Agile development is widely popular, and being applied in all kinds of environments. To ensure good collaboration with the Scrum team, stakeholders need to know the most important aspects of the Scrum Framework. In this ‘Scrum in a nutshell’ guide, I cover the most important things they need to know about Scrum.
Why do we use Scrum in the first place? Scrum is used to solve complex problems in environments of high uncertainty. Uncertainty about customers, requirements, design. It turns out that the best thing in such an environment is to repeatedly try and adapt. Doing so efficiently is what Scrum is about.
In Scrum, the Product Owner is responsible for requirements gathering. He manages the backlog – a list of items that potentially add value to the project and are ordered by priority. In software projects, these backlog items are usually described with user stories and acceptance criteria and can be supported by wireframes. Backlog items are continuously refined, adapted, and reprioritized according to feedback and learnings.
The execution is organized in ‘sprints’ with a specified duration of typically one to four weeks.
Each sprint starts with a sprint planning meeting where the development team together with the Product Owner defines the sprint goal and chooses backlog items it commits itself to implement during the sprint.
At the end of each sprint, the Scrum team presents its work to the stakeholders. This ensures communication between the team and the stakeholders and is an excellent opportunity to get feedback and to gain insights for both parties.
Stakeholders need to understand that, given the agile nature of Scrum, features are prone to changes as learnings are being made. On the other hand, they can expect to be highly involved and to communicate their needs continuously throughout the project.