Scrum (in management)

Scrum is an agile method for project management, first implemented by a team led by Jeff Sutherland at Easel Corporation in 1993. It has been called a "hyper-productivity tool", and has been documented to dramatically improve productivity in teams previously paralysed by heavier methodologies.

Its intended use is for management of software development projects, and it has been successfully used to "wrap" Extreme Programming and other development methodologies. However, it can theoretically be applied to any context where a group of people need to work together to achieve a common goal - such as setting up a small school, scientific research projects or planning a wedding.

Athough scrum was intended to be for management for software development projects, it can be used in running maintenance teams, or as a program management approach: scrum of scrums.

Scrum is characterised by:

  • A living backlog of prioritised work to be done;
  • Completion of a largely fixed set of backlog items in a series of short iterations or sprints;
  • A brief daily meeting or scrum, at which progress is explained, upcoming work is described and impediments are raised.
  • A brief planning session in which the backlog items for the sprint will be defined.
  • A brief heartbeat retrospective, at which all team members reflect about the past sprint.

Scrum is facilitated by a scrum master, whose primary job is to remove impediments to the ability of the team to deliver the sprint goal. The scrum master is not the leader of the team (as they are self-organising) but acts as a productivity buffer between the team and any destabilising influences.

Scrum enables the creation of self-organising teams by encouraging verbal communication across all team members and across all disciplines that are involved in the project.

A key principle of scrum is its recognition that fundamentally empirical challenges cannot be addressed successfully in a traditional "process control" manner. As such, scrum adopts an empirical approach - accepting that the problem cannot be fully understood or defined, focusing instead on maximising the team's ability to respond in an agile manner to emerging challenges.

Notably missing from scrum is the "cookbook" approach to project management exemplified in the Project Management Body of Knowledge - which has as its goal quality through application of a series of prescribed processes.

See also

External links

fr:scrum lt:Scrum


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