Scrum is a project management framework in which teams complete tasks in sprints. Everyone has a role and a defined goal.

In this article, we’ll unveil how scrum works, its principles, pros, and cons. We’ll also review the difference between scrum and kanban and uncover how to implement scrum.

How does scrum work?

Teams using scrum for project development focus on constant improvements. They don’t know everything from the start but explore the peculiarities and evolve when they receive new experiences and knowledge about the product. The framework is well-structured, so the teams can adapt to the needs and desires of customers. It consists of short cycles which help prioritize work and focus on improvements.

This project management framework adapts to the requirements of any organization and helps finish tasks in stages. However, each company should ensure transparency, eagerness to improve, and seamless communication among team members to achieve the necessary results.

Now that you know how scrum works, let’s discover its pros and cons. The next section will enable you to uncover the things you might face when implementing this project management framework.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Scrum

Once implemented, the scrum framework can bring many benefits to business owners. Let’s review all the advantages you can reap after incorporating this project management system.

Scrum helps you

  • manage your time and resources efficiently;
  • reach the company’s goals within a given period of time;
  • deliver higher visibility to team members through meetings;
  • ensure that all the changes and improvements are mentioned;
  • make sure that you see all the efforts of your team members;
  • work on large projects;
  • reduce costs;
  • work in different environments and situations;
  • obtain quality work and high productivity;
  • initiate creative approaches between team members like brainstorming;
  • divide big projects into small tasks (sprints);
  • test all development processes;
  • increase customer satisfaction;
  • cover stakeholders’ and customers’ inputs.

However, as with any other agile framework, scrum also has drawbacks. It

  • has no definite due date;
  • requires training for a team to understand the system and how it works;
  • has a high possibility of failure if team members aren’t cooperative;
  • might require changes within the company;
  • can cause challenges for big projects;
  • requires experienced team members.

Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages, it’s time to explore key scrum principles. The next section will help you figure out whether it suits your team and product.

Scrum Principles

Scrum, as any other framework, has its principles. In this section, we’ll review each of them in detail. They set the direction, and team members should follow these fundamentals to obtain effective results.

  • Self-organization. Since a scrum team often consists of up to nine people, self-organization is crucial. Every team member should know what tasks to complete and what work to do. Every employee should be ready to work independently and in a team. Every person should contribute to the successful final result. That’s why it’s necessary to be a self-organized person who can manage time and resources efficiently.
  • Cooperation. Team collaboration is a must in a scrum team, which is often quite big. Although everyone always has specific tasks, team members still need to communicate to align the direction of product development. Every employee should be aware of the work of each team member.
  • Adjustments during the development process. A product can’t be perfect after the first development process. Everything needs alterations and improvements. So be ready to provide them. Consider using iterative development to make some changes to your product faster and easier.
  • Time orientation. Since teams with a scrum system finish tasks in stages, you should stick to that time and have your tasks completed. A team has a specific period of time called sprint assigned to each piece of work and must be ready by the due date. Team meetings also have a predefined time to start and end. Time orientation enables you to finish your project at a necessary date and ensure that every goal is reached at the right time. As a result, a company avoids delays and time inefficiency.
  • Tasks prioritization. In a scrum system, there’s task prioritization. It means that your team should organize the existing tasks by urgency and their importance for your product. The most important tasks need to be finished first.

Now that you know the principles, let’s proceed to the difference between scrum and kanban. It’ll help you make the right choice.

Scrum vs Kanban

Since there’s still confusion between a scrum and a kanban system, we need to unveil the difference. We’ll uncover it in detail in this section.

Scrum is a project management framework that divides work into sprints (fixed time boxes) during which a team should deliver a ready product. With this Agile system, team members have a structure for the project and a schedule for completing each task. Team members don’t wait for the final deadline of the project to finish all the tasks, because they complete them in phases. This system is designed to help companies manage big projects. A scrum team usually consists of around nine people, including a product owner and a scrum master. Since the tasks are delivered one by one, team members can instantly react and adapt to changes. As a result, the final product complies with all the requirements.

Kanban is a project management framework perfect for companies in continuous flow (move an item through the production process without stops). A company sets a deadline, and team members chase it to deliver the necessary results and an excellent product. The kanban board enables you to visualize all your tasks and set a direction for all your team members. The productivity and efficiency of workers improve when they know and understand what and when to do. Moreover, the system allows businesses to perfect transparency across departments.

Simply put, scrum enables you to structure your work while kanban helps you visualize it. Both frameworks bring benefits to the right companies.

Now that you know the difference, it’s time to figure out how to implement scrum. If you researched and identified scrum as your perfect project management system, let’s find out how to incorporate it into your company.

How to implement scrum?

To incorporate the framework, you need to stick to a plan. We’ve prepared a list of steps necessary to take steps when you use scrum for your projects. Let’s dive in.

  1. Determine the elements. The two essential elements in every scrum project management tool are the product owner and the work team. The product owner should know the objectives and determine the manufacturing needs. Product owners also take care of the risks the product development team might face. A work team usually contains from four to nine people. These individuals should be ready to work independently and organize their work in an appropriate way. These employees are expected to perform, test, and implement the tasks. At the end of each sprint, the team should present the results of their work in accordance with the deadline. You should also have a scrum master who controls the effectiveness and progress of the work team. This person leads team members to the successful accomplishment of the project while removing obstacles. Moreover, you need to determine sprint duration. Usually, one sprint lasts between one and four weeks.
  2. List your key goals. Developing a great product requires you to list all the activities you should do. You need to cover the functionalities, pending activities, and task priority to make a good project and reach all your goals. Before diving into the sprints, you should understand how much time you need to accomplish each task. Make sure to do all the necessary calculations to figure it out. You should also recheck the information you have about the project and the tasks to avoid any conditions that might influence the duration of each sprint.
  3. Define the sprint. The completion of each task should be done based on pre-defined deadlines. It’s necessary for the team's effective work and the project's successful development in time. That’s why ensure that your team can manage a specific number of tasks within a given timeframe.
  4. Conduct meetings. If you want to see the results of your team’s work, consider organizing meetings regularly. Carry out a demo for your team, including a scrum master and product owner. This way, you and all team members will understand the progress. Use project management tools to track the progress of each item and plan your meetings. As a result, the workload of your scrum master will reduce.
  5. Review your work. Review and demonstrate your progress to everyone involved in the process of product development. You’ll be able to assess whether the results of your work meet the initial requirements. If you aren’t satisfied with the work, you and your team can make some essential decisions to improve the situation. Show only finished tasks with working functionality.
  6. Analyze the problems. Identifying the problems allows you to avoid them in the next sprint. That’s why make sure to find out what went wrong and why it happened. Share this information with your team so that they can bring in new ideas on how to eliminate these issues. Find a constructive way of making your product better for customers.
  7. Start a new sprint. After analyzing the previous work, you can step forward and start a new sprint. Consider using your experience and knowledge to deal with the next stage. Avoid making the same mistakes and ensure incorporation improvements.

Congrats, now you know what scrum is and how it works. Hope that our guide will help you implement the system.

References:

  1. This article defines the term.
  2. In this article, you’ll find out how scrum works.
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