The articles encompasses basics of Scrum.

What is Scrum?

Scrum is Agile framework, which is mainly used for software development with an emphasis on iterations and increments. Normally a self-organized team includes up to 9 members. All work is done within fixed periods of time named sprints

Scrum project management

The framework is very flexible and allows teams to produce increments while paying attention to quality and self-development. Unless other project management methodologies, Scrum is actually a framework for managing work. It encourages co-location.

Key aspects:

  • Sprint is a time-fixed event (normally 1-4 weeks) during which the team implements predefined tasks (the scope of work is normally fixed for each sprint). By the end of each sprint, team has a potentially deliverable increment of work (it may or may not be delivered to customer depending on business needs). 
  • Product backlog is a set of all tasks. It may include dozens or even hundred of tasks which are planned to be done in the future
  • Sprint backlog is a set of tasks chosen for a specific sprint. Product owner (see below) choses tasks from product backlog before a new sprint starts and adds items to the sprint backlog. 

Key roles: 

  • Scrum Team is a cross functional/self-organized group of people. These people are responsible for delivering increments 
  • Product Owner is a person who is responsible for project scope
  • Scrum Master is person who helps to make sure that all Scrum practices are followed correctly. 

Key events: 

  • Daily scrum is a 15 minutes event, which is held every day, at the same place and time; the goal of the event is to share status of tasks between all team members. Every person should answer the following questions:
    • What’s have been reached after previous daily scrum meeting;
    • What is planned to be done before next daily scrum meeting;
    • are there any difficulties. 
  • Sprint planning is an event which can actually take 2-4 hours for 2-week sprint. The goal of the meeting is too choose tasks for the next sprint, discuss them and make sure that the team can actually work on these tasks. 
  • Sprint review is held at the end of the sprint where team observes what have been accomplished. 
  • Sprint retrospective is also held at the end of the sprint where team discusses what went well and what can be improved. 

Why Scrum is so popular? 

As you know a lot of software companies use this framework because it:

  • Allows teams to work in a predictable manner (scope of work for each sprint is determined at planning meetings, normally fixed and cannot be changed; except some clarifications)
  • Allows to improve teams and their performance (sprint review and retrospective meetings allow to gather feedback and make improvements in the team)
  • Allows easily to track the progress (normally scrum boards are used to visually display sprint tasks; daily scrum meetings allow to understand status of the current sprint)
  • Has clear roles (see above)
  • There is a person who is responsible for product requirements and he (she) is always available (meaning the person is always able to answer team's question regarding requirements)
  • Allows to deliver increments after each sprint (business is able to constantly check whether the directions is correct or needs to be changed)
  • etc. 

This articles encompasses only basics of Scrum. It's easy to understand the framework, but difficult to use.