What is the Scrum framework?

  • A product owner creates a prioritized wish list called a product backlog.
  • During sprint planning, the team pulls a small chunk of tasks from wish list and sprint backlog, and decides how to implement those tasks
  • The team has a certain amount of time — a sprint (usually one to four weeks) — to complete its work, but it meets each day to assess its progress (daily Scrum).
  • Along the way, the ScrumMaster keeps the team focused on its goal.
  • At the end of the sprint, the work should be potentially ready to hand to a customer or show to a stakeholder.
  • The sprint ends with a sprint review and retrospective.
  • As the next sprint begins, the team chooses another chunk of the product backlog and begins working again.

Scrum relies on a self-organising, cross-functional team. The issues that are decided by the team as a whole. The team is cross-functional so that everyone necessary to take a feature from an idea to implementation is involved. These teams are supported by two specific individuals: a Scrum Master and a product owner. The ScrumMaster can be thought of as a guide for the team, helping team members use the Scrum framework to perform to their highest level. The product owner represents the business, customers or users and guides the team towards building the right product.

Scrum projects make progress in a series of sprints, which are time boxed iterations no more than a month long. At the start of a sprint, team members commit to delivering a number of features that were listed on the project’s product backlog. At the end of the sprint, these features are done--they are coded, tested, and integrated into the evolving product or system. At the end of the sprint, a sprint review is conducted during which the team demonstrates the new functionality to the product owner and other interested stakeholders who provide feedback that could influence the next sprint.

What is Product Backlog?

The Product Backlog is the master list of all functionality desired in the product. When using Scrum, it is not necessary to start a project with a lengthy, upfront effort to document all requirements. Typically, a Scrum team and its product owner begin by writing down everything they can think of easily. This is almost always more than enough for a first sprint. The Product Backlog is then allowed to grow and change as more is learned about the product and its customers.

Product backlog items can be technical tasks or more user-centric. The product backlog, an agile process, can also be expressed in the form of user stories, a technique similar to Extreme Programming.

The product owner shows up at the sprint planning meeting with the prioritised product backlog and describes the top items to the team. The team then determines which items they can complete during the coming sprint. The team then moves items from the Product Backlog to the Sprint Backlog. In doing so they expand each Product Backlog item into one or more Sprint Backlog tasks so they can more effectively share work during the Sprint. Conceptually, the team starts at the top of the prioritised Product Backlog list and draws a line after the lowest, of the high priority items they feel they can complete.

What is Sprint Review?

At the end of each sprint, a sprint review meeting is held. During this meeting the Scrum team shows what they accomplished during the sprint. Typically this takes the form of a demo of the new features.

The sprint review meeting is intentionally kept very informal, typically with rules forbidding the use of PowerPoint slides and allowing no more than two hours of preparation time for the meeting. A sprint review meeting should not become a distraction or significant detour for the team; rather, it should be a natural result of the sprint.

How does SCRUM Methodology benefit the web industry?

  • Agile scrum helps the company in saving time and money.The overhead costs in terms of process and management is minimal.
  • Scrum methodology develops mutual trust within members of the team.
  • Scrum methodology is very useful where the business requirements documentation is hard to quantify at the beginning of the project
  • It is a controlled method which insists on frequent updating of the progress in work through regular meetings.
  • Due to short sprints and constant feedback, it becomes easier to cope with the changes and hence easier to deliver a quality product in a scheduled time frame.
  • Daily meetings make it possible to measure individual productivity and hence the productivity of the team.
  • Issues are identified well in advance through the daily meetings and there is clear visibility of the project development.