You have probably heard of the Scrum method in connection with agile teams. Then you must have asked yourself: What is Scrum? Perhaps you are currently looking for a way to manage your teams in a more self-organized but structured manner? If you are willing to give up a bit of responsibility for this, but at the same time want to lead your employees to a more efficient way of working, then Scrum is probably just right for you.

What is scrum

It belongs like Kanban to agile methods and describes a way to better manage projects. With the help of Scrum, developments within a project can be promoted better. The self-organization of the cross-functional teams as a whole and their individual members is promoted in the course of this. This means that although the goal and direction of a goal are specified, the design of the way to get there lies with the responsible teams themselves. In this context, Scrum requires flat hierarchies paired with a lot of transparency and a high level of communication. This in turn makes this agile method very adaptable.

Who is Scrum for?

After the question: What is Scrum? let us now devote ourselves to the topic for whom it is suitable at all. Because even if it sounds like a promising method, it is not always the right choice. Instead, Scrum is a perfect match for those who focus on developing projects quickly and efficiently on the basis of “customer demands”. These projects are often characterized by many variables that can seldom be firmly planned. In addition, this agile method suits your company if you want to promote the way your employees work towards more personal responsibility and motivation. Interdisciplinary teams play an important role here, the basis of which lies in flat hierarchies, a high degree of communication and a flexible way of working.

How does Scrum work?

You can think of Scrum as a structure that consists of several building blocks. On the one hand there are the goals, which are referred to as sprints within the agile method, as well as requirements (backlogs) and on the other hand Scrum consists of different roles whose task is to achieve these goals.

The 3 roles in Scrum

Scrum is divided into the roles of Product Owner, Scrum Master and Development Team. In doing so, the team itself can also partially take on the individual roles.

Of the Product owner is, so to speak, the head of the project, who not only defines the goal but also the requirements. In this sense, he acts as a link between the team and the customer and ensures that the customer’s wishes are fulfilled. The product owner ensures that the team knows exactly what the customer wants by breaking down the requirements in a backlog and summarizing them into sprint goals.

The Product Owner works closely with the Scrum Master together, who can be seen as the leader of the team. He knows the application best and helps the team organize and distribute tasks. To do this, he promotes transparency and communication in the team and, as a moderator, ensures compliance with a working method based on Scrum.

The third role describes that Development team , i.e. the composition of employees who ultimately work on the implementation of the project. This has the task of editing the backlog list and organizes itself completely by itself. The team makes its own decisions.

The development team ultimately forms this together with the Product Owner and Scrum Master Scrum team.

Sprints and backlogs

As already described, the agile method also consists of so-called sprints and backlogs, which are intended to help the team implement the project.

Sprints denote small, short intermediate goals that are set in a previous plan. For this purpose, tasks must be clearly defined and divided into requirements. These requirements are called Backlogs and ensure a more efficient way of working in achieving the individual sprint goals. In contrast to the main objective, the latter must not be changed during the implementation phase. This is not a problem because one sprint is always followed by the next. This, in turn, is planned in advance and can accordingly be tailored to the main objective.

5 important parameters of Scrum

Scrum is based on a structure of different values, the observance and implementation of which make the use of Scrum really successful.

  • Focus on customer & team

Projects are always determined on the basis of customer requirements. In order that this always remains in focus, the involvement of the customer in the project is an integral part of it.

Even if the customer benefit is right at the top, it is only fulfilled if the focus is on the project team and their cooperation.

  • Flexibility & speed

This also means that Scrum requires a high degree of flexibility and speed so that the teams can always adapt their projects quickly to changes in the goal.

  • Communication & transparency

On the basis of more flexibility and speed, the agile method is based on flat hierarchies with transparent communication. In this way, the teams can better coordinate with each other and increase their adaptability.

  • Cooperation & self-organization

Scrum means that although the goal and direction are set, the way there, i.e. the cooperation, is in the hands of the responsible team. This in turn means that they have to show a lot of personal responsibility and self-organization.

  • structure

Even if the agile method sounds like a lot of organization and discipline, it is based on a simple structure that also requires you to concentrate on the essentials and omit what is superfluous.

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I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

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