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What Is a Scrum and How Is It Formed?

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Facing hurdles in managing your team’s work and hitting goals? Scrum is a dynamic project management framework designed to boost productivity and deliver value efficiently. This article will dive into the nuts and bolts of forming a Scrum, clarifying roles, processes, and artifacts that pave the way for success.

Discover how to master this game-changing approach!

Key Takeaways

  • Scrum is a project management framework that enhances teamwork, accountability, and iterative progress based on agile principles. It involves team members working in ‘sprints’ to complete prioritised tasks from the product backlog, with regular feedback loops for continuous improvement.
  • The Scrum Team consists of three roles: Product Owner, responsible for the product vision and backlog prioritisation; Developers who build the increment; and a Scrum Master who guides the team on Scrum practices. Teams engage in sprint planning, daily scrums, sprint reviews and retrospectives to stay aligned.
  • Essential artefacts in Scrum include the Product Backlog containing all work items; Sprint Backlog with selected tasks for current sprints; and Increments which are potentially shippable outcomes of each sprint. These help track progress and ensure focus on delivering value.
  • Transparency, inspection, and adaptation are crucial values in implementing Scrum effectively. Teams may adapt Scrum to fit their unique needs or combine it with other frameworks while maintaining its core principles.
  • Despite its many benefits, teams new to this method might find adapting challenging due to its less structured nature compared to traditional project management methods. Successful adoption requires open communication and commitment from all team members.

What Is Scrum?

Scrum is a framework for agile project management that promotes teamwork, accountability, and iterative progress. It follows the values and principles of agile methodology, allowing teams to collaborate and adapt in an empirical process.

Definition and explanation of Scrum

Scrum is like the huddle you see in rugby, where everyone comes together to push towards the goal line – except it’s for managing projects. It brings team members to collaborate and tackle work in manageable chunks called ‘sprints’.

Imagine a game plan breaking down every move into sprints that last a few weeks at most. During these sprints, teams focus on select tasks from their dynamic list of priorities known as the product backlog.

The framework encourages constant feedback and adjustment. Think of it as holding quick huddles every day with your teammates to check progress and adapt plays accordingly. Every completed sprint moves the team closer to scoring – or in project terms, delivering a piece of valuable work ready for customers.

With Scrum, there is no waiting until full-time to find out if your strategy worked; instead, you keep track throughout the game and change tactics on-the-fly when needed.

Agile methodology and principles

Agile methodology emphasises adaptability and collaboration, enabling teams to respond swiftly to change. Its principles prioritise customer satisfaction through continuous delivery of valuable software, promoting sustainable development practices, and fostering close cooperation between business stakeholders and developers.

Teams follow an iterative approach, delivering working software in short cycles while continuously adapting plans based on feedback.

The agile framework encourages self-organising teams to find the most effective way to deliver valuable solutions efficiently. This allows for flexibility in responding to changing requirements throughout a project’s lifecycle.

Scrum Team and Roles

The Scrum team consists of three key roles: the Product Owner, responsible for defining and prioritising the product backlog, Developers who build the product, and a Scrum Master who ensures that the team follows Scrum principles.

Each role plays a crucial part in delivering successful software development projects.

Product Owner

The Product Owner is a crucial role in Scrum, representing the stakeholders and ensuring that the team delivers maximum value. They are responsible for defining and prioritising the product backlog, constantly communicating with the development team to ensure everyone understands what features are essential.

The Product Owner plays a vital role in creating a vision for the project and maintaining an up-to-date product backlog.

In addition to liaising with stakeholders and defining priorities, a strong Product Owner possesses excellent communication skills, has a deep understanding of both business needs and technology, and can make quick decisions when faced with competing demands.


The developers in a Scrum team are responsible for building and delivering the product. They work closely with the Product Owner to understand requirements and create high-quality deliverables.

The developers are self-organising, cross-functional individuals who collaborate daily on tasks and ensure the successful completion of each sprint. Their main goal is to continuously improve their processes and deliver value to customers through iterative development.

With each sprint, developers select items from the product backlog to work on, focusing on completing these tasks within the agreed-upon timeframe. During daily standup meetings, they discuss progress, challenges, and plans for the day to keep everyone aligned and ensure transparency across the team.

Scrum Master

The Scrum Master is a key role in the Scrum framework. They are responsible for ensuring that the team adheres to the principles of Scrum and its processes. The Scrum Master facilitates communication, resolves obstacles, and fosters an environment for high-performing team dynamics.

They coach the team on self-organisation and cross-functionality, encouraging collaboration and continuous improvement.

Scrum Masters also work with product owners to manage the product backlog effectively. They help organise sprint planning meetings, daily scrums, sprint reviews, and retrospectives to ensure that each event is productive and valuable for the team’s progress.

Scrum Process and Workflow

Scrum process and workflow involves a series of events including sprint planning, daily scrums, post-sprint reviews, and backlog refinement. Each event is designed to help the team stay focused on delivering high-quality work in short iterations.

Sprint and sprint planning

A sprint in Scrum lasts for a fixed period, typically ranging from one to four weeks. The objective of a sprint is to produce an increment of working software that can be potentially shippable.

Sprint planning is a collaborative event where the entire Scrum team agrees on what work will be accomplished during the sprint. This includes defining the sprint goal and selecting items from the product backlog that will be developed during the sprint.

During this process, developers commit to completing the work they forecast for the upcoming sprint.

Daily Scrum

The Daily Scrum is a concise, time-boxed event where the scrum team plans their work for the next 24 hours. It typically lasts for 15 minutes and ensures that all team members are aligned with the sprint goal.

During this meeting, each member shares what they accomplished yesterday, what they plan to do today, and any obstacles they encountered.

The Daily Scrum helps teams adapt quickly to changes by identifying potential roadblocks early in the sprint. This fosters better communication and collaboration among team members while ensuring transparency and accountability.

Post-sprint events

After the Daily Scrum, teams move on to post-sprint events. These include the sprint review and the sprint retrospective. During the sprint review, the team showcases what they have accomplished during the sprint to stakeholders and receives valuable feedback.

This event provides an opportunity for everyone involved to assess progress and make any necessary adjustments for future sprints. Following this, in the sprint retrospective, team members reflect on their processes and identify areas for improvement.

It’s a crucial time for open communication and teamwork as they discuss what went well, what could be enhanced, and how to implement these changes in upcoming sprints.

Backlog refinement

After the post-sprint events, the next crucial step in the Scrum process is backlog refinement. During this activity, the team reviews and prioritises items on the product backlog to ensure that it is ready for future sprints.

The goal is to have a well-prepared and organised backlog with clear requirements and priorities. This continuous process allows for better estimation of work, reduces risks during sprint planning, and ensures that the team can deliver value consistently.

During backlog refinement, the entire Scrum team collaborates to examine each item on the product backlog. Together they clarify requirements, discuss dependencies, and estimate effort needed to complete each item.

It’s an opportunity for everyone involved in the project to ask questions, offer suggestions for improvement, or propose changes based on new information or feedback from stakeholders.

Scrum Artifacts

The Scrum artefacts include the product backlog, sprint backlog, and increment, which are essential for tracking progress and prioritising tasks. Each artefact serves a specific purpose in the Scrum process.

Product backlog

The product backlog is a dynamic list of tasks and requirements that need to be completed to fulfill the project’s vision. It contains all the work needed to develop, improve, or sustain the product.

Each item in the product backlog needs to have clear and concise descriptions for everyone involved to understand what needs to be done. The items in the product backlog are prioritised based on their value, with higher-priority items at the top so that teams can focus on delivering maximum value early.

As part of Scrum, a key aspect of managing work is through an evolving and transparent product backlog. This helps ensure that teams focus on delivering incremental value as efficiently as possible and allows for constant adaptation based on changing requirements or market conditions.

Sprint backlog

The sprint backlog forms when the developers choose tasks directly from the product backlog. It’s a dynamic list that outlines the work necessary to deliver the incremental product functionality during a sprint.

This backlog helps teams stay focused on their immediate goals and ensures that they are working on the most valuable tasks at any given time. The sprint backlog is a crucial artifact in Scrum, supporting the team’s commitment to delivering value in short, iterative cycles.

Derived from rugby terminology, like “scrum,” this aspect of Scrum reflects its origins in sports where players come together to achieve common objectives. The sprint backlog embodies teamwork and collaboration as members select tasks based on collective priorities for achieving success within each sprint cycle.


The increment is the sum of all the product backlog items completed during a sprint and the value from previous sprints. It represents a usable portion of the product, which must be in a potentially releasable state and meet the team’s Definition of Done.

The increment must be fully functional and integrated with prior increments, meeting quality standards, so it serves as a solid foundation for further development.

Teams strive to produce an increment every sprint by delivering a small piece of functionality that builds on previous increments. This allows stakeholders to inspect progress regularly and make necessary adjustments.

Other artifacts

The product backlog is a dynamic list of tasks and requirements. It evolves to reflect changes in the project’s priorities and scope, ensuring that the team is always working on the most valuable items.

The sprint backlog outlines the specific deliverables for a given sprint, providing clear guidance for the development team. These artifacts ensure visibility into work progress and enable teams to adapt quickly to changing needs.

In addition, during each sprint, an increment – which is a potentially releasable version of the product – is built by developers. This artifact demonstrates tangible progress at regular intervals, allowing stakeholders to provide feedback and steer future development.

Tips for Implementing Scrum

Focus on the importance of transparency, inspection, and adaptation in your Scrum implementation to ensure success. Read on to learn more about how you can effectively implement Scrum in your project management.

Importance of transparency, inspection, and adaptation

Transparency, a key value in Scrum, allows rugby teams to have a clear view of progress and any obstacles. This enables quick adjustments to be made as necessary. Inspection plays an important role as it facilitates the identification of areas needing improvement, ensuring that the team remains on track towards their goal.

Adaptation allows teams to adjust swiftly based on inspection results, leading to more effective gameplay and strategies.

By embracing these principles from Scrum methodology, rugby teams can enhance their performance by promoting open communication, identifying opportunities for improvement quickly, and adjusting tactics accordingly.

Common adaptations and variations of Scrum

Scrum is a flexible framework, and different teams may adapt it to suit their specific needs. Here are some common adaptations and variations of Scrum:

  1. Tailoring the Scrum process to fit the organisation’s culture and structure while maintaining the core principles and values.
  2. Implementing hybrid approaches by combining Scrum with other frameworks or methodologies such as Kanban or Lean to enhance efficiency.
  3. Scaling Scrum for larger projects by using frameworks like Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) or Large Scale Scrum (LeSS) to coordinate multiple Scrum teams.
  4. Adapting the roles within the Scrum team based on team dynamics and expertise, ensuring that each role contributes effectively to project goals.
  5. Modifying sprint lengths according to project requirements, ensuring that sprints are long enough for meaningful progress while considering stakeholder needs.
  6. Adjusting the frequency and format of Scrum events such as daily stand – ups or sprint reviews to accommodate team schedules and optimise communication.
  7. Customising the definition of “done” for each increment, aligning it with quality standards and customer expectations.
  8. Incorporating retrospective improvements to continuously refine the Scrum process, fostering a culture of continuous improvement within the team.

Limitations of Scrum

Scrum, whilst effective in many ways, has its limitations. Teams new to Scrum may struggle with the lack of structure and find it challenging to adapt to a self-organising model. The framework’s emphasis on flexibility and self-management can be overwhelming for teams that are used to more rigid project management methodologies.

Additionally, without dedicated adherence to its principles and values, Scrum can fail to deliver the expected results, leading to frustration among team members.

Furthermore, some organisations may face difficulties in integrating Scrum into their existing work culture due to resistance or lack of understanding from key stakeholders. This could result in an inability to fully realise the benefits of Scrum within the organisation.


In conclusion, the Scrum framework provides a dynamic approach to project management. It fosters collaboration and adaptability among team members. With its origins in rugby, it emphasises iterative progress and teamwork towards a common goal.

The implementation of Scrum at Easel Corporation marked its first full realisation in 1993. This agile methodology continues to evolve and be adapted across various industries today.


1. What exactly is a Scrum in project management?

Scrum is a project management methodology that helps teams work together to organise and manage tasks, boosting productivity and efficiency.

2. How do you start forming a Scrum team?

To form a Scrum team, gather a small group of professionals with different skills who will collaborate closely and regularly to complete project tasks.

3. What are the main roles in a Scrum team?

The main roles in a Scrum team include the Product Owner, who defines what needs to be done; the ScrumMaster, who guides the process; and the Team Members, who work on completing tasks.

4. Can any project use the Scrum method?

Yes, many types of projects can benefit from using the structured but flexible approach of Scrums to deliver results quickly and respond to changes effectively.

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