I remember when my Quality Management lecturer gave us a small class test. She said – ‘Write down what you know about SCRUM, the roles , the advantages and everything.” I was shocked, SCRUM? What the heck is SCRUM? Is this one of those fancy terms in this Quality Management Course? Before I knew it, a friend sitting next to me started writing down things about SCRUM on a paper and it dawned on me that they had been taught SCRUM earlier in the course when I was not a member of the course ( Why I joined late to the course is a story for another time 🙂 ) .
As time went by, I got the grips of SCRUM and I loved and mastered the concept so much that the same friend that was writing things down the other day started to call me “SCRUM Master” . For business students and business owners who came across this post in search for the understanding of SCRUM, am sorry for the banter! I do this alot, I promise to go straight to the point on the next paragraph.
SCRUM is a methodology used in developing a product ( or service ) where the highest priority is to satisfy the customer and provide value through early and continuous delivery of valuable
software product. I striked the word “software” out because i think alot of people always associate SCRUM with only software development, I believe it can be used for not just only software but products and projects as well.
Interesting fact about SCRUM is that it is a blow to the face of the traditional methods used to create products where the specification and requirements needed for the product is gotten from the customer from the beginning and the next time the customer is contacted is when the product is “done”. Customers are not fully involved in the product development process, isn’t the product not supposed to be for the customer? Then why is not involved in the development process? Am shocked as well!
As the business world moves towards a more “Customer Centric” approach of creating and delivering products and value, smart businesses are beginning to emulate the SCRUM agile method in creating products and this has led to the up rise in the demand for individuals with knowledge of SCRUM and has also led to new and fancy job tittles springing up everywhere. You will hear John or Jenifer saying I am a – “SCRUM Manger” or “SCRUM Master” or “SCRUM Expert” or any other fancy tittle they can come up with. Durrh! This post is not to give you the “all in all” of SCRUM because that means John and Jenifer will go out of business but its aimed at enlightening the the small business owners and hustlers / entrepreneurs on what SCRUM is, the advantages of using SCRUM methodology in their business.
If you recall from the tittle of this post, I said “Create Amazing Products & Team With SCRUM” , but up to this point I haven’t talked about the Team part of SCRUM, only the product. I got carried away. SCRUM doesn’t only enable a business create and deliver amazing quick and continuous value to their customer but also creates an atmosphere in the company where team members are cross functional ( Everyone does everything. Although they may be more skilled in one field but they work together to achieve the project goal ) and self motivating ( they know their roles and do them without being “policed” ).
There are roles in SCRUM that every SCRUM product development process should entail and on the next paragraphs, I will talk about them and give you the guns needed to understand and start using SCRUM in your business to provide value, create products your customers really want to use and create an amazing team environment.
THE SCRUM PROCESS
Let me re-cap on what SCRUM is and it’s purpose. SCRUM is a product development process used to handle projects and product development with the sole aim of creating an end product which the customer will use while delivering early increments of the products and receiving feedback which is then used to make the product better. Below is the schematic diagram of the process.
The Product Backlog contains the list of features the customer wants the product to to have. These features / requirements are given by the customer.
The Sprint Backlog contains prioritize features which will go into the first product development cycle ( usually called Sprint ).
The Sprint is where the action occurs. It is the development period. The product development begins and the prioritized features are what is aimed to be delivered in this first sprint. Also, the team does something called the “Daily Stand-Up” meeting where the SCRUM masters ask 3 questions “What did you do yesterday?” “What are you doing today” “What are the impediments in your way?“. The sprint normally lasts between 1-4weeks but not longer.
The final stage is the delivery of a product that contains all the prioritized features. This product is always called “Potentially Ship-able Product” or “Working Increment of the software”.
THE SCRUM TEAM
Like I said in page one, the team that makes use of SCRUM are always self-organizing and self-motivating. There is no “Project Manager” who makes orders, instead; there is a team of individuals trying to achieve the same goal. There is defintely someone who is the ‘head’, but he is more of a coordinator and problem solver than a commander.
The Product Owner is the mouth piece of the customer. He/She represents the views of the end customer, what they want and what features the product to be developed should have.
The Scrum Master is the facilitator of the development. He gets information / feature requests from the Product Owner. He ensures the SCRUM methodology is followed correctly.
The Delivery Team, these are the team members who design, develop and create the final product. They are self organising and self-motivated.
This post is getting pretty long. What do you think? The post’s aim is to introduce you to SCRUM and how effective it is in producing a product that the customer will use and be happy with because of it’s customer-centric approach of development. I think it’s best i talk more about SCRUM in another post or you can comment below or shoot me an email to learn more.