What is Scrum? And how it can help your organization

Communication, teamwork, productivity ... these are some of the foundations of SCRUM, a system that ensures the agile management of a project and that helps communication between multidisciplinary teams, breaking with siled or cascade management systems. We explain what it consists of and how you can implement it in your company.

Scrum is a methodology that was initially used to manage software development but that, currently, can be applied to any project in which actors from different teams intervene to work together.

This type of methodology for project management, considered agile methodology, is based on making partial and regular deliveries of the final product so that the client or stakeholder (can be an actual client or the person in charge of the product within a company, directors, etc.) you can start using the most value-added features for your project before it is completely finished. The requirements for it to work are commitment, listening, productivity, and openness to creativity.

Scrum, what is it?

When a project is run in Scrum, certain short, fixed-duration time cycles called iterations or sprints are defined. They usually last two weeks, although it can be extended to 3 or 4 if the product/service requires it. Some mature companies in this type of methodologies could reduce the sprints to days and even hours.

The process starts from the list of needs that acts as a project plan (Product Backlog). The Product Owner intervenes on this list, who will prioritize the objectives based on value/cost once they have been defined through talks with stakeholders. The person who will coordinate the work processes is called Scrum Master, and he is the one who will make sure that the process works and the deliveries are fulfilled. In the same way, the Scrum Master ensures understanding and a good atmosphere among the teams, establishing the appropriate spaces to resolve any barrier or frustration that may arise.

Phases of the Scrum process

  1. Planning. The first phase is divided into two parts: selection of requirements (2 hours) and planning (2 hours). In this first meeting, the Product Owner must present what he wants, and the team that will execute it will ask the questions that arise and select the priority requirements to be completed in each iteration. Here we will create the Product Backlog, a document or file that will gather the characteristics of the project to be undertaken and its functionalities. The only person who can modify this document is the Product Owner.

  2. Execution and development. The second stage goes through the definition of the Sprint Backlog, the document that collects the tasks to be carried out and who performs them. The Sprint is the period in which all the actions established in the Sprint Backlog are carried out and involves partial deliveries (every two weeks, for example) to test the characteristics of the final product. The sprint process is repeated until the final product is completed (for example, 10 sprints of 2 weeks each).

To ensure that we meet times and tasks, each team holds a daily 15-minute meeting to answer three questions:

  • What have I done since the last meeting to reach the goal

  • What am I going to do now

  • What impediments have I had

The Scrum Master will ensure that the team has no trouble addressing its roles and tasks in these meetings.

  1. Sprint review. On the last day of each iteration, completed requirements are reviewed with the Product Owner, and changes are made to re-plan the objectives of the next Sprint. In this phase, the retrospective session also takes place, where we analyze the obstacles when working, and the Scrum Master will be in charge of scaling or eliminating them.

Once the sprints reflected in the Product Backlog have been executed, the complete product prototype will be delivered for validation with the Product Owner.

This type of methodology is used to solve situations where the client is not receiving what he needs from the supplier, where deliveries are lengthened, and, therefore, costs skyrocket. A system of partial and controlled deliveries in time will improve the client's perception of us. The great potential of this way of working lies in shared decision-making and problem solving, instead of the classic negotiations or debates where everyone (or nobody) is right.

If you are an SME, entrepreneur, or company and have questions about carrying out your innovation and technology development strategy, Alset can help you out!

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