You have certainly heard about the Scrum method in connection with agile teams. Then you wondered: What is Scrum? Perhaps you are just looking for a way to manage your teams more self-organized but structured? If you’re willing to take a bit of responsibility for it, but at the same time want to lead your employees to work more efficiently, then Scrum is probably just the thing for you.

What is Scrum?

Like Kanban, it is one of the agile methods and describes a way to better manage projects. Scrum can be used to better drive development within a project. The self-organization of the cross-functional teams as a whole as well as their individual members is promoted in the course of this. This means that although the goal and direction of a goal are set, the design of the way there lies with the responsible teams themselves. In this context, Scrum calls for flat hierarchies coupled with a lot of transparency and a high level of communication. This in turn makes this agile method very adaptable.

Who is Scrum suitable for?

After the question: What is Scrum? let us now devote ourselves to the topic for whom it is suitable in the first place. Even if it sounds like a promising method, it is not always the right choice. Instead, Scrum fits exactly with those whose focus is on a fast and efficient development of projects based on “customer demands”. These projects are often characterised by many variables that are rarely firmly predictable. 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, based on flat hierarchies, a high degree of communication and a flexible working field.

How does Scrum work?

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

The 3 rolls at Scrum

Scrum is divided into the roles of Product Owner, Scrum Master and Development Team. However, the team itself can also partly take on the individual roles of outsiders.

The product owneris, so to speak, the manager of the project, who determines not only the goal but also the requirements. In this sense, it 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 disbly disaggregates the requirements into a backlog and summarizes them into sprint targets.

The product owner works closely with the Scrum Master,who can be considered the leader of the team. He knows the application best and helps the team organize and distribute tasks. To this end, he promotes transparency and communication in the team and, in addition, as a moderator ensures compliance with a way of working based on Scrum.

The third role describes the development team, i.e. the composition of employees who are ultimately working on the implementation of the project. This has the task to edit the backlog list and organizes itself completely. Decisions are made by the team itself.

The development team, together with Product Owner and Scrum Master, ultimately forms the 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 in the implementation of the project.

Sprintsdenote small, short intermediate targets, which are defined in a previous planning. 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. The latter must not be changed during the implementation phase, as opposed to the main objective. This is not a problem because one sprint is always followed by the next. This, in turn, is planned in advance and can be adapted accordingly to the main objective.

5 key parameters of Scrum

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

  • Focus on Customer & Team

Projects are defined in principle on the basis of the customer’s wishes. To ensure that this is always the focus, the involvement of the customer in the project is a key part of this.

Although the customer’s benefit is high, 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 adapt quickly with their projects to changes in the goal.

  • Communication & Transparency

Based on more flexibility and speed, the agile method is based on flat hierarchies with transparent communication. This allows the teams to better coordinate with each other and increase their adaptability.

  • Collaboration & Self-Organization

Scrum means that while the goal and direction are determined, the way to get there, that is, 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 to concentrate on the essentials and to omit the superfluous.

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I blog about the impact of digitalization on our working environment. For this purpose, I present content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday work. I am a manager in an SME myself and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the chair of IT Management.

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