What is Scrum?

Scrum is the most popular and largely adopted flavour of Agile methodologies. It was first introduced as a methodology by Ken Schwaber.

  • Scrum advocates making small frequent changes within time boxed iterations or Sprints.
  • In each iteration, a set of features are developed, tested, documented and deployed to production like environment. This means that these features are potentially shippable at the end of each iteration.
  • Scrum thrives on the early feedback loop with the product owner and team interacting many times within a Sprint to continuously hone the product into one that meets the market expectations.
  • All the rituals of Scrum are time boxed starting from the Sprint and going into the Sprint planning, the daily standup, Sprint review and Sprint retrospective.
  • Scrum in a snapshot. (Picture courtesy: Scrum Alliance)

Scrum Roles and Responsibilities

Scrum has 3 main roles as described below:

  • The Product Owner who defines the requirements in the user’s language. These requirements are called user stories and it is the product owner’s responsibility to make sure that the user stories are prioritized based on business value and have all the just enough detailing for the delivery team to get cracking.
  • The Delivery team is responsible for building the product based on the user stories that the Product Owner and the team have agreed upon for the Sprint. The team breaks down user stories into tasks, assigns to themselves and works in a self organized mode.
  • The Scrum Master is responsible for removing the impediments faced by the team and is also the Process champion. While the delivery team focuses on the actual product development, the Scrum Master ensures that their path is well laid out and clear from issues and impediments. The Scrum Master also ensures that the team functions within the guidelines of the ever evolving scrum process.

Scrum Terminology

Here are the most frequently used Scrum buzz words:

  • User Story: A user story is a feature requirement written in the user’s language. It is written in terms of the benefit that the feature would provide to the end user. Each user story would also have a set of acceptance criteria which are to be satisfied to mark the user story complete.
  • Product Backlog: The list of user stories that planned for the product in current and future releases. This list is prioritized by the product owner with the highest priority ones at the top.
  • Sprint or Iteration: A time box of 1 to 4 weeks where a sub set of the product backlog called the Sprint Backlog is committed upon for work by the Product Owner and the Delivery team. Each Sprint encompasses a Sprint planning meeting, Daily standup meetings, a Sprint Review and a Sprint Retrospective meeting.

Do talk to a One Dot representative to help you understand Scrum better and how One Dot can help you take benefit of Scrum’s focus on making early delivery of working software.