Why Is Scrum So Popular?Scrum is undoubtedly the most popular Agile project management methodology owing to its simplicity and promising results. Find out more about it in this article.
It is well known that Scrum stands as the most loved Agile methodology. So, how did a well-known rugby term become one of the most popular software development philosophies of all time? The word "scrum" comes from the action that rugby players do when they huddle and try to get the ball from the opposing team. It represents competition but also organization, open communication, and teamwork.
This cohesion between teamwork and communication is the essence behind the Scrum methodology. But how did it become this popular enough that it crossed over from traditional software development frameworks to become a mantra for most projects, corporations, and teams? In this article, we will take a closer look at the reasons behind Scrum's popularity.
Scrum – A Brief Overview
The Scrum methodology stems from the Agile philosophy for management. Scrum was used mostly by software developers but has now become the go-to framework for various industries such as research, marketing, sales, and more. It came about in 1995 and has grown exponentially since then, becoming one of the most popular methodologies out there.
Scrum involves breaking down a large project into smaller, more doable tasks with set deadlines. Bigger goals are divided and well-defined, while teams are organized to cross-function instead of working in silos. It's a really good way to motivate your teams and make them self-sufficient, capable of tackling problems by creating creative solutions.
A Scrum team usually includes 3 major roles, i.e.:
- Scrum Master
- Product Owner
- Development Team
These three units work on any given project in harmony because Scrum encourages and ensures open communication. There is no defined authority role. Instead, all team members guide and boost each other according to the task at hand, creating an autonomous and cohesive working unit.
Now let's take a look at some of the key advantages of Scrum methodology.
Key Advantages of Scrum
Scrum presents a lot of advantages to any team that needs to execute a shared or complex task on tight deadlines. Here are a few of them:
Scrum allows teams to be more efficient in their output, as all work is done simultaneously, as opposed to sequentially like in traditional methods. The development team, for example, works on the go and doesn't have to wait for top-down solutions. If there is code to be tested, they keep continually testing and modifying instead of waiting to do this once all the coding has been completed. Since all team members work together, tasks can be delivered with no lag or delays. Open communication means everything is flexible and any/all changes can be incorporated to ensure a streamlined workflow.
Scrum ensures that all due tasks are categorized according to importance. This importance is usually determined by either one of two factors, i.e., ROI (Return on Investment) or deadline. The only two things that remain constant for any project, after all, are cost and time. The Scrum Master sorts the tasks according to their importance using the above variables, ensuring that the team finishes up the tasks on priority first. This allows them to release portions of their work on the go as opposed to having to wait to put everything out together. For example, if you were to design a product, you would want chunks of your work to hit the market before others so you could know users' responses and keep investors interested throughout.
Product Backlog Estimation
A product backlog in Scrum is essentially a to-do list of all the tasks that need to be completed for the project. This backlog is looked over by the Product Owner, while the Scrum Master and the development team assist with estimations of product backlog items using different techniques, such as Planning Poker, Async Poker, Affinity Mapping, T-Shirt Sizing, etc. One of the advantages of Scrum is that it trains teams to be able to estimate the product backlog with precision, guaranteeing that projects are delivered within the decided timeframes. This means that team members take ownership of their tasks by following the backlog, working according to the deadlines, measuring their progress against set tasks, and delivering on time.
The Role of Scrum Master
One of the biggest advantages of having a Scrum Master on board is having someone who outlines deliverables, gives necessary guidance, and helps the team grow by boosting members' morale. A Scrum Master doesn't step in if there is a problem, rather he/she makes sure that team members work together to find a tactical solution themselves. The Scrum Master also ensures that the team isn't overworked or burnt out during the project by protecting the team from external pressure and close deadlines.
Scrum fosters and ensures that team members work together. This applies specifically to the development team. These are usually 5 to 9 people who put their heads together to deliver work. They work in sprints and aim to push out completed tasks as fast as possible. The best thing about Scrum is that it puts responsibility for the work on each and every team member equally and encourages pair-programming. This means coding happens much faster than usual.
The Scrum approach allows for a lot of consumer satisfaction. This is because, unlike the Agile philosophy, users can get their hands on parts of the product much faster than the completion deadline. They can then test the product and give valuable feedback to help improve it even further. Since Scrum is adaptable, there is always room to incorporate changes and re-releases. This ensures that the finished product will be as close to perfection as possible.
What's the Secret Behind Scrum's Popularity?
Scrum is by far the most popular Agile methodology to be used right now and is used by 40% of participants, according to the State of Scrum Report. As this article has explained, Scrum is popular because it creates autonomous teams that are capable of delivering efficient outcomes in good time. Customer satisfaction and feedback are given a lot of importance, which means the finished product will be up to market standards.
Here are some more reasons for Scrum's popularity:
- Works well for complex projects and tasks.
- Helps the development team write and implement their code faster.
- Helps reduce overall project costs.
- Nurtures creativity and feedback so the team feels heard and satisfied.
- Offers an adaptable system that allows for continuous tweaks and changes.
- Reduces the amount of time between creating and pushing the product to the market.
- Creates more opportunities for innovation and new ideas.
- Serves the needs of various industries and corporations.
- Allows teams to cross-function and doesn’t make them work in silos.
- Ensures that customers are given priority and user feedback is responded timely.
To sum up, Scrum has become the most-used project management methodology because it's easy to implement and produces guaranteed results. The only watch out for this framework is that each person in their role understands their position perfectly. The beauty of Scrum lies in its harmonious coordination. If this coordination falls into disarray, the whole system can be thrown off, resulting in shoddy work and a demotivated team. When executed well, Scrum ensures that each team member feels a sufficient sense of achievement and productivity. It also guides members to become independent and self-regulating, allowing for streamlined processes and better results.