Entrepreneurship

Why Scrum?

What is Scrum? The Scrum is an approach that uses Agile framework in accomplishing complicated projects. Originally, Scrum was designed for software development projects, however, they found out that it can also work perfectly on any complicated, innovative scope of work. It seems that there is no limit on its possibilities. You might think that the Scrum framework is complicated, however, it is actually very simple.

Overview Of The Scrum Framework

An owner of a certain product will determine his priorities and create a wish list which is known as the product backlog.  The next step is sprint planning. In this phase, the team will take a small part from the top of the wish list, also known as the sprint backlog. Afterwards, they will choose how to implement those pieces.

The team will be given a specific amount of time, also known as the sprint, to accomplish the task. Most often the time allocated is between two to four weeks. However, the team sees to it they will meet every day in order to evaluate its progress, also referred to as daily Scrum.

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The ScrumMaster will check from time to time to make sure that the team keeps its focus on its objective. When the sprint ends, the task should also be done, ready to be turned over to the customer, presented to the stakeholder, or placed on the shelf.

When the sprint is done, there is going to be a sprint analysis and retrospective. Then the next sprint will start. Again, the team will take another piece from the product backlog and starts to work on this task.

Beyond The Sprint Framework

The cycle goes on and on until such time that enough chunks in the product backlog have been accomplished, the deadline has arrived, or the budget has drained. The reason for ending the work will greatly depend on the project. Regardless of what is the reason for halting the work, Scrum will make sure that the most valuable work has been accomplished when the project ends.

Scrum For The Agile Organization

Based on the State of Agile Survey, about 60% of the projects are considered as Agile. Ultimately, Agile frameworks are very beneficial to companies since it can help in stimulating time to market, responding to prioritized transformations, as well as increasing productivity.

Among the various Agile frameworks, Scrum is considered as the most widely used. Scrum is commonly used by professionals across the globe as well as in different industries in order to guarantee greater success for their teams. More Than Accountants is also using this framework in accomplishing their projects.

Do you want to join this worldwide campaign in modifying the world of work? If so, then why not adopt Scrum into your organization?

More Than Accountants Can Help You In Bringing Scrum Into Your Organization

If you want to bring Scrum into practice, then More Than Accountants can help you. We have expertise both in Scrum theory and the practice of Scrum. We have an in-depth knowledge of the practices and principles of Scrum. Most of all, we have actual experience of real Scrum projects. Our experts can teach you and your team on how to improve collaboration and performance which are both needed in Scrum. Keep in mind that organizational transformation does not occur overnight since it requires some work. However, More Than Accountants can help you by making it easier. We can help you with training your team.

Core Scrum — Values and Functions

Values From The Agile Manifesto

It is well known that Scrum is one of the best Agile frameworks. In fact, most of the values and principles of the Agile Manifesto are sourced from Scrum. And these are used as the basis for all of these approaches.

The Agile Manifesto Values Practiced In Scrum

Individuals and communications over processes and tools.

Just like any other Agile frameworks and methods, Scrum greatly depends on the individuals that are part of the team, the trust in teams, as well as the way they communicate. The teams will determine what needs to be done, the teams will also be responsible for figuring out how to do it, and these teams will do it.

Teams will also recognize what’s getting in their way, at the same time, they will be responsible for resolving all the challenges that are within their scope. Teams will collaborate with the other divisions of the organization in order to resolve the matters that are beyond their control. This is very important. When attempting to implement Scrum, you should never ignore its major focus which is team responsibility and independence in order to avoid any trouble.

Working software over extensive documentation.

Scrum needs a working, completed increment of the product which will represent as the principal outcome of every sprint. Everything must be documented, starting from the design work, analysis work, down to the testing work. However, a result also referred to as the working software, is required so the organization can successfully proceed with the project. This is essential. In every sprint, scrum teams must be able to generate product increment.

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation.

The main contact of the Scrum team is also the Scrum product owner. Within the Scrum team, there are also end-users of the product. The product owner, which is also part of the team, will collaborate with his members in order to figure out what needs to be done. During this collaboration, the product owner will choose the most important things that need to be done next. He will make sure that the product obtains the greatest possible value all the time. It is vital that the product owner must create a strong collaboration with the team.

Reacting to transformation over following a plan.

Scrum is designed in such a way that anyone can obtain the information that they require so they can create good choices about the project. The progress of the project is shown in a real, running product increment. When there is a backlog of works that need to be done, then everyone has access to it.  Whether it is the entire progress or the sprint by sprint progress, you can see them clearly. When there are any issues and concerns that will appear then they must be discussed by the team openly and resolved immediately. This is vital. Scrum can work successfully if teams will openly analyze the current things that are happening and associate their actions to the actual scenario. If things are not done this way, then it won’t work.

The Values of Scrum

All the things that are done in Scrum require a strong foundation of values when it comes to the team’s process and principles. Scrum focuses more on teamwork and constant improvement and in order to help them achieve this, they should create values that they can depend on. These values include focus, openness, courage, respect, and commitment. Based on the team’s point of view, these values provide some important benefits.

Focus

Since the team works only on small things at a time, then they can work perfectly when they are together and can generate excellent work. At the same time, they can deliver significant items quickly.

Openness

Considering that the team is working together, then there are great chances that they can express how they are doing and what are the challenges that they are facing. It is always great to express concerns so that they can be resolved.

Courage

The members of the team will always feel that they are not alone. The team will frequently support each other and they can always rely on various resources. And as a result, they will have the courage to face greater challenges.

Respect

As a team that is working together, there will always be successes and failures that will come along their way. Because of these circumstances, they were able to respect each other. They also help one another become worthy of respect.

Commitment

Because the team has more control over their fate, then it is more likely that they will be able to obtain success.

Once you let Scrum do its work, then all the people involved in the project will realize its advantages. At the same time, they will start to comprehend why Scrum greatly depends and induces these values.

The Scrum Framework

What makes scrum significant? Scrum is actually a framework used for developing a product. Scrum can also be described as a team process that starts when a certain product is required by the stakeholders. There are three roles that comprised the Scrum team. These are the ScrumMaster, the product owner, and finally, the members of the development team.

A product is produced incrementally through a series of sprints which only takes a short period. Usually, sprints have a fixed period and mostly it can last up to four weeks, however, it would be great if they are in shorter intervals. In every sprint, the Scrum team is required to develop and deliver a product increment. In every increment, there should be a visible improvement which is highly recognized. This should be considered as the operating subset of the product. The team must ensure that it meets accepted criteria and it must be developed in a level of quality also known as the Definition of Done.

There are three essential elements in Scrum. These are the sprint backlog, the product backlog, and the product increment. The listing of ideas for the product can be found in the product backlog. It should be developed in a manner on how it is expected to be accomplished. On the other hand, the sprint backlog contains all the details for building the next sprint. While the product increment is the result needed to be achieved for every sprint. This is also the integrated accomplishment of the product. Additionally, it’s quality must be sufficient enough so it can be shipped whenever the product owner decides to ship it.

Furthermore, one of the requirements of Scrum is there must be some transparency within the team as well as with the stakeholders themselves. Hence, it is significant that the Scrum team must be able to generate apparent representations of their plans and progress.

Consequently, there are also five activities or meetings that are incorporated in Scrum. These are the backlog filtration, sprint preparation, periodic scrum, sprint analysis, and sprint retrospective.

Scrum Roles

Product Owner

The responsibility of the product owner is to decide the works that need to be done. This is the only person responsible for producing the most valuable product possible that can be delivered on the desired date. In order to accomplish this, the product owner must be able to manage the team’s flow of work effectively. He will be the one who will choose and refine the items that are found in the product backlog. The product owner will be responsible for the maintenance of the product backlog. At the same time, he must also make sure that each individual understands what is it all about and what should be given priorities. In case the product owner needs support, then he can get help from other individuals, however, it must only be a single person.

Obviously, the product owner will not be the one totally responsible for everything. It is the responsibility of the whole Scrum team to be as productive as possible by asking the appropriate questions, enhancing the practices as well as providing help to the product owner.

But keep in mind that the position of a product owner in Scrum is unique. Typically, the product owner is the one closest to the project. This means that he is on the business side. The product owner has the responsibility of getting this product out there. Also, the organization expects that he will do his best so the stakeholders will get satisfied. In order to do this, the product owner must be able to handle the product backlog and make sure that the backlog and its development is apparent.

The product owner will be the one who makes decisions when it comes to the next task that the development team will do or postpone. He will have to choose between scope and schedule so they can achieve the best possible product.

Development Team Member

The development team is comprised of professionals who perform the task of delivering the product increment. Scrum ensures that the development team has all the essential skills needed so they will be able to deliver every increment of the product.

It is expected that the development team members are available to work full time on the project, rather than dividing their time over multiple projects. It is their obligation to self-organize so that they can complete every sprint goal, ensuring that every new product increment is done based on each sprint plan.

The product owner will be the one who will create the ordered list of the works that needs to be done. What the development team members do is predict the things that they can do in one sprint. Additionally, they will make a choice on how they are going to accomplish it.

ScrumMaster

The ScrumMaster is also referred to as the servant leader. He will be responsible for helping the rest of the team follow the procedure. It is critical that the ScrumMaster must have a good knowledge of the Scrum framework and he must possess the capability to train others.

The ScrumMaster will help the product owner in making and maintaining the product backlog. He will work with the whole Scrum team in developing the Definition of Done. The ScrumMaster will also collaborate with the development team in searching and implementing the technical practices so they can reach Done at the end of every sprint.

Additionally, the ScrumMaster is also responsible for eliminating the obstacles that are hindering the team’s progress. These difficulties can either be internal, for instance, if the product owner does not know how to prepare the product backlog or external, for instance if there is limited support from another team. Because of these, the ScrumMaster must encourage self-organization. This means that the team itself must eliminate any issues wherever possible.

It is possible that the ScrumMaster will promote meetings and will play the role of a coach for the Scrum team as well as helps in executing the Scrum process. He must see to it that all the team members are working together and are protected from both internal and external disturbances while learning the Scrum framework. It is also the job of the ScrumMaster to ensure that the entire team of Scrum is on track while developing their ability, and always productive.

Finally, the ScrumMaster must ensure that the team understands the Scrum both inside and outside. He will help in making the people outside the team learn about the process and the kind of communication that is helpful with the team.

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James is the co founder of More Than Accountants an Online Accountants. He will be more than happy to help More Than Accountants clients implement any guides or strategies that he has posted to the blog. If you would like to learn more about becoming a More Than Accountants client you can quote online by using our Unlimited Accountancy Services Quoting Tool.

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