Altabel Group's Blog

What should we know about Scrum

Posted on: October 20, 2011

There are numerous, comprehensive project management models in use. To deliver a quality system, it’s critical to know the risks facing your project and to use a model that reduces those risks.
Nowadays scrum is the most popular methodology used. Scrum is an agile software development model based on multiple small teams working in an intensive and interdependent manner. Scrum employs real-time decision-making processes based on actual events and information. This requires well-trained and specialized teams capable of self-management, communication and decision-making. The teams in the organization work together while constantly focusing on their common interests. Scrum model emphasizes communication and collaboration, functioning software and the flexibility to adopt to emerging business realities – all attributes that suffer in the rigidly ordered waterfall model.

Scrum involves:

Initial appointment of a project manager called the “scrum master.”
Definition and prioritization of tasks to be done.
Planning sessions for each task.
Daily meetings among teams.
Identification and evaluation of potential project risks and process pitfalls.
Execution of projects in brief, high-intensity, frequent work sessions.
Reviews of progress and evaluations of completed projects.
Openness to constructive criticism and ideas for improvement.

As with any form of methodology, there are always positive and negative aspects of assigning a task or project to a set workflow. The specific nature of scrum template differs from more conventional development methodologies, as the latter are only designed to take into account and foresee unpredictability of the external and development environments at the start of the enhancement cycle.
One of the key benefits of the scrum model is its flexibility and adaptiveness as work requirements change. It provides control mechanisms for the planning of a product release, and then managing variables as the project is carried out. It means that the project can be altered and modified depending on updates, and in the end manages to establish and deliver the most appropriate release, emerging from the ability to adjust work to changing expectations once the project is underway. Because the scrum process also provides much room for individual work and contribution, developers are free to devise ideas and solutions. Usually these ideas are pioneering and innovative as the team relies on the best possible formula for the completion of their work, in order to finish the project as appropriately, and as efficiently as possible. Another positive aspect of the scrum model is the Object Oriented approach to methodology, suggesting a discrete, reliable and manageable environment. The scrum model is a highly adaptive and flexible form of project management, and procedural code does not apply to scrum project management because of this
Overall, the lack of external policy and procedure is what makes scrum a useful and unprecedented approach to project management and effective workflow. It ensures work efficiency and is strongly based on the experience and reliability of the people evolved – providing not only a stronger drive and increased self-efficacy in team members, but also room for the improvement on ones work ethic and innovation. Through this process, scrum methodology may within itself develop procedural systems, although these tend to remain subjective and only reliable in similar project circumstances, involving homogenous conditions.
Of all the agile methodologies, Scrum is unique because it introduced the idea of “empirical process control.” That is, Scrum uses the real-world progress of a project — not a best guess or uninformed forecast — to plan and schedule releases. In Scrum, projects are divided into sprints, which are typically one week, two weeks, or three weeks in duration. At the end of each sprint, stakeholders and team members meet to assess the progress of a project and plan its next steps. This allows a project’s direction to be adjusted or reoriented based on completed work, not speculation or predictions.
But what allows the Scrum methodology to really work is a set of roles, responsibilities, and meetings that never change. If Scrum’s capacity for adaption and flexibility makes it an appealing option, the stability of its practices give teams something to lean on when development gets chaotic.
What do you personally think, what makes this Scrum methodology so popular and so useful? Do you personally use this model in PM? Would you enumerate some weaknesses of this approach, if any?
Feel free to share your comments and on thoughts.

Kind Regards,

Natalia Osipchik

Business Development Manager



Altabel Group

Professional Software Development


14 Responses to "What should we know about Scrum"

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I like the message but there are some thing I’ll disagree on:
1) Initial appointment of a project manager called the “scrum master.”
A scrum Master is not a project manager. its a different beast, which assume some of the roles a Project manager has (depending on your exact definition of Project Manager.
2) Planning sessions for each task
realizing that you used the term task as a replacement for stories (which might confuse many). Its worth mentioning that most places will plan an entire sprint in a single meeting before it starts (called Sprint Planning)
3) Scrum is unique because it introduced the idea of “empirical process control.”
ALL agile process are empirical processes. its the classical “waterfall” like models which are not empirical in nature

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I find many aspects in your description of scrum inaccurate, as Lior Friedman wrote. Another thing I’ve noticed is the claim that scrum has anything to do with Object Oriented development. Scrum is a framework that says nothing about the actual development techniques and practices. You are likely to find correlations between teams using scrum and the usage of good sustainable development practices (such as Object Oriented development, test automation, continuous integration) because the framework drives you to stream line your work and to balance investment in value production vs. production capability (to use Covey’s terms, P\PC balance).

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