What is Scrum?

The use of the Agile Scrum method has increased enormously in recent years. From large corporations to smaller companies; Scrum is being used more and more in all kinds of sectors and industries. But what exactly is Scrum?

The essence of Scrum

Scrum is an Agile approach – a more effective and flexible way of working – that makes it possible for a team to deliver projects in a more productive manner and to tackle problems more efficiently.

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What is Scrum?

How the Scrum method works – the team

In Scrum, we work in self-organising teams consisting of different specialists and Scrum roles. The person who supervises the process is also referred to as the Scrum Master (also take a look at our Scrum Master Knowledge Platform). This person makes sure the team adheres to the rules and can continue to work efficiently.

The team and the Scrum Master work for the Product Owner, who acts as an intermediary between the customer (for whom the product is made) and the team (that actually makes the product).

The Product Owner’s task is therefore to guarantee fulfilment of the customer’s requirements and wishes, and to pass them on to the team. These wishes are also referred to as user stories and are listed in the Product Backlog. The wishes with the highest priority are included in the Sprint Backlog, which is a list of the tasks that have to be worked on during any given sprint.

How the Scrum method works – the method

A sprint is a defined time period of approximately 2 to 4 weeks. A sprint starts with a schedule and ends with a review and a retrospective meeting. The number of sprints that apply depends on the project. Mutual consultation between the team members is essential for the proper execution of the tasks within a sprint. For that reason, the team meets for a short meeting every day; the Daily Scrum.

A (partial) product is delivered at the end of every sprint, after which an evaluation follows with room for feedback from, among others, the customer. This is done to ensure the team’s performance will continue to improve and to enable the team to respond quickly to possible adjustments. After these review moments, the process starts again in the next sprint.

When do you go ‘Scrumming’?

The Scrum methodology is often used when the customer is not yet sure how certain tasks should be tackled, as well as when many changes are expected during the process. These are the two main reasons for using Scrum, but there are more. Curious? If so, read Peter Speijdel’s column in which he discusses the reasons for using the Scrum method.

The fact that scrum teams are self-organising means that scrum is a good match for organisations that believe in self-organisation and have confidence in the capabilities of their employees. This also means managers have to adopt a different role; the agile manager.

Sign up for our Scrum Master Training!

This two-day training course will teach you the basics of Scrum so you can manage your own projects!

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