Given that a methodology is a set of procedures to achieve an objective, that it is a concept that was born in scientific research, and that it has begun to be used in other areas, such as project management, it is very common for SCRUM to be known as a methodology.
“Yet, SCRUM is a framework, a standardized set of concepts and criteria to approach a particular type of problem, which serves as a reference to face and solve new problems.”
SCRUM does not have repeatable procedures, but criteria to focus on within a context of uncertainty and is highly susceptible to changes that are expected and assumed to be discoveries that lead to changes in each period.
So, what is SCRUM?
It is a framework currently in vogue, and companies are increasingly looking to adapt.
The word SCRUM comes from Rugby and means Mêlée; in this type of play, all team members (both teams) are grouped in a formation where the goal is to get the ball that is introduced through the center. The complexity of a Mêlée is that if any member of the team falls, the whole Mêlée can fall, so the players must be well coordinated and rely on their teammates to move forward at the same speed.
In projects, this concept is transferred to multidisciplinary teams, where each has an area of expertise that converges with the other team members and, with good coordination, progresses towards the same goal. Teamwork is one of the main focuses of delivering value to customers quickly. In software projects it is based on building first the functionality of most significant value for the customer and being in constant inspection and innovation.
The main elements of this framework are:
- Sprint: iteration of fixed duration to generate a value delivery (2 to 4 weeks).
- Product Backlog: the set of requirements called user stories that are prioritized by business value; they can be adjusted throughout the project.
- Sprint Planning: a planning meeting where the user stories of the backlog are presented in order of priority, and the amount that can be committed to cover throughout the sprint is determined.
- Sprint Backlog: list of tasks necessary to carry out the sprint activities.
- Daily Meeting: short meeting held at the beginning of each day where the team members answer the following questions
- What tasks have you done since the last meeting?
- What tasks are you going to perform?
- What impediments do you have to performing the tasks?
- Demo and Retrospective: meeting at the end of the sprint to present the results with a demonstration of the product. The retrospective discusses what was done well, what can be improved, and the execution plan for these improvements for the following sprints.
Within the framework, we have the following roles: