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SCRUM Methodology - An Overview

Updated on April 5, 2012

What is SCRUM?

As learned in the section Agile Methodology - A Brief Overview, Agile methodology support the approach to the project management which help to respond to the unpredictability of building software through incremental, iterative work cadences, known as sprints. Of the many methodologies to implement Agile development process, SCRUM methodology is the most popular and unique. Scrum is unique because it introduced the idea of “empirical process control.” In Scrum, projects are divided into succinct work cadences, known as sprints, which are normally of the duration of a week or two. After the end of each sprint, project team and the stake holders meet to review the progress and also plan for the next sprint. This provide the opportunity to the project team to re-plan and reorient the project based on the finished work rather than speculations.

This facility and ability to re assess the projects at short interval makes the SCRUM methodology very popular among the project managers and stakeholders. SCRUM is based on set of roles, responsibilities, and meetings that never change.

SCRUM Methodology

What is Sprint?

As shown in the above diagram, each sprint is designed to deliver at least one deliverable, no matter how small is that. Each sprint is based on the packets of work based on its priority and complexity. Once into the sprint, team have a daily meeting to discuss the progress of product, risk, issues and mitigation plans. The daily meeting ensure that each sprint is able to deliver the promised product with in the time lines of the sprint. Because a release requires many sprints for satisfactory completion, each iteration of work builds on the previous. This is why Scrum is described as “iterative” and “incremental.”

Each sprint begins with the sprint planning meeting among the product owner and the team to decide which story (use case) need to be included in the sprint. Here it is necessary to differentiate the role of product owner and team. Product owner decide which work package will go into each sprint and the team decide how the work package will be delivered by each sprint. This is to ensure that product owner do not do the micro management or add additional work during the execution of sprint.

AS the sprint started with the sprint planning meeting, it also ends with the sprint review meeting to review whether the sprint have delivered the product as per the acceptance criteria or not. If the sprint satisfies all the acceptance criteria laid out by the product owner during the sprint planning meeting, then the product owner accept the product. If not, then the work package is rejected.

In either scenario, project team meet again for the sprint retrospective meeting to discuss what went well, what didn't and the lesson learned during sprint execution.

SCRUM Roles Definition

There are three fundamental roles in SCRUM methodology: Product Owner, SCRUM Master and Team Member.

  • Product Owner: Product owner is responsible for communicating the vision of the product to the development team and testing team. Product owner decide which part of product will go into which sprint based on its priority. Product owner has the final authority over the acceptance and delivery of the product to business.
  • SCRUM Master: The SCRUM Master acts as a liaison between the Product Owner and the team. The SCRUM Master does not manage the team. Instead, he or she works to remove any impediments that are obstructing the team from achieving its sprint goals. He or She along with the Product owner work on how to get the maximum out put and ROI from each sprint.
  • Team Member: Team member work on each sprint to deliver the required product. They take their instructions from the SCRUM Master and make sure product follows its agreed and signed off design. Ideally, teams consist of seven cross-functional members, plus or minus two individuals. For software projects, a typical team includes a mix of software engineers, architects, programmers, analysts, QA experts, testers, and UI designers.

I hope the above tutorial have helped you to understand the basic overview of SCRUM methodology. In case of any doubt, you can contact me at or if you want to give any suggestions/comments, please use the comment box beow.

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