Scrum introduces an iterative and collaborative approach to project management. Companies that successfully implement Scrum techniques can benefit from more productive teams and increased value from project results. Scrum is now a well-developed framework that specifies roles and processes for teams to follow. Many large and small companies seek out scrum training courses online to help get their team up to scratch with the latest project management standards.
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From agile to scrum
Agile techniques and methods offer a new way to manage teams and projects. Companies are no longer static and structured entities, and management methods need to change to reflect this.
Scrum is the most used framework for implementing Agile techniques and has been used for over 25 years. It is popular in software development, but it is appropriate for any industry and any large or complex project.
Introducing an iterative approach
The foundation of the Scrum framework is an iterative and incremental approach to project management or product development. This proceeds through a series of Sprints, with each Sprint working to deliver a measurable (or functional) result.
After each Sprint, a review will be conducted and the work re-focussed to better meet the stakeholder’s requirements.
Creating self-organising teams
Scrum teams operate very differently. There is no single project manager as you would find in a traditional management structure. Instead, teams manage themselves. There is a strong focus on communication within the team. As well as planning before and reviews after each Sprint, there are fixed, short daily Scrum meetings to ensure progress.
Using a common terminology
To get the most from a framework like Scrum, everyone needs to follow the same process. Defining a common approach and terminology that everyone understands is vital to the success of Scrum. There is focussed training available for different roles within a Scrum implementation, but it is also beneficial for others who interact with Scrum teams to understand.
Scrum defines some key roles. The Scrum Master is a facilitator role – responsible for guiding on Scrum theory and problem resolution. The Product Owner is the single person responsible for the project’s success and value maximisation. This involves interfacing with stakeholders, communicating with teams, and directing the project progress.
The iterative processes introduced by Scrum aims to produce high-quality results faster. Traditional project management focuses on fixing requirements to control time and cost. Scrum takes a different approach to maximising project or product value for a given time and cost.
According to the developers of Scrum, it is all about the value created. They define Scrum as:
“A framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.”
Faster results should also lead to lower costs, shorter time to market for products, more productive workers, and increased customer or stakeholder satisfaction. Better team and stakeholder communication is a vital part of Scrum and should reduce risk and improve satisfaction with results.
Business benefits from Scrum
It is worth re-iterating the value for all businesses. Software development is often cited as a significant user of Scrum – and it fits the complex, team-driven nature here. Other industries can and do benefit from Agile techniques and the Scrum framework, though.
Companies such as Fractal Systems offer Agile Consulting and scrum training to businesses across the UK, with many switching to Agile techniques and the Scrum framework to address many of the problems inherent in project management. Some cross-industry research by consultancy McKinsey put these benefits into context. McKinsey showed that an agile transformation could improve customer satisfaction by 10% to 30%, employee engagement by 20% to 30% and company operational performance by 30% to 50%.Worthwhile results for any company.