What is Scrum?

From the Scrum Guide:
Scrum (n): A framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.

Scrum has three roles:

  • Product Owner
  • Development Team
  • Scrum Master

Three artefacts:

  • Product Backlog
  • Sprint Backlog
  • Increment

Four events:

  • Sprint Planning
  • Daily Scrum
  • Sprint Review
  • Sprint Retrospective

How is Scrum useful?

Scrum is not a complete process, rather a minimal framework which may be sufficient to replace all roles, meetings and artefacts necessary to produce a product or service.

How is Scrum commonly used?

Many companies only use Scrum in the ‘development phase’, having already analysed, planned and budgetted for everything they think they’ll need. Using Scrum in this way, the frequent feedback cycles provide evidence that modifying the work being done would provide an improved product, often the discovery that certain features are no longer necessary. Groups discovering the product could be improved by modified features and simplified design often get demoralised as a lot of time and money has already been spent analysing and planning and not delivering to the original plan would be considered a failure.

Many companies are stuck in this situation, largely because Scrum and Agile is considered relevant only in the IT or delivery function.

Companies that want to be able to innovate across the entire organisation need to change how they work, from the very start of the current process. In most organisations, that’s finance and the budgetting process. This is the start of the waterfall. All the analysis, planning, contracts, etc. are all performed in order to get budget approval.