Before we break down what makes a Scrum team, let’s define what Scrum actually is.
Scrum is an agile project management framework that can be used for different types of projects, but mainly for software development projects with the ultimate goal of producing new software feature every one to four weeks.
Who uses the Scrum method?
Scrum is broadly used by teams working on software development. In fact, around 70% of software development teams use it according to the 12th Annual State of Agile Report (http://stateofagile.versionone.com/).
However, Scrum is not just limited to the software development industry. Over the years, it has spread through other industries such as marketing.
What are the Benefits of using the Scrum method?
Teams who have adapted the Scrum method into their regular work flow have experienced better quality of outputs, higher productivity rates, improved satisfaction with stakeholders, better work dynamics, and most importantly, happier employees.
Who is involved in an Agile Scrum Development?
The Scrum method is mainly focused on team roles, ceremonies (also known as events), rules and artifacts.
The Scrum Team
A Scrum team is usually comprised of around seven to nine members, and this team have no specific team leader that would assign tasks to each member or help solve any issues that the team may encounter along the way.
This way, the Scrum team works as one unit to address any issues and solve problems that may arise. Each member of the team is a significant part of a solution and project completion.
Despite not having a specific leader, there are three significant roles in a Scrum team.
The Product Owner
Also known as the project’s stakeholder, the product owner is usually a customer, external or internal. The product owner is the one who communicates the product’s general vision and mission to the team. The product owner is the one who is eventually responsible for managing the product backlog, and the one who accepts the finished increments of work.
The Scrum Master
Despite the mighty name, the role of the Scrum Master is to be a servant leader to the product owner and the development team, as well as the entire organisation. The Scrum Master does not really have any hierarchal power over the entire team but is more of like a facilitator who ensures that the team is sticking to the Scrum method throughout the project. The Scrum Master also helps the team to achieve optimum performance which may include facilitating meetings, removing obstructions, and helping the product owner with the product backlog.
The Development Team
The Development Team are self-organizing and are cross-functional, they are well equipped with all the skills needed to make shippable increments at the end of each sprint. Members of this team may have special skills or fortes, but the accountability goes to the team as a whole.
Scrum Ceremonies (Scrum Events)
A sprint is simply a timed period during which specific task is accomplished and is prepared for review. Sprints usually take around two to four weeks long but can also be as short as a week.
Sprint Planning Meeting
Sprint planning team meetings are also time-bound meetings that will define which product backlog will be done and how the task should be accomplished and achieved.
The Daily Scrum
The Daily Scrum is a short meeting that lasts no more than fifteen minutes each day. In this way, it is easier for team members to cover their progress since the last daily scrum quickly and transparently. The daily scrum also covers the plans for the succeeding meeting, and any weak points that may be hindering the team’s progress.
The Sprint Review Meeting
During the Sprint Review meeting, the product owner checks the work done against the pre-defined task, and he will either reject or accept the presented work. This is basically a demonstration meeting for the entire team to showcase the work they have recently
completed. The clients would then provide the team feedback to make sure that the delivered products are up to the standards of the business’s need.
The Sprint Retrospective Meeting
The Sprint Retrospective Meeting, also well known as the Retro, is the last team meeting in the Sprint. The Retro meeting is done to list down exactly what went well in the project, and what did not go as planned. This is also a meeting held to know exactly what the team can further improve on for the next Sprint.
The Sprint Retrospective Meeting is attended by the Scrum Master and is a highly important chance for the entire team to pay close attention to the overall performance, and also to identify other strategies for further improvement in terms of process.
Getting Started with Scrum
Getting started with Scrum is not at all as complicated as it seems. It is fairly common for individual Scrum teams to use simple tools such as a physical whiteboard with sticky notes, called a Kanban board. One may even start with using a spreadsheet to accomplish any product backlog in each sprint.
Additionally, your team might want to look into a virtual or an online Kanban board, like the tools which Comurce provides. An online or virtual Scrum board is good for teams of all sizes. It is easily accessible to everyone involved in the project, whether they are in the same work place or working remotely. Also, a web-based card can contain more detailed information than your regular and trusty sticky notes, as well as carry attachments which can help to further organise the information you put in the Scrum board.
What’s great is that, using an online or a virtual Scrum board allows you to not only track the project’s progress but also analyze your team’s performance with an online board’s time tracking and real-time reporting features. This can make your Sprint Retrospective Meetings more meaningful with the amount of data that you can track and provide.
With Comurce, you get a range of tools suitable for all members of the team – from contributors to senior stakeholders and board level directors. An end-to-end platform enables businesses to scale their transformation faster by empowering them to operationalize, embed and deliver change with agility.