Introduction to the Scrum Framework
The Scrum framework offers organisations and enterprises a means to solve problems and work towards goals incrementally.
It helps teams work together and it supports the agile approach to working, but, as we’ll explain, it’s not the same thing as agile.
Scrum isn’t a methodology and it isn’t rigid. It provides a set of principles, but it emphasises self-management and adaptation.
What’s In the Scrum Framework?
The Scrum framework isn’t like a piece of Ikea flat-pack furniture. It’s not a ready-made kit for you to assemble, but it does offer you a set of tools.
However, these tools are human. They’re made up of teams and people with certain responsibilities to carry out.
The Scrum framework provides a vehicle for agile working and complex problem-solving, but it’s individuals who are the vehicle parts.
The Scrum framework is structured, but not rigid. It’s designed to be adaptable, and for a high degree of autonomy for those involved.
It does have its own terminology, which at first may appear a little unusual, but makes perfect sense when you understand how the various parts in the framework work together.
At the heart of Scrum is the concept of working incrementally, in focused bursts, known as sprints.
The scrum framework defines a sprint as a Scrum event. Events are things that take place as part of the scrum process. They can also be referred to as ceremonies.
The major features of Scrum are known as artifacts, and these include:
- Product backlog – a work-list, which may include new items and changes to existing items, or other activities and changes
- Sprint backlog – another list, this one provides an overview of the development work the Scrum team will need to do to meet the goals of specific sprints
- Increment – each of these represents completed work carried out by the Scrum team during a sprint.
Within these artifacts, there can be lots of variations. This reflects a major characteristic of the Scrum framework, its openness. Teams using Scrum should feel they have the freedom to adapt and evolve to meet changing needs.
What is the Purpose of Scrum Events in the Framework?
Scrum events are essential items that help to define and drive the tasks that the Scrum team needs to carry out.
Scrum events include:
- Organising the backlog – maintaining the team’s to-do list
- Sprint planning – the team must plan its sprint work systematically and regularly
- Sprint – carrying out the work required to meet sprint goals
- Daily scrum – very short and simple daily meeting for the team to check in and ensure they’re all aligned with the sprint goal
- Sprint review – a regular look-back at the end of each sprint, to decide whether the team has completed specific increments
- Sprint retrospective – the team looks at its own processes and outcomes following a sprint.
Who Does What in the Scrum Framework?
Three essential attributions are participating in the Scrum framework:
- Product owner – this individual is responsible for the product backlog and manages and delivers the team’s outcomes
- Scrum master – the person who supports the product owner, coaches the Scrum team and champions Scrum theory
- Developers – organising and carrying out development work.
Together, these attributions form the Scrum team.
What are the Scrum Framework’s Goals?
The focus of the Scrum team is on the product. In Scrum, the product can be a physical item, a service or a concept.
The Scrum team works towards a single product goal. It does this in different stages, through sprints. Each sprint will have a sprint goal.
To reach the sprint goal, the team will work towards completing various increments. The Scrum framework is goal-driven, but without rigidly prescribing how the Scrum team reaches these goals.
This aligns with the agile mindset, where outcomes are not dependent on a strict hierarchy of progression
Why Use the Scrum Framework?
- The framework is simple, and once you get used to the terminology, easy to understand.
- It offers users sufficient space to develop but gives them a framework within which to operate.
- It helps to organise complex projects into manageable tasks and encourages transparent and collective collaboration.
- The Scrum framework is good for problem-solving and good for supporting positive workplace cultures too.
- Its structure provides demonstrable results that keep users motivated throughout the entire development cycle.
There may be an initial learning curve, and it’s important that any organisation or company using Scrum is open to the agile mindset. But in the long-term, the Scrum framework can offer long-term benefits for problem-solving and development work.
For more information about the Scrum framework and the agile mindset, please contact Simple Progression.