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Why use Scrum

Why use Scrum methodology? Reasons to use Scrum for project management

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Why use Scrum methodology? Reasons to use Scrum for project management

The following article is part of the self-preparation for the modern BVOP® Scrum Master Certification program.

Scrum is popular, but that doesn't mean it should always be used. It has advantages.

  1. Scrum for rapidly changing requirements
  2. Iteration and Increment
    1. Iterations in Scrum
    2. Scrum is incremental
    3. What is Increment?

The Waterfall method is the traditional project management approach. The Waterfall is a linear and consistent procedure. This means that in this approach, you are processing one phase after another in a linear fashion and do not have any overlap in the phases.

Example:

  • You cannot do the design before you have done the planning.
  • You can't get started before you've done the design.
  • You can't test anything before the project is ready.
  • And so on.

Scrum for rapidly changing requirements

In the real modern world, many products and organizations have to cope with rapidly changing requirements, customers, users, needs.

In Waterfall, where everything is consistent, teams need to have all the requirements at the beginning of the project, and everything is documented, every step is planned, discussed, and approved by multiple stakeholders.

Each change in the project changes the documentation, budgets, and deadlines. BVOP states that this can cause stress for many teams and participants.

When following the Waterfall methodology, it is usually challenging to offer any product to the client or organization before the end of the project.

After a certain amount of time has elapsed after the project's launch, it may not meet the needs of the market.

A possible problematic situation would be if project stakeholders no longer even need what they used to a long time ago.

Waterfall project management is, in fact, excellent and stable. Tasks must be completed one after the other, and detailed planning and design are required before work on the actual project begins.

The Waterfall is very suitable for businesses such as heavy industry and construction, where the direction and scope of the project remain relatively unchanged.

Waterfall, on the other hand, may not be suitable for projects where the product needs constant adaptation to changing requirements and circumstances.

For example, if a product to be developed is a mobile application for artists or a new innovative virtual reality, Waterfall may not be the right method of operation.

One important topic in all Agile practices and Scrum is the value theme, which BVOP strongly emphasizes and generalizes to the overall Business Value idea.

For many products, value is not just a timely completion of a project, adherence to basic rules, or fit into a specific budget.

For some products, business value can be a highly usable user interface. For other products, business value will be quick work; for others, it will be readable text.

Iteration and Increment

Iterations in Scrum

Scrum is organized in cycles.

It is "iterative". It means repetitive. In Scrum, work is organized at intervals called Sprints.

Inspection and adaptation also occur iteratively within each Sprint. Scrum events (Daily Scrum, Sprint Planning, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective) also take place at each iteration (repetition).

Scrum is incremental

During the iteration (also known as Sprint, or the time interval in which the team works), the team works collaboratively to create a "Potentially Shippable Product Increment".

This "increment" is a working version of the product being developed that can be made available to end-users. These increments (better versions) must be fully completed. There should be no hidden, unknown work that still needs to be done.

Inspection is performed on the “incremental” product, and any adjustments made aim to create a better and more valuable version.

What is Increment?

The simplest explanation is that increment is the current version of the product you are developing. This current version contains all the previous work put into the product, plus the one in the current sprint.

If your project just started and you are in the first sprint, your increment is only the completed work for the current (first) period.

If you are already in the second sprint, then your increment is simply the outcome of the previous sprint, plus the tasks you completed during the current sprint.

The following issues related to chapter "Why use Scrum" are included in the certification exam. The sequence of questions is presented in the table.
The data is current as of June 12, 2021, 11:46 am

ID Issue Time Category
0 Iteration and Increment 60 sec SM, PO
1 Scrum for rapidly changing requirements 60 sec SM, PO
2 What is Increment? 60 sec SM, PO
3 Iterations in Scrum 60 sec SM, PO
4 Scrum is incremental 60 sec SM, PO
Comments of our guests
  1. Donna Ge
    Hello everyone! For a long time now, I have wanted to understand how project pricing works when there are rapidly changing requirements. The waterfall is easy. The Change Request practice handles the change in requirements, but with Scrum where stakeholders can make changes after the end of each sprint, how do the parties involved in the project handle the costs and payments? Thank you
  2. Matthieu Durant

    I would like to make a few small clarifications and summaries on the topic. Scrum is "iterative", ie. repetitive. Simply put, the work of the teams is organized in time intervals called Sprints. Inspection and adaptation also take place iteratively within each Sprint. That is, after the end of each sprint we check everything.

    The three "pillars" of Scrum are transparency, inspection, and adaptability. But why do we need to follow them? Without them, the product goal will not be achieved. These ideas are the main difference between this framework and popular project management methodologies and systems.

    The main unit of Scrum is the Scrum Team. The team consists of only one Scrum Master, one Product Owner, and Developers. There are no sub-teams or hierarchies in the Scrum team. The team is a cohesive unit of specialists focused on one current goal - Product Goal.

    Scrum teams are multifunctional. This means that team members have all the skills needed to create value in each Sprint. This means you don't have to wait for other people outside the team to do your job. You do everything yourself. This way you avoid addictions and delays.

    The people in the team are self-governing. This means that they decide for themselves who does what, when they do it and how. They don't wait for someone else to give them orders. Teams are looking for more efficient ways to work. And then test these ideas in practice. However, to achieve such levels of cooperation between self-organizing cross-teams, we need real professionals.

    Outsiders such as customers or senior management should not make decisions for the team.

    Also, Scrum follows his ideas based on empiricism. Empiricism means that knowledge comes only from experience. Decision-making must be based only on what we already know. We do not make assumptions because we can make mistakes. We must avoid theories. We need data and evidence.

    The Scrum Team is responsible for all product-related activities. These activities are, for example, collaboration with stakeholders, validation, implementation, experimentation, research, and everything else necessary. Team members are structured and have the authority to organize and manage their work. Working in sprints at a steady pace improves the focus and perseverance of the Scrum Team. The entire Scrum Team is responsible for creating a useful, usable Increment in each Sprint. We cannot blame Scrum Master or Product Owner for the problems. Or just a specific developer. Everyone is responsible.

  3. Gabriel Bernard

    Scrum improves team flexibility and productivity. With this framework, we can detect problems in the work process and eliminate them. When we see shortcomings, the team can quickly return to the previous stage and react as quickly as possible.

    The approach helps to remove ambiguities in the development process. To find out what needs to be improved, the Scrum team needs to use the help of Scrum's three pillars:

    • Transparency
    • Inspection
    • Adaptation

    This Agile work model is suitable for organizing complex tasks in difficult projects. Also, clarity in distinguishing roles and planned events ensures that there are transparency and collective responsibility throughout the project cycle.

    Scrum is not a good idea for projects with a fixed price, time, and precisely defined scope.

    Scrum requires transparency. Sometimes managers are concerned about transparent processes where problems are exposed. Teams and managers often have problems with transparency.

    Scrum is not intended for teams receiving instructions on when and what to do.

    If the organization does not allow teams to determine how best they can do their job, then Scrum would be misapplied.

    If team members cannot work together, there can be no self-organizing team.

    Teams must be empowered to decide how to achieve their goal and be able to work closely together.

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