Agile Scrum Framework: Values, Roles, Events, Artifacts, and History
Scrum has been the most popular Agile methodology among enterprises for many years, and for good reasons. For example, by adopting Scrum Agile methodology, an organization can enjoy multiple benefits such as improved product quality, increased flexibility, time and money savings, better resource utilization, and more.
However, to reap all the benefits of the Agile Scrum process, the organization must be aware of the Scrum principles, Scrum framework, and all its nuances and facets. This blog will provide detailed insights into each of the key elements of the Agile Scrum framework to help you understand the concept.
What is Scrum Methodology?
Scrum in Agile is a project management methodology that focuses on iterative and incremental development. In this project development approach, the project is divided into multiple parts called sprints. Each iteration typically consists of two to four sprints.
In contrast to other project development methodologies, Scrum in Agile focuses on building and delivering features in batches. The features are selected based on their value and importance to customers. This approach provides multiple advantages to the organization, including:
- Faster product development
- Improvement of focus on the sprint's ongoing objectives
- Greater room for creativity and innovation
- Enhanced adaptability and flexibility
- Keeping the workforce motivated
- Enhanced customer satisfaction
However, there are several elements in the Scrum framework that contribute to Scrum being an effective project development Agile methodology. In other words, Scrum is a framework within which the Scrum team addresses complex project-related problems.
The Agile Scrum Framework
Scrum is a lightweight framework that is more than just a methodology. It employs the scientific method of empiricism, which replaces the programmed, algorithmic approach with one based on heuristics, allowing organizations and individuals to deal with complex and unpredictable problems with ease.
The Agile Scrum framework consists of several components, including:
1. Scrum values
2. Scrum roles
3. Scrum events
4. Scrum artifacts
Again, each of these components consists of different elements, as explained below. Let us go over each one briefly.
Commitment, Openness, Focus, Respect, and Courage are the five Scrum values. To achieve Scrum project management success, each Scrum team member must adhere to these values.
As the name implies, one of the key Scrum values essential in the success of any Scrum project management is commitment. All teams and team members must adhere to the Scrum principles and collaborate as a unit to achieve common goals.
Focus is another Scrum model value that is important in ensuring that each sprint is completed on time and with the highest possible quality of work. To accomplish this objective, each team and Scrum team member must be more focused on their responsibilities and objectives.
Transparency or openness among Scrum teams and team members is crucial for Scrum project management or for the Agile Scrum process. Each of the project's teams and stakeholders is expected to be open and honest about their progress and challenges in completing tasks.
Each member of the Scrum team is expected to respect one another. When it comes to respect, an individual's role or position should not come into play. Respect for each individual will eventually result in a positive and healthy workplace where everyone will be able to give their best.
Scrum team members should have the belief and confidence to take the right step and do the right thing, and work on problems that are complex in nature. This is only possible if they are open about their challenges and work, as well as transparent, focused, and committed to their work.
The Scrum team primarily consists of three roles: Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Scrum Team. Each of these roles has a specific set of responsibilities to fulfill.
A. Product Owner
Product Owner, also known as PO, is an individual, who is in charge of ensuring that products are delivered on time and with the best quality. The Product Owner is also in charge of maximizing the product's value and the work of the development team.
The following are some of the primary duties of a Product Owner:
- Accountable for the product's success
- Product backlog management and prioritization
- Maximizing value to product quality
- Stakeholder management
- Direct the project in the right direction
- Defining and announcing releases
B. Scrum Master
The Scrum Master is a position that is responsible for providing all guidance, resources, and support to the Scrum team in order to help them work at their best. It is their responsibility to create an environment for the Scrum team in which everyone can work without distraction.
Some of the primary responsibilities of a Scrum Master include:
- Keeping the team focused, organized, and motivated
- Facilitating Scrum events like daily stand-ups and meetings as needed
- Making sure that everyone in the team understands the scope and goal of the project
- Conducting a retrospective sprint
- Helping in grooming the product backlog
C. Scrum Team
A Scrum team, also known as a development team, is a group of people who work together to complete and deliver the requested product, feature, or other requirements. The Scrum team prioritizes items from the product backlog based on the Scrum master's guidance.
Some of the Scrum team's key responsibilities include:
- On-time completion of the sprint work
- In charge of managing the product backlog
- To maintain transparency throughout the sprint
- To inspect and adapt the work on a regular basis
- Use data to identify the best development practices
- Test prototypes and products
Remember that each of these Scrum roles is critical to the successful implementation of the Agile Scrum process.
The Scrum events, also known as Scrum ceremonies, are the activities that take place during the sprint. The four Scrum events are Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum Meeting, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective. Let’s take a brief look at each one.
A. Sprint Planning
Sprint planning is the first event in the Scrum model where the entire sprint's planning is outlined and discussed. The goal of this event is to plan out how the work will be delivered, which component will be developed first, and how the project will be executed. The entire team, including the Scrum master, Scrum product manager, and Scrum team, usually attends this event.
B. Daily Scrum Meeting
Daily scrum meeting is a 15 to 20-minute stand-up meeting held every day to track sprint progress. Every member of the sprint team must attend the Scrum meeting. During the Scrum stand-up meeting, the relevant authority, typically the Scrum master or the product manager, discusses and addresses any difficulties experienced by an individual or a team.
C. Sprint Review
Sprint review is a collaborative session that happens at the end of the sprint. This Scrum event aims to review how well the sprint has been completed, what challenges the team experienced during the sprint, and what needs to be addressed in the next sprint. Every team and the members who were a part of the sprint, including the product owner, product manager, scrum master, and stakeholders, usually attend the sprint review meeting.
D. Sprint Retrospective
Sprint retrospective is a recurring meeting held at the end of a sprint to discuss the challenges and issues that the team encountered during the sprint. Unlike the Sprint review, which focuses on the product, the Sprint retrospective focuses on the team. The goal of this Scrum event is to increase team efficiency, happiness, and focus. Sprint retrospective meetings are typically attended by the Scrum team, which includes the Scrum master and the product owner.
Scrum artifacts are meta data that the Scrum team uses to improve their understanding of the product being developed as well as the Agile Scrum process. Scrum artifacts also provide information about the Scrum project management activities and product scope.
A. Product Backlog
A product backlog is a list of items or works that need to be worked on or delivered. The items on the product backlog are prioritized based on their importance, value, and timeframe. A well-organized product backlog not only helps teams plan and perform better but also assists stakeholders and other teams in setting expectations. Furthermore, a well-defined and prioritized backlog simplifies release and iteration planning.
B. Sprint Backlog
The sprint backlog is a collection of items or tasks that your team is expected to complete during the sprint. These tasks are typically pulled from the product backlog during the sprint planning event that is held at the start of the Agile Scrum process. A well-monitored and prioritized sprint backlog enables the team to understand the scope and requirements of the product and complete the work on time and with the highest standard.
C. Sprint Goal
A sprint goal is a third important Scrum artifact that describes what the team expects to accomplish at the end of the sprint. These objectives are usually discussed and written down during the sprint planning event. Everyone from the Scrum team to the scrum master to the product owner provides feedback when deciding on sprint goals. Again, sprint goals are divided into multiple sub-goals to help better organize the Agile Scrum process.
The Agile Scrum process is now a very popular software development concept. However, you might be surprised to learn that it did not even exist or was discovered before three decades!
Let's take a quick look at the origins, growth, and evolution of Scrum project management.
In 1986, authors Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka coined the term Scrum in the context of product development. The authors introduced a holistic or rugby approach to commercial product development in their article, The New New Product Development Game (1986). Later, at the DuPont Research Station and the University of Dalware, Ken Schwaber and Babatunde introduced the Scrum framework.
In the early 1990s, Ken Schwaber's company, Advanced Development Methods, used what would become Scrum. On the other hand, at Easel Corporation, the trio of Jeff Sutherland, John Scumniotales, and Jeff McKenna developed a similar product development approach known as Scrum.
B. Scrum & Software Development
Sutherland and Schwaber continued to work on improving the Scrum framework over time, leveraging their experience and evolving best practices. They presented a Scrum paper in 1995, contributed to the Manifesto for Agile Software Development in 2001, and have been involved in the global spread and use of Scrum since 2002.
Sutherland, Schwaber, and a community of Scrum practitioners have since begun implementing the Scrum framework in a variety of organizations, in addition to assisting them in the formation of high-performing teams. In the same year, 2002, Ken Schwaber co-founded Scrum Alliance with Mike Cohn and Esther Derby. They also launched the Certified Scrum Master (SCM) program in the years that followed.
C. Scrum in the 2000s
In 2014, Dr Dave Cornelius, a globally recognized Lean and Agile catalyst, presented his doctoral research on the Scrum value. During this time, Scrum continued to evolve. After two years, in 2016, they recognized the need for a Scrum framework for distributed teams and two product owners. That's how the first fully scalable Scrum was formed.
Since then, millions of businesses have started using Scrum for software development. It is not an exaggeration to say that Scrum has forever changed the software development landscape and made it far superior to traditional methodologies.
Scrum in Agile methodology has significantly changed the software development landscape over the last decade. It has made the development process more value-driven, streamlined, and efficient in terms of time, resources, and money. However, in order to reap all the great benefits of Scrum project management, organizations must first understand the Scrum framework and its nuances. A better understanding of the Agile Scrum framework and its components enables them to implement Scrum more effectively and achieve better results.
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