Why should we adopt Scrum?

December 27, 2013
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Before knowing why the information technology industries are adopting scrum in a big way, it is important for us to ask the following questions.

1. Why does your organisation need to adopt scrum and why is it better than the traditional project management methodologies like PRINCE2 & ITIL?

2. Why scrum looks just the opposite of the traditional project management methodologies?

In the fast ever changing environment, where the requirements changes thick and fast through the project lifecycle adopting a traditional project management is ever difficult. With so much of R & D being done for various products it’s clear that the change needs to be adapted as soon as you realise it.  In traditional methodologies, change is not accepted easily. It has to go through formal change and amendments. Scrum adopts changes as part of the project and is open for change whenever it comes and the approach followed is actually a “holistic approach” for development. It is actually an approach adopted from US rugby. It is also famously called the “rugby approach” as the team collectively moves together in the field to reach its goal and you would need multiple goals to succeed. Similarly in scrum each goal is equated to a sprint and each sprint should contain a potential shippable output.

Scrum is an empirical process and scrum follows a process of inspecting first and then adapting. Shorter the sprint length the better the inspection and better chances for you to adapt to the changes and fix issues early. Scrum is time boxed to 2-4 week sprints (nothing but phases of the product lifecycle) and though every sprint should have a potentially shippable product, you would only be able to release a product to the customer in 3-4 sprints.

Like in rugby where in the team has a small huddle before the ball is back in play, where the captain motivates the team, in scrum it is the scrum master who will facilitate a daily stand up meeting called “daily stand up”, this is a 15 minute meeting every day held at the start of the day to figure out where they are currently and also pick up the list of tasks to be done for the day which are also called backlog.

Scrum has three roles:

  • Product Owner
  • Scrum Master
  • Scrum Team

The maximum allows scrum team size is 8. If your team is bigger than you should ideally apply scrum of scrums.

Scrum has 4 artifacts:

Product Backlog – managed by the product owner

Sprint Backlog

Sprint Burndown

Release Burndown

All the other three artifacts are responsibility of scrum master to monitor and facilitate.

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