Implementing Scrum

implementing Scrum

Scrum is a framework for managing and completing complex projects. It is often used in software development, but can also be applied to other fields. Implementing Scrum Involves Several Key Steps:

  • Create a cross-functional team: 

Scrum framework describes the structure that focus on solving the complex problems using cross functional team who are self-managing towards the goal. Cross functional team consists of members who has cumulatively all the skills required to build the 100% done product increment. Such skills in software development would be the coding, designing, testing, automation, documentation, UX and so on.. 

Create a team with cross-functional skills and set collaborative KPIs for them to work together. Identify the Scrum Master who is master of Scrum with facilitation and coaching skills. Identify the Product Owner who has the product management knowledge and capabilities to own the product and make decision towards delivering value.

Remember the structure is more collaborative and focused on common goal.

  • Establish a product backlog: 

This is a prioritized list of all the work that needs to be done on the project. The product owner is responsible for maintaining and prioritizing this list. 

Product Backlog consists of big requirements that are refined over time and smaller requirements that can be inspected and adapted during the sprint are created. Product owner owns the product backlog and is created based on the stakeholders needs, business opportunities, user needs and competitiveness 

  • Hold sprint planning meetings:

At the beginning of each sprint, the Scrum Team will meet to plan out the work that will be done during the sprint. Product Owner propose the Sprint Goal that sets the direction for the sprint and describe the most valuable work items for the sprint. The developers of Scrum Team then select items from the product backlog to work that help them focus and achieve the sprint goal. The sprint backlog is a living document that is updated throughout the sprint as the team’s progress and priorities change. Scrum Master facilitate the meeting and bring effectiveness in the team’s work. Sprint Planning ends with a mutually agreed Sprint Goal as commitment and Sprint Backlog as adaptable plan for the sprint.

  • Hold daily scrums:

These short meetings for a maximum of 15 minutes per day where developers inspect and adapt their plan towards reaching the Sprint Goal. They also focus on collaboration, quick decision making, identifying the impediments for their progress. They are free to use any technique that helps them to inspect and adapt their activities towards the sprint goal.

  • Hold sprint review meetings:

At the end of each sprint, the Scrum Team will review the product increment that was 100% done as per the Definition of Done (DOD) and by demonstrating product increment to stakeholders, scrum team reflect on what changes are required to be done to make the product successful. Product validation, product strategy changes and forecasting are also part of this meeting. 

  • Hold sprint retrospective meetings:

After the sprint review, the Scrum Team will have a retrospective meeting to discuss what worked well, what didn’t work well, and what can be improved for the next sprint. The focus is on continuous improvements towards the tools, techniques, strategies, people collaboration, quality of work and technical excellence 

It’s important to note that Scrum is a simple framework that is built on the process of empiricism with inspection, adaptation and transparency. Scrum only describes the rules and it’s implementation can be with various tools – techniques and strategies. 

It’s also important to have a Scrum Master, who acts as a facilitator and coach, to guide the team in following the Scrum framework and practices.

Overall, implementing Scrum can help Scrum Teams to work more effectively and efficiently, delivering high-quality products and services to customers even in the complex zone.


Myths about Scrum

Implementing Scrum

In addition to the steps outlined above, there are a few more key elements,

  • Use timeboxes:

Scrum is based on the idea of timeboxed iterations, meaning that each sprint has a fixed duration, with a maximum recommended length of 1 month. This helps the team to stay focused and make steady progress towards delivering a working product increment at the end of each sprint. Each Sprint is an opportunity for the team to inspect and adapt towards the sprint goal, the practices and product increment. Sprint is the maximum risk that the team takes while developing the product at each iteration. 

  • Use information radiators ( such as burndown charts, cumulative flow diagrams ) 

Information radiators are big visible dashboards that radiate the information about the team’s work and progress towards the sprint goal. These charts are used to track the team’s progress during a sprint. They show the amount of work remaining in the sprint backlog over time, and are used to identify any issues or delays that may be preventing the team from completing the work on time.

  • Emphasize continuous improvement:

Scrum is an iterative and incremental framework, meaning that the team is constantly learning and improving. It’s important to regularly reflect on what’s working well and what can be improved, and to make changes accordingly. Continuous product validation is also part of Sprint and continuous improvement process. 

  • Encourage transparency, inspection and adaptation:

Scrum promotes transparency, inspection and adaptation at all levels of the process. This means that all aspects of the process are open to inspection by the Scrum Team and other stakeholders, and that the Scrum Team is able to adapt its approach as needed based on what is learned.

Now, it’s also important to note that while Scrum provides a structure for managing and completing complex projects, Scrum is effective with tools – techniques and strategies that follows agile values and principles. It’s important to assess whether Scrum is the best approach for a particular project before committing to using it. There are other frameworks that might be worth exploring such as Kanban

Lastly following agile manifesto and principles, creating the collaborative ecosystem, having growth mindset, focus on business agility and developing leadership agility are essential parts of the organization that make implementing scrum successful, without which Scrum will result as micro-management process.

In summary, Implementing Scrum requires a clear understanding of the framework, a dedicated team, and a willingness to adapt and improve. Scrum can help teams to deliver high-quality products and services to customers, by providing a structure for managing and completing complex projects.


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Author:  Naveen Nanjundappa, Certified Scrum Trainer

12 Principles Consulting Naveen NanjundappaWell known for his unique teaching style, Mr. Naveen Nanjundappa has over 19 years of service in IT industry, with experience in most of the standard roles of software development life cycle such as developer, tester, leader, manager of projects and products. He was introduced to XP & Scrum in 2005. Following his passion for coaching, he has spent last 8 years coaching agile transformation, Scrum teams, trained over 4000+ people from various organizations. Expertise in Scrum, Leadership Agility, Organizational Agility, Process Agility, Team Agility, Product Management & Project Management.

CSM / CSPO certification by Naveen Nanjundappa is Transformational, with lot of examples from real life and Indian working culture. Participants will feel empowered, focused and knowledgeable to handle situations at work & most importantly you transformed not just certified!  

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