Scrum methodology explained

To really understand the Scrum methodology, the first thing you have to do is forget everything you think you know about the Scrum methodology.

  • Forget about poker planning.
  • Forget about epics and tasks.
  • Forget about daily standups.
  • Forget about story points.

In fact, you should even forget about calling it the Scrum methodology. The Scrum Guide wants you to call it a framework. As I said, if you want to learn about Scrum, first forget everything you know about Scrum.

What is Scrum?

Scrum is a lightweight, purposefully incomplete framework that helps development teams get started and keep going.

  • Does someone have a product vision?
  • Do you have a team of developers who are anxious to get building?
  • Are stakeholders champing at the bit?

If that's the case, Scrum says you should start a development sprint right now.

Don't waste a lot of time planning because your plans are going to change. Don't waste a lot of time designing because your initial designs might not work.

Instead, start developing. Start a development sprint right away.

What is a sprint in Scrum?

A sprint is a short period of time in which developers focus on building a few important features that will become part of the final product. It involves a Scrum master, product owner and a team of up to 10 developers who participate in the following events:

  • A sprint planning meeting.
  • Daily Scrums.
  • A sprint review.
  • A sprint retrospective.

A sprint never lasts more than a month, and they occur iteratively and back to back until the product goal is achieved.

A flowchart of the Scrum methodology and process.
The Scrum methodology employs an iterative process that includes reviews, retrospectives, planning and scrums.

The Scrum methodology explained

Scrum describes itself as a simple, lean and intentionally incomplete framework, and that's a good description.

Scrum simply describes the best practices any team should implement if they want to work efficiently and effectively.

The Scrum methodology might not work for everyone, but everyone should at least give it a try.

Darcy DeClute is a technical trainer and Agile coach who helps organizations apply Scrum-based principles to adopt a modern DevOps stack. She is a certified Professional Scrum Master, Professional Scrum Developer and Professional Scrum Product Owner as well as author of Scrum Master Certification Guide.

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