Teamwork makes the dream work.
No organisation can expect success without creating an environment and culture where it can maximise its staff’s diverse set of skills.
Recently, Scrum has become a favoured trend in organisations looking to become Agile. It has become popularised by successful tech companies such as Atlassian, that have utilised Scrum to great effect.
It is mostly used in software development to manage complex projects and product developments that require iterative or incremental practices. However, Scrum has been proven so effective that it is increasingly being explored by various types of project teams across many industries.
What sets Scrum apart
The key element of Scrum is that staff are grouped into small teams (scrums) of between three and nine members that work together to achieve common goals. Each scrum’s work is broken up into time-limited tasks (or sprints) of two to four weeks duration. The progress of these sprints is regularly tracked and re-visited in short daily meetings (daily scrums).
Scrum also refers to the whole framework of tools, meeting styles, and roles that all work together to help teams structure and manage their goals. But at the end of the day, it is the people that play the most critical part in ensuring the success of complex projects set to tight deadlines.
Each member of a scrum holds one of three main roles – Product Owner, ScrumMaster, or Development Team. Here’s how the personalities and contributions of each role help the ultimate success of the scrum:
The Product Owner is responsible for defining the vision of the product or project. They set the project deliverables and priorities, taking into account the needs of all stakeholders. The ideal Product Owner needs to be a great communicator because they have to liaise with a range of stakeholders, manage their expectations, and re-prioritise tasks and timelines where needed.
This is the cross-functional team that contains all the roles needed to complete a project. In a software development team it includes architects and testers as well as designers and developers, with the whole group responsible for delivering the working product or software in iterative increments.
The best Development Teams in Scrum act as an autonomous collective. This means they have the freedom to collaboratively decide on the best approach to implement to reach the best solution. This autonomy creates a positive working environment and helps forge strong team bonds and encourage creativity.
The ScrumMaster’s role is to assist and guide the Scrum to maximise its performance. As the name suggests, the ScrumMaster is an expert in Scrum and guides the team members to help them stay within the Scrum framework.
ScrumMasters don’t tell their team what to do. Instead, the role is really about protecting the team members from external distractions such as input or requests from stakeholders that so often distract people away from their core tasks. A good ScrumMaster will work to prevent the team from losing focus or momentum and must be prepared to sometimes have difficult conversations with stakeholders or team members to ensure the project’s success.
The wider benefits of Scrum
Scrum enables organisations to adjust rapidly to changing requirements and develop products that meet evolving business or industry realities.
Utilising an Agile Scrum process helps organisations to:
- Deliver complex projects and high-quality products
- Deal with change and react to changing requirements
- Better control project requirements and schedules
- Embrace new and appealing technologies and trends
Scrum helps to create a business culture that is based on quality. This pushes team members to be their best and creates positive work environments. It also demonstrates effective leadership teams and gains credibility in the tech sector.
Scrum works. And the type of team and company dynamic it promotes makes it attractive to candidates.
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