Innovation in technology shifted society radically, immersing it in an experience where electronic development improves efficiency everyday. In doing so, it has led to a change in the way businesses optimize their operations through software, leaving behind those that find it hard to keep up with business processes and project management tools.
Software development methods can be traced back to the 50’s. Back then, the complex effort of organizing information to produce a result began to be studied, described, and structured into management principles, detailed guides and, as some call it, manifestos or philosophies. One of them is the Agile Methodology, which began to be developed in the late 00’s.
Agile can be defined as a software management language, widely known for its ensemble of values and principles that aim to create self-organizing, cross-functional, and collaborative teams. It helps IT professionals manage teams to create mobile apps and web applications that are easy to be managed, reproduced, and reinvented.
In Agile, each project that leads to the development of a new software is commonly referred to as an “iteration” or “sprints”. These iterations are extremely dynamic and can last from one to three weeks.
What is the Agile Methodology?
The Manifesto for Agile Methodology is an open-source collection of working practices, terms and elements, all of which align with 4 key values:
- Individuals and Interactions over processes and tools
- Working Software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer Collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to Change over following a plan
Differing from the traditional approach on software engineering, Agile systems aim to develop dynamic and nondeterministic characteristics. Additionally, its predictions are not addressed at an early stage, and all requirements and design features are prioritized.
Above all, rather than functioning as a project oriented tool, Agile supports a product oriented mindset. This makes it easier when applying strategies focused on individual goals. Furthermore, it provides significant flexibility throughout the whole development process.
So, what is the Scrum Methodology?
The Scrum Methodology is, precisely, one of the most popular software development frameworks based on the Agile Methodology. Accordingly, Scrum is a software development tool used by project managers to manage teams and achieve goals in a timely manner, and the reason why Scrum guarantees efficient work is precisely because it implements Agile methods and principles.
Scrum is, however, one of many Agile-based frameworks on the market. Project managers can now opt to choose different frameworks to work on their teams and improve efficiency, learning different software languages from each framework, even though they all are based on the same Agile principles.
What is different about Scrum compared to other frameworks?
The principal key about Scrum is that it avoids the traditional sequential and empirical approach of other frameworks – it establishes the project direction according to the tasks that are already completed.
The Scrum platform is frequented by users that can play 3 main roles: the product owner, the scrum master and the team members - all of which are referred to in leading capitals or conjoint words. The iterations are referred as “sprints”. By the end of a sprint, stakeholders evaluate the project progress and begin to organize the next steps. Scrum also organizes tasks in a fixed duration cycle, as a way to assure that all projects are concrete, adaptable and collaborative.
What are the 5 key steps of Scrum?
- Backlog Refinement – all team members can participate in a conversation where ideas and concerns are shared and discussed.
- Sprint Planning – every sprint starts with a planning meeting. This is where the product owner summarizes the main goals of a new project, discusses ideas, and describes “stories” of what should be achieved. The team members shall study these stories and transform them into achievable and measurable tasks. It has an average duration of 7 to 15 days.
- Daily Scrum and Stand-Up - Team members and scrum masters meet on a daily basis to share their progress and keep track of the sprint’s progress. This helps keep fluid communication and serves as a moment to take notes, outline priorities, ask for advice and plan tasks ahead. These are very short meetings where each member has from 30 seconds to a minute to explain what they did yesterday, what they’ll do today and if they have blockers that don’t allow them to move forward.
- Sprint Review Meeting or Showcase – by the end of a sprint, all work is revised by the product owner, and it can be either accepted or rejected. At this point, team members should be sure all tasks were well addressed and completed.
- Sprint Retrospective Meeting – an exhaustive retrospective of the whole process evaluates the latest sprint. This meeting is always chaired by the Scrum Master. It serves as a tool to improve team efficiency, as it identifies the main obstacles, what worked best, the product owner preferences, and what can be done in future sprints to improve effectiveness and assure better results.
Summing it up
Project management software is immersed in a tech environment that evolves quickly and frameworks are often born or reinvented to meet the needs of different assignments.
Keep in mind that Scrum is a framework based on the Agile Methodology. All Agile based frameworks are software used to implement the completion of tasks and achieve goals in an efficient and timely manner.
Scrum is a framework for software management which enables project planning on small teams. It enables the distribution of tasks that are completed in fixed duration cycles called “sprints”.
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