The following article is a sample from the full BVOP™ Ultimate Guide and is part of the preparation for the BVOP™'s modern Agile Project Management Certification Program.
Scrum is a framework
Scrum is a framework in which people should be able to deal with complex problems while delivering products of the highest possible value, productively and creatively.
Scrum is not a methodology
Scrum is not a methodology. It is not a project management practice or system. It does not provide specific guidance or methods to respond to the situation you are facing. Scrum is not a model that receives all the achievements and certainly does not guarantee any success for your products or projects.
This is the basic concept and idea of Scrum. No system or methodology can guarantee you success in any way.
Scrum is a framework made up of roles, events, and artifacts
Scrum is a framework made up of roles, events, and artifacts. It does not guide specific procedures and strategies on how to accomplish your task, or how to perform Scrum in your teams and organization.
Scrum means more independence
Scrum gives you the independence to determine the methods that meet your specific needs.
As a framework, the benefit of Scrum is that it allows for unique and autonomous thinking. Project management methodologies, which have a mandatory set of predefined rules, in theory, do not allow creativity and autonomy.
Another claim is that Scrum helps organizations deal with complex issues. This claim is just a statement because success depends on your experience, the experience of teams, and the support of senior management.
Scrum, in theory, is designed for projects where new requirements related to your work are constantly emerging.
Scrum is designed to create products using flexible models that solve adaptive problems.
What are a non-adaptive problem and a non-flexible work model?
You build a building, for example. You are in the middle of the project, and suddenly the basements flood. To solve the problem, you can only use pumps for water drainage and invest more money and time.
Non-adaptive and inflexible models are, for example, legally binding. Another example is a close contractual relationship for projects such as integrating banking software, where you have neither the freedom of creativity nor the ability to make decisions independently when problems arise. Each activity is performed step by step, according to a specific plan in the contract. A popular term for these situations in project management is the word "waterfall". The waterfall pattern is a similarity to the falling water on the stones step by step, from its beginning to its end.
What are an adaptive problem and a flexible work model?
You create a completely innovative virtual reality platform. After six months, markets and users change. Users change, and new competitors emerge. Technologies evolve. This problem needs to be solved. The only way is to act according to your abilities, intuition, competence, and skills. You subsequently change your product, your technology, while simultaneously, research customers. You adapt to change. The popular term for a flexible working model is Agile.
Scrum requires regular inspections
Scrum requires regular work quality and results inspections. Inspection is performed daily and weekly, for example, which helps the team quickly identify obstacles and synchronize their efforts to overcome them. An adaptation then follows the inspection. This adaptability to changing requirements is key to achieving higher value.
Scrum is created with roles, events, artifacts, and rules with the mission of delivering the most value to the end-user in the present events. The purpose of time-limited iteration at Scrum is to provide value in the form of a potentially incrementing product that can be delivered. This term is known as “potentially releasable product increment”.
The success of an iteration is measured by the amount of value provided. The more value, the more success.
For beginners, terminology in Scrum is often incomprehensible and confusing. But one day, newcomers realize that ideas are not as scary as they sound.
The entire official Scrum Guide is 19 pages long. This means that Scrum gives you freedom. From these 19 pages of the guide, you have to create products that often cost millions. With that, we want to tell you that success will depend heavily on you.
For comparison, project management textbooks and guides are between 300 and 600 pages. Project management also cannot guarantee you success because achieving success by following any project management methodology also depends entirely on you, your teams, and everyone in the organization.
Scrum roles are your “positions” or what you do in your job: developer, Scrum Master, Product Owner.
A developer in Scrum can be a professional from different positions such as programmers, QA specialists, business analysts, technical documentation creators. Anyone who is not a Scrum Master or Product Owner is part of the so-called Development Team.
Events are defined as meetings. Those meetings can be between the team’s members only or can include other parties involved in the business. During the events, the completed work is demonstrated, or work processes are discussed.
The artifacts are your planned or completed “tasks”, the conditions they possess, scoreboards, and more.
The increment, in real terms, is what your customers want to see at the end of the week, month, etc. Increment refers to the work completed in the most recent period.
Rules are rules. For example, a meeting cannot be more than a certain number of minutes. Another rule is that your team cannot be more than 9 people. During a meeting, a role representative may be absent or may be present, but in no way engaging in the conversations.
An iteration is just one period - for example, two weeks during which you work.
The success of iteration and its value is again something simple. During your period of work, you should have completed tasks that are important to your client. For example, the product already has more functionalities, or you have fixed essential bugs.
A simple understanding of Agile is a type of software development approach that is explained in the four Agile manifesto values and principles. The "Agile Manifesto" states:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
People and relationships are more important than processes and tools.
This means that people’s personal qualities and their interactions are much more critical to your success. This is the opposite of project management methodologies where it is not the people that matter but the processes, documents, and tools.
Running software is more important than complex documentation.
Agile manifesto authors want to say that it is more important for the software you are developing to work better than spending months writing documentation.
Customer involvement in product development is more important than contractual relationships.
This means that it is better for you to get along well with your clients, to understand their dynamically changing requirements, and to make the necessary changes than to rely on contracts and legal relationships.
The Agile approach promotes repetitive, growing, and highly adaptable workflows
The Agile approach promotes repetitive, growing, and highly adaptable workflows that lead to the delivery of a functioning product as soon as possible after the start of the project (within weeks, not months). The Agile approach encourages teams to find ways to become more productive and then test them in practice. Also, Agile requires high levels of collaboration between self-organizing cross-teams.
Responding to change is more important than following the initial plan. Agile thinking means that people are aware of the many changing factors during product development.
BVOP focuses on the following significant Agile principles:
The highest priority is customer satisfaction through early and continuously phased delivery of a high-value customer product.
Changing requirements are welcomed and not seen as troublesome or inconvenient, even if the change is in the final stages of the project.
Businesses and developers need to work together and help each other on a daily basis.
Products should be created by motivated people who are given freedom of expression and the right environment.
The most effective method of transmitting information is a face-to-face conversation.
A working product is a substantial measure of progress.
Sustainable development is encouraged. Sponsors, developers, and users must be able to maintain a steady pace as the project progresses.
Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design increase flexibility.
Teams must focus primarily on the work that is currently being done. Many started tasks are not recommended.
At regular intervals, the team gathers and discusses how to become more productive and adjust their actions appropriately.
Teams need to be self-organizing, responsible, and disciplined because, in Agile principles, this is the most crucial element to success.
Scrum and changes
Scrum often requires many changes, including attitudes and culture. To effectively implement Scrum, it is not enough to simply accept the structure it offers but to truly understand the flexible principles and apply them consistently as a team.
Scrum can help you respond more effectively to rapid changes in the environment, market, consumers and businesses. It is designed to provide predictability of events, if you are monitoring change and to control risk.
Scrum helps you organize your work
Scrum helps you organize your work so that you deliver something valuable to every customer. This “something valuable” is called “Potentially Shippable Product Increment”.
Scrum and stakeholder feedback
Scrum allows you to gather stakeholder feedback at the end of each iteration. Based on this feedback, you can further customize your processes and product and increase their value. If market demands change, Scrum allows you to adapt faster. In this way, it helps you reduce risk.
- Next article The Three Pillars of Scrum