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What is Scrum?

Scrum is the most widely adopted agile framework for product development and delivery, particularly in software development. Although it can be applied to various other fields as well. The benefits of Scrum stem from its iterative and collaborative approach with the products end users and other stakeholders, empowering teams to work efficiently and deliver value for effort exerted. Here are some of the key advantages of using Scrum:

Improved Flexibility: Scrum allows for adaptability and responsiveness to changing requirements and priorities. Through short iterations known as “sprints,” which for no longer than four weeks, providing teams regular reviews in order to gain feedback and adjust their product backlog based on customer value and priority.

Increased Productivity: The Scrum framework encourages teams to focus on a singular goal, completing specific backlog items that support the team to achieve that goal during sprints. Ideally minimising context switching which should improve productivity. A short and regular Daily team meeting helps ensure everyone is aligned and working towards the Sprint goal. Following the review the team look at the Sprint and look at how they can improve their effectiveness as a team as well celebrate their successes.

Transparency and Adaptability: Scrum is built upon 3 pillars of transparency, inspection and adaptation. The team should strive to make their work, processes, success and failures as transparent as possible. This increases trust between the team and stakeholders and also increases collaboration between teams. Every Scrum event is designed to be transparent so that the teams can inspect and adapt to new information.

  • An example of this is the Daily Scrum, what are we working on today to achieve the Sprint Goal? The team are clear after an organic conversation which may highlight issues or opportunities to change the Sprint Backlog without compromising the Sprint Goal. If that goal become invalid the team can abandon the goal and focus on something more valuable, this would require a conversation between the Product Owner and the Developers though.

Customer Satisfaction: Scrum is customer-centric, aiming to deliver valuable and functional increments of the product at the end of each sprint. This iterative process allows customers and stakeholders to provide early feedback, ensuring that the final product meets their needs and expectations or gives the opportunity to stakeholders to stop the development process if enough the product is no longer viable or enough value has been delivered.

Reduces or Removes Risks: Scrum teams manage risk effectively through communicating regularly, the Scrum Master can support teams by helping them to resolve and remove impediments by engaging with the organisations managers or enablers early to help remove impediments that cause risks to delivery of the Sprint goal. A Scrum team is cross functional and should contain the skills required to deliver it’s goals and increments reducing dependencies on others which also reduces risk. The natural iterative process ensures projects at risk can be stopped earlier by either meeting the value required or understanding what was once unknown is now known and a products value determination is now known.

Empowered and Engaged Teams: Scrum encourages self-organising and cross functional teams. It is a well researched and known fact that teams and individuals who are empowered and engaged are more invested in their work leading to increased productivity, motivation, happiness and profitability. Although the Product Owner is accountable for the product being delivered, the Developers are accountable for how it is delivered.

Continuous Improvement: Scrum ensures teams reflect on their Sprint at the teams Retrospective at the end of each sprint. The team looks back on what went well, what could be stopped and what can be improved. This feedback loop allows for continuous improvement, leading to better processes and outcomes over time.

Reduced Time to Market: The iterative nature of Scrum enables faster delivery of valuable features and functionalities. This rapid pace allows businesses to respond quickly to market demands and changes, gaining a competitive advantage by delivering what a customer needs as opposed to what a business thinks is needed.

In conclusion, Scrum’s benefits lie in its ability to focus a team on a goal that should equate to the team and customer learning something, which allows the recipient to make a decision use it, improve it or discard it early reducing the time, money and effort exerted on unvaluable features that nobody will use.

Author Profile

Meet Wayne Smallman, a highly motivated leader with strong family principles, who is a scrum master and director at Milscrum Ltd. He’s a conscientious communicator, a helpful coach, and an experienced project visionary with a passion for learning and cultural exploration. Fascinated by human psychology, Wayne remains composed in difficult situations and takes pride in his appearance, driven by life experiences and devotion to his family.