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What is Agile Scrum Methodology? A Complete Guide

Introduction

According to SwarmOS, 98% of organisations have been helped by agile adoption. This article gathers the basics principles, concepts, and terms used in Agile Scrum Methodology, and also details the functional flow of Scrum in a typical software project environment. 

Getting Familiar with Terminology

Before reading about the subject, understand the fundamental differences to the terms: Agile, Scrum, and Agile Scrum Methodology.

  • Agile and Scrum are two similar project management systems, with a few key differences. The Scrum framework brings effective collaborations within multifunctional teams.
  • Agile is flexible and focuses on team leadership. 
  • Scrum is inflexible and deals with cross-functional teams.
  • Agile Scrum Methodology is a sprint-based system for managing software projects, whose goal is to deliver the highest value to stakeholders.

Source

What is Agile Scrum Methodology?

Agile Scrum Methodology, a specially treated project management system, works on incremental development in product development. The iterations are divided into manageable time slabs, each of about four-week Sprints. Every goal-driven Sprint offers vital features that constructively develop a complete product. In subsequent sprints, add-on features and enhancements based on customer and team feedback are built into the product.   

Difference Between Agile and Scrum

The basic difference between Agile and Scrum: Agile is a project management method that uses a basic set of advantages ​​or policies; Scrum is a specific agile method used for the convenience of the project. The full comparison of Agile software development methodology and the Scrum framework can give you detailed characteristics. 

Agile

Agile, in short, is a software development methodology. It is a professional approach to software development. Agile involves a self-contained and cross-functional team that works to continuously improve the delivery through constant feedback shared throughout the sprints.  

Agile methods and procedures thus form an integral part of every delivery to improve the process.

Agile Manifesto

Agile is considered neither a set of rules, nor of quick guides, but a code of principles. Agile methodology complements planning and processes. Together, this manifesto supports compliance, versatility, intelligence, and managing software development.  

Agile allows teams to work efficiently and focus on developing complex software projects. It includes methods that are easily accepted and use repetitive and iteration-based techniques that display excellent results.

There are a lot of agile-driven methods and techniques. These processes fulfil industry needs. The methodology is adaptable in software design, testing, architecture, development, distribution, and project management functions.

Agile Methodologies

Many Agile methodologies are in practice in several diversified industries. These include Scrum, Lean, Crystal, FDD, DSDM, TDD, and so on.

The most common Agile methods practised are:  

  • Scrum, 
  • Lean, 
  • Crystal, 
  • FDD (Feature Driven Development), 
  • DSDM (Dynamic Software Development Method), 
  • TDD (Test Drive Development) etc.

However, the most popular are:

  • Scrum is the most popular framework that brings effective collaboration between different teams working on complex products.
  • Kanban, a Japanese word, means card. Cards help in visualising the details of the work done on the software.
  • Extreme Programming is used in dynamic project environments where requirements change frequently. The ongoing feedback tool here encourages teams to improve overall productivity.

Scrum

Scrum is a framework through which you can implement Agile. 

It is the most popular Agile methodology across the software industry today. It is a lightweight methodology practised in software development that caters to small time-bound sprints meant for new features being integrated into the product.

Scrum drives self-managed development teams with three specially defined roles in the IT business. The roles are:

  • Product Owner (PO),
  • Scrum Master (SM), and
  • Development Team.

The first step is the PO creates a product backlog of a to-do list of things for the Scrum team. The Scrum team picks priority items to complete within the Sprint timeframe.

Symbolically, Scrum can be marked as a 3-3-5 framework. This means a Scrum Project has 3 roles, 3 artworks, and 5 events.

 

Scrum features a series of event meetings, roles, and project management tools to help self-organised and focused teams better design and manage their tasks.

Scrum Roles

A Scrum team has three specific roles: Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Development Team. 

The PO is considered the overall maintainer of the product. A Scrum team usually has a single PO. The PO is responsible for managing requirements, business needs, and customer expectations. It decides and finalises features, sets the roadmap, and prioritises backlogs and tasks.

Scrum Master serves as a facilitator and champion for Scrum in his team. As an intermediary, Scrum Master guides the team and product owners and drives the best practices. Scrum Master essentially optimises the transparency of the distribution stream. It sets up the right resources for sprint planning, review, and sprint retrospective.

A development team is a small group of cross-functional professionals. The development team here is an efficient mix team. The team has around ten or fewer members. They work the respective bits as assigned by the PO. In addition to the developers, the development team includes designers, testers, UX experts, and analysts.

Scrum Artifacts

These tools are documented evidence to constantly monitor the situation and resolve any issues. The three artworks include a product backlog, a sprint backlog, and an increase.

The Product Backlog is a dynamic list of items worked in Sprint. It lists requirements, new features, enhancements, and fixes. Open items act as input for Sprint backlog. Product owners regularly revise backlogs to meet priorities.

Sprint Backlog is a list of task items derived from product backlogs to handle in the current Sprint. There are user stories or bug fixes included. The development team identifies things to be achieved from the product backlog items in the backlog at the sprint planning meeting. 

Definition of readiness (DoR) is a starting parameter that determines the readiness of a task when a specification is set, and inputs are available for the task. Breakdown charts help monitor the rest of the team on any Sprint cycle. 

An Increment denotes potentially releasable sprint results. It presents the team’s “Done” (DoD) definition, a milestone, exit criteria, or shipped epic. It is also called a Sprint goal. Here, speed through the evaluation of the teams – it is planned to perform tasks in a series of tasks.

Events

The team works within the framework of Scrum and decides the schedule of the meeting periodically. This by-election ensures that the team will be consistent with the actual progress and that the product owner will take appropriate action.

The Sprint event falls in the timeline.  The event duration is standardised with work complexity. The 4-week sprint model is common for the development of software products.

Sprint Planning is a pre-sprint event to review and approve the scope of work considering backlog items. The goal-based planning helps the PO to prioritise the work items. This meeting helps the development team improve the work items and divert the obstructed ones. A typical planning meeting takes a maximum of 8 hours.

Daily Scrum is a fast-track meeting. Here, developers share work progress and plan to address items during the day and the risks to the whole limit or work. The goal is for everyone on the team to stay in sync and have plans to achieve for a day. The duration of this event is a week or a month, following the sprint rules.

The Sprint Review comes at the end of the sprint. This meeting takes a few hours. In review meetings, feature owners display incremental progress on completed items and seek criticism and constructive feedback. This is the time when the PO decides whether the product being delivered is ready or not. The typical review meeting lasts 4 hours for the monthly sprint.

The Sprint is also useful at the end of the retrospective sprint. The team refers to the previous sprint and continues the lesson learned. The aim is to find and agree on an action plan for continuous process improvement.  

Agile Scrum Methodology Benefits

There are many advantages to the Agile Scrum Methodology. Primarily, it fastens product development. All goals are preserved in the sprint iterations. The prerequisite efforts in regular planning and goal setting help the Scrum team concentrate on current Sprint goals and boosts productivity.

  • Regular feedback from stakeholders over sprints give the opportunity of adjusting and improving product features.
  • Agile eases product managers and developers frequently reviewing and retooling current plans based on new information that the team is continually gathering and analysing.
  • Frequent review and analysis in Agile methodology give opportunities to product managers and developers for improvements.

Agile Scrum Methodology also supports in business functioning as below:

  • Agile helps to tackle expensive features with a planned timeline, thereby lowering the overall costs.  
  • The vigilance assigned by the team in testing and evaluation improves the quality of the product.
  • Help teams to stay organised and work together on the same page, with a common sprint objective.
  • With increments visibility, customers bag satisfactory deliverables. 

Conclusion

Agile Scrum Methodology adoption has opened up opportunities for professionals working in a highly responsible role. The knowledge in Agile always aids students who are looking for a project management role in the software domain. 

We, at upGrad, take trends and industry practices into account in all programs. The curriculum and knowledge base at upGrad are thoroughly designed with high-end technologies and work practices followed in the industry.  This subject is elaborated and stressed with vital industry case studies. The courses in the software domain, such as Executive PG Program in Full Stack Software Development, help strengthen your skill in Agile software development.  

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