Scrum is a process model for project and product management and comes from agile software development. The newlearning map No. 10 of the communication guides guides you through the scrum flow and explains the mindset behind agile procedures. If possible, the teams sit in one room to work on tasks together. In short daily meetings – Daily Scrums – they discuss what is planned for that day. They orientate themselves on the task board, which shows which tasks are currently being processed, how far the product has progressed, what still needs to be done and where there are problems.
After each sprint – usually at intervals of one to three weeks – the team shows the customer or user in a review the new functionalities and the product up to the current status. By trying it out, it becomes clear: “Is development going in the right direction?” “Do we need something else?” “Do we not need anything?” The development adapts to reality and in the end the customer gets the product that he really needs.
Since nobody can foresee the future and new developments are an exploration of the unknown, Scrum does not plan months or years in advance, but rather develops piece by piece. Scrum relies on cross-functionality, i.e. teams made up of representatives from all the disciplines required for development.
On the basis of the product vision, these teams develop fully functional product parts or increments that can be used by the customer in regular iterations – so-called sprints. The most important functionalities are developed first, because with each sprint it becomes clearer what can be left out. The key point is: A Scrum team makes its own decision within the given framework as to what it will implement in the next sprint and how it will do it. In return, the team makes a promise – a commitment.
Scrum does not solve problems per se – people always have to act sensibly. But Scrum shows where changes are necessary. At some point it becomes clear which working methods, which behavior and which processes hinder the success of a project and thus its success in the market. In the reviews, teams and customers recognize which ideas for a product do not work and which are not needed at all. The sooner you fail with an idea, the sooner fewer resources, time and money are lost!
Communication is the engine of productivity
«Scrum originated in software development. However, the principles and values are universally applicable. Success factors are intensive communication and a respectful mindset. The cross-functional composition of the Scrum teams promotes the exchange of knowledge and learning in the organization.
The organizational principles of Scrum
Scrum is based on simple principles and a clear allocation of roles. You will probably be familiar with some of the principles – above all the pull principle – they come from Lean Management and can also be found in the Toyota Production System.
1 Self-organized, cross-functional teams
The members of a scrum team exchange their knowledge and support one another. They take responsibility for their actions and organize their tasks themselves with the support of the ScrumMaster.
2 Working according to the pull principle
The team decides how much functionality a product will deliver in one sprint. It is not assigned its tasks, but rather controls the amount of work that it can handle in a sprint. The “pull principle” helps to develop a working rhythm and a speed that the team can maintain over the long term.
3 Clearly limited time intervals (timebox)
All actions of the team have a time frame, after which a result is requested. Planning and development phases alternate. During a sprint, the ScrumMaster shields the team from external disturbances so that it can work in a focused manner.
4 Usable business functionality
At the end of each sprint, the team delivers a product increment that meets the project specifications and can already be used by the customer. This principle must be observed!