What makes the Scrum method so effective? Here are the key elements you should know about.
6 min 40 sec
Of course, Scrum is such a big concept that it’s hard to condense it into just a few key elements. Our main goal here is to show you how Scrum can be used to increase your team efficiency.
In Scrum, tasks rarely exceed a 2-week period. In fact, there is a special name for such iterations - they are called “sprints”.
Ideally, by the end of a 2-week sprint, the team should produce a more or less meaningful result. If a task is too big to be completed within a single sprint, you just break it down into a few smaller tasks or stages.
This way, you always have a tangible, predictable result by the end of every iteration that gives you something to work with.
This leads us to another great thing about Scrum - it’s super flexible. If things go south, you don’t have to wait until the project is complete to realize this fact. Scrum allows for a quick course correction without jumping and abandoning the ship.
This level of flexibility and adjustability is a must in today’s fast-paced environment when you may have to adjust your plans and even goals during the course of a project.
Every company has to deal with two main types of tasks - current, day-to-day activities and strategic development tasks, with the latter usually not getting enough attention from the management.
The Scrum method allows you to restore the balance between day-to-day operations and long-term development by including strategic tasks into every sprint.
Collect ideas from your team, collaborate on these ideas and turn them into completed projects.
Scrum has its roots in the IT industry, which makes it ideal for IT projects.
Scrum works best in situations when the end result is not always clear at the beginning of a project.
As the team gets ahold of new information about the customers and the market during the course of a project, it can quickly incorporate this new knowledge into the final version of the product making it more competitive as a result.
Teams that work on graphic design, CGI, and other types of creative projects often have to deal with subjective feedback from their clients.
This is where the iterative approach of Scrum really shines.
With every iteration, you can incorporate the client feedback into the project and save a lot of time and hassle on endless approvals and reworkings. Oh, and that also helps to stay within the budget limits.
You complete a part of the project, show the preliminary result to the client, get (hopefully) constructive feedback, and proceed to the next iteration. The cycle repeats until the project is complete - and the client is happy!
When you work on a big, complex project with a lot of elements in the equation, the smartest way to go about it is to move in short iterations, which is what Scrum is all about.
This way, you can test out different ideas, launch experiments, and - based on the data you receive - make the necessary adjustments.
Working in short iterations will help your project to move at a steady pace and allow you to approach different problems one at a time.
A single list of tasks and ideas
All of the project tasks, suggestions, ideas, and feedback are stored and prioritized in a special list called the “backlog”.
Members of the team can always see what’s in the backlog and find the task or idea they’re looking for - whether it’s about marketing, user experience, conversion rate, and so on.
Backlog brings order and structure to any project.
When planning a sprint, you pick the tasks that are most relevant to the current project stage.
In Scrum, you can't have someone personally responsible for the sprint result - it’s always the whole team.
Your team members can complete their tasks on time perfectly but if there’s just one person on the team who drops the ball, the whole team fails to deliver.
This is what's great about Scrum: there's no need for the project manager to stand behind people’s backs and micromanage.
Team members have to communicate with each other more, which, in turn, leads to a more productive collaboration.
This is one of the many positive effects your team will experience when they switch to Scrum - improved communication and collaboration.
Task completion criteria (Definition of Done)
Before a sprint starts, the Scrum team sits down to discuss the task completion criteria (called the Definition of Done in Scrum) to make sure everyone’s on the same page when it comes to deciding whether a task is fully completed.
This way, every team member will have very specific criteria they can use before marking a task as “complete.”
As a result, you get a more independent, more focused team that does not need a constant “back-and-forth” between the team members and the project manager.
Everyone on the team can sign off on their own tasks and have full responsibility for the result.
Systemic, transparent approach
Although it may seem a bit chaotic at first, the Scrum method is actually quite rigidly structured. It features 4 types of team meetings: sprint planning meeting, daily standup meeting, sprint review meeting, sprint retrospective meeting.
If a team is working in 2-week sprints, the schedule will look something like this:
Monday: planning meetingHere, the team picks the tasks for the upcoming sprint.
Daily standup meetingOnce the sprint is started, the team gets together for a quick 15-minute daily standup meeting every morning. During this meeting, every team member talks about what they did yesterday, what they’re going to do today, and if there are any problems. This way, the team can quickly come up with solutions to such problems before they turn into a disaster.
Sprint reviewTwo weeks later, when the sprint is complete, the team gets together for a sprint review to show the results they produced to the project manager and other people involved.
Sprint retrospectiveThis is an internal meeting for the team to discuss the positives and negatives of the completed sprint and see what can be done to improve the working process.
Meetings in Scrum cannot be rescheduled or canceled
This rigid, predictable schedule ensures a steady pace and complete transparency to the point where every team member knows what’s going on at any given moment.
That’s it - just 15 minutes a day is all it takes to get the team going. Scrum does away with hour-long meetings and other unnecessary distractions. Working in short, 2-week bursts keeps everyone focused and motivated. Small problems can be identified and resolved during the course of a sprint while major issues can be approached and tackled during the sprint retrospective.
How to get started with Scrum?
Before your team could switch to Scrum, they have to embrace and adopt its rules and rituals.
That’s where you’re going to need a leader who will teach everyone else how to apply Scrum and control the implementation process.
In fact, you just might happen to be that leader=)
All you have to do is complete this course and you'll be equipped with enough knowledge to implement the Scrum method in your company.
Besides, you’ve got all the right Scrum tools inside Bitrix24. You don’t have to go all in - start with one department and then gradually involve more and more people as you deem appropriate.
Not every team or department has to switch to Scrum so you may have to give it a try before finding the perfect balance between traditional methods and Scrum for your company.
This is the beginning of a really exciting journey so hop in, buckle up, and see you in the next lesson!
Your Bitrix24 Scrum advisor
Agile project management and Scrum methodology best fit:
What are the benefits of the Scrum methodology for a project manager?
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What are the benefits of sprints in Scrum?
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Which of these is a correct description of a Scrum team routine?
What’s the purpose of the Definition of Done (DOD) in Scrum?
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