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What Is Scrum & How It Helps You With Project Management

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We have to manage a business’s finances and employees carefully. If not, it could easily be in debt. For finances, we can often outsource to other firms, but project management comes from within. More Scrum Masters have been born in recent years.

Scrum is a framework that streamlines your team’s work. The term comes from rugby, a sport famous for team unity and cooperation.

That’s what scrum will help your company achieve.

Scrum will help your team to:

Improve learning by sharing experiences

Learn to self-organise

Analyse success and failure to become better

Scrum can help you turn your business idea into a reality, or improve your current management. Read the article below to find out how scrum principles can improve your project management and flourish your business.

How Does Scrum Work?

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The cornerstone of scrum is constant improvement. This framework enables your team to change their mindset and start encompassing agile principles in their work. As such, they will help your customers better because they’ll be more focused on people’s needs.

And that’s why scrum implies lifelong learning and being flexible.

Instead of being weighed down by circumstances, your team will learn to harness their shared experiences for learning and improvement. Scrum is also about prioritising and planning.

Don’t expect a rigid framework, though.

Just like business loans, Scrum is easily customised to fit your company’s needs. It all starts with transparent communication and eagerness to improve, though.

List Of Scrum Artefacts

Scrum artefacts are the tools you’ll rely on. These three tools we’ll discuss below are constants that will help you tackle the variables in your environment:

1. Product Backlog

In simple terms, the product backlog is what a product manager or owner needs to do, related to:

Characteristics

Requirements

Improvements

Solutions

As you can see, this “to-do” list constantly changes depending on market evolution or the new insights you’re gaining from your customers.

2. Sprint Backlog

Your development team works in sprint cycles. So, they’ll prioritise an item to work on before each sprint (e.g., user stories or fixes) according to a specific goal.

This sprint goal stays fixed throughout the sprint. However, your team can change the sprint backlog as they go to meet this goal.

That brings us to the next point:

3. Sprint Goal (Increment)

The increment is what you get out of a specific sprint, meaning the goal or the result. And, of course, the goal is different for each company and each phase of your project.

Why is it important to acknowledge these goal variations?

It’s not knit-picking or stating the obvious; establishing a clear – and correct – sprint goal is essential for your team to avoid mistakes and, more importantly, undue stress.

Scrum Ceremonies

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Scrum ceremonies are regular events/meetings that aim to bring your team closer together.

Your team might find a specific event tiresome. In this case, don’t persist for more than two sprints; evaluate and readjust.

As you keep flexibility top of your mind, let’s break down a few scrum ceremonies your team might like:

1. Backlog Organising

The product owner is responsible for handling this event. The owner must always know what’s going on in the market to refine the product.

But honing the product into its best version means being open to feedback from:

The users

The development team

That’s why the whole team can take part in this scrum event.

2. Sprint Planning

Your team can become more united if they feel heard during a sprint planning meeting. After all, this even entails establishing the current sprint’s scope.

The person conducting this scrum ceremony is the scrum master.

After the meeting, all team members will know exactly what’s expected of them and the tools they can use.

3. Sprint

A sprint is a scrum event itself because your team collaborates to get through an increment. Usually, this sprint lasts for two weeks, but some units may be comfortable with longer – or shorter – periods.

Tip: If you’re dealing with complex work, shorten your sprint’s duration.

This phase starts with planning and ends with a retrospective, so don’t be afraid to readjust the sprint’s scope and learn from your experiences.

4. Daily Scrum

The daily scrum is a brief meeting (stand-up meeting) that takes place every day at the same time. Most teams do this meeting in the mornings, for 15 minutes. Its goals are to:

Increase transparency and clarity – meaning everyone’s on the same page

Ensure a plan for the following day

Discuss concerns or problems that your team’s dealing with

Avoid bland calendar read-outs and ensure your team genuinely connects during these meetings.

5. Sprint Reviews

This scrum ceremony is an informal review meeting. Here’s what happens:

Your development team shows stakeholders and teammates the completed backlog items.

The stakeholders and colleagues provide feedback.

The owner reframes the product backlog according to the current sprint.

6. Sprint Retrospective

This part is essential because your team can evaluate what worked and what didn’t. You can adjust your tools and communications to see better results in future sprints.

What Are Scrum Roles?

Your scrum team entails several roles to be functional. Let’s review them below:

Scrum Product Owner

Product owners focus on creating the best possible products. They accumulate insights into the business, users, and the market. Next, they set priorities and ensure the engineering team works towards the goals.

The responsibilities of a product owner include:

Organising and managing the product backlog

Communicating with the team to ensure transparency and understanding

Guiding the team

Deciding on product shipments and favouring frequent deliveries

The product owner and product manager can be two distinct people.

Scrum Master

Scrum masters are scrum coaches, advocating for and overseeing the entire scrum process. Thus, they teach everyone the scrum process and readjust the practice whenever needed.

That’s why a scrum master must have a deep understanding of your team’s work.

Otherwise, they couldn’t optimise the workflow, assign resources correctly, or do sprint retrospectives.

Scrum Development Team

The scrum development team encompasses people who do the hard work. If you want your team to bring the best results, make sure they’re united and located in the same place.

Usually, the best team size to meet those goals is 5-7 people.

Of course, make sure your team members have complementing abilities. That way, they can achieve more objectives and teach each other new skills. As a result, everyone will contribute toward the outcome.

Remember: Your scrum team should seamlessly organise their work and have a group mindset.

These people should work together as a group and help each other. Their responsibilities include:

Planning sprints

Forecasting the amount of work they can do during a sprint based on past experiences

Taking part in other scrum ceremonies, such as backlog organising, reviews, and retrospectives

Comparing Scrum, Kanban, and Agile

Although many online sources present them as such, scrum and agile aren’t the same. However, the scrum framework is an integral part of agile – and that’s why confusion can arise.

Agile is larger than scrum, though.

For example, kanban is a frequently used alternative framework. You can even combine it with scrum, as many other companies do. Hybrid models are known as “scrumban” or “kanplan” – the latter adding a backlog to the original kanban.

These two frameworks share similarities such as:

Using visual methods to monitor work progress (e.g., boards)

Valuing efficiency

Breaking down complex tasks into more approachable objectives

The differences are significant too:

Scrum is about tackling small iterations with fixed durations. After deciding the sprint’s period, the team determines the stories and product backlog they can implement.

By contrast:

Kanban determines the tasks first and then sets the required period to accomplish these objectives.

Kanban structure is different too because it’s much more flexible.

Apart from the time limit for the work in progress, everything else is open and adaptable. By comparison, scrum has those fixed ceremonies we discussed above. Besides, a scrum team is cross-functional and self-reliant, which means it doesn’t need outside third parties to complete tasks.

Of course, getting a cross-functional team together isn’t easy. That’s why some companies adopt kanban instead of going through the process of changing their mindset and teamwork completely.

Why Choose Scrum?

Scrum is based on a straightforward framework encompassing specific artefacts, roles, ceremonies, and rules. The method is semi-prescriptive, helping to eliminate any confusion in your development process. At the same time, it’s easy to adapt and customise the framework for your business.

Scrum also helps you tackle complex tasks because it teaches you to break them into manageable user stories.

Besides, it also helps that everyone has a specific role and that your project is composed of planned events.

The result is transparency and united teamwork. This MO (mode of operation) fosters motivation and work satisfaction because your team will see results quickly.

On the downside, you need some time to understand and leverage scrum. You’ll have most difficulties if your team’s used to following a waterfall framework. In this case, your team will need more time to adapt to small tasks, everyday scrum meetings, and reviews. It may also be challenging to find a scrum master who can champion scrum principles and oversee the entire process.

Even if the learning curve is steep at first, scrum is worth it.

How Can You Implement Scrum?

Implementing scrum in your company takes some resources, at least until you get used to the framework. Remember that you’ll have to navigate a complex cultural shift at first, which could translate into some loss of short-term productivity.

That’s why you’ll need enough funds.

MPM Capital will be your trustworthy partner throughout the process. Our goal is to help Singapore companies flourish their businesses because that improves everyone’s living standards.

We offer low interest business loans for all industries in Singapore. From tuition centres to eyecare clinics, MPM Capital can customize a sound and safe financial plan for you. Besides, MPM Capital offers business funding up to $2 million to solve your cash flow needs.

 

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