of the top priorities and comes up with a way to implement them, according toScrumAlliance.org. This is referred to as a Sprint Backlog.
  • With a short, fixed deadline of one to four weeks, the team meets daily to discuss progress on the end goal.
  • When the deadline hits, the product is ideally shelf-ready.
  • After a review and retrospective, the team moves onto the next "Sprint."

Why You Need It

Getting educated on Scrum is important for your business thanks to its priority-based, focused plan of attack. The strategic implementation of teams supported by ScrumMasters helps any product development business achieve its end goals. Winnow Management offers certified ScrumMaster training, led by company owner and founder Peter Borsella. Certified Scrum Trainers can assist your team in implementing a project management methodology that works. Taking such a class furthers your knowledge of the process -- something you can take with you from project to project or even company to company. Personal fulfillment as a member of a team can have long-lasting effects on your professionalism and how you approach not just work but life. Scrum certification looks mighty good on a resume too!