Scrum is one of the most popular Agile project management frameworks. It helps organize software development teams, as well as teams in other industries in project preparation, planning, and delivery. Scrum adopts a lot of Agile principles that help teams stay organized and efficient in their product and service delivery. In addition to that, there are six Scrum principles every organization should implement to deliver better results.
In the Scrum framework, the teams that complete development, testing, deployment, and other tasks that involve the development of a product or service, should be quick, effective, and adaptable to changes. Scrum principles, processes, and artifacts ensure that.
Scrum promotes collaboration and effective communication, which is why all team members should actively communicate their issues and voice their progress with other people involved with the project such as the Scrum master, Product owner, as well as stakeholders during the Sprint Review meetings.
In this article, we’ll detail the six Scrum principles and how to apply them in your organization. Applying them is important for every team that uses Scrum because it promotes collaboration and improves the overall performance of your team.
What are Scrum Principles?
As an Agile, adaptable, and iterative set of processes, the Scrum framework allows the development teams, managers, and organizations to develop products and services that bring more value to the customers. Scrum methodology promotes an agile approach toward project management.
It was developed by Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka in 1986 after they were inspired by a rugby formation called “Scrum” to develop a new method of project management. It was revealed in the Harvard Business article titled “The New New Product Development Game.”
Scrum promotes project management that involves splitting large projects into smaller units that are being developed in Sprints – periods of 1 to 4 weeks during which the development team completes the delegated tasks.
The framework continued developing throughout the 1990s, thanks to Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber who wanted to apply the Scrum framework to software development and improve it further. They developed the Official Scrum Guide where they shared their ideas and framework enhancements.
The reason Scrum is such a popular Agile framework is because of the Scrum values and principles. The key five values of Scrum include commitment, focus, openness, respect, and courage. Scrum principles will be explained in the next section.
The Six Scrum Principles
In order to successfully improve workflow and increase the productivity and performance of the team, Six is centered around six Scrum principles that influence the workflow. Scrum principles examples include empirical process control, self-organization, time-boxing, value-based prioritization, iterative development, and collaboration. We detailed them below.
1. Empirical Process Control
Empirical process control is the first and most important Scrum principle. It also consists of three aspects, or mini-principles that you should consider:
- Transparency. The current state of the project, as well as the progress that the Scrum team makes needs to be visible to all stakeholders. In order to achieve that, Scrum uses artifacts such as Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, and the Sprint Burndown Chart.
- Inspection. Inspecting the process of development and progress made as well as performance is a crucial process that takes place during every Sprint. Both the Scrum team and stakeholders work together to compare the work to the expected outcomes and objectives.
- Adaptation. During the adaptation principle, the team is making adjustments and improvements based on findings found during the Inspection process. If the work has deviated from the desired path or results, the team collaborates on deciding the necessary changes and adjusts the backlog and overall development plan.
The Scrum team needs to feel accountable and responsible for the project they are building. Essentially, the Scrum team should be able to achieve good results and performance without needing too much help or assistance from the management teams.
The team should have emotional investment to see the project being developed from start to finish. The more they care about the project progress the better self-organization they have.
Time-boxing is an important Scrum principle that involves getting work done in fixed periods known as time boxes. They exist for certain activities and events in project development. That way, Scrum teams ensure that they will complete certain tasks in a fixed period.
The primary time box in Scrum is Sprint. Sprint is a period that can last from one to four weeks, during which time a part of the project is developed and a potentially releasable increment is achieved. Before the sprint begins, the team plans the work and tasks that it’ll execute during the Sprint time box.
Other Scrum time boxes include Agile ceremonies like Sprint planning, Sprint review, Sprint Retrospective, and Daily Standup meetings.
4. Value-Based Prioritization
The team needs to be able to identify which tasks bring the most value to the project and prioritize them. One of the key Scrum principles is that teams need to prioritize bringing value to the project.
In other words, the teams are expected to bring the best quality product or service with a quick turnaround time.
5. Iterative Development
Scrum and other Agile frameworks promote iterative and incremental development. That way, the teams develop parts of projects after every Sprint, instead of pushing to deliver the entire product.
Sprints are short time frames that last anywhere from one to four weeks during which developers work on a feature or module detailed in the product backlog. After each sprint, developers have a releasable increment of the product they’re working on.
People involved in the project development need to be aware of what each team member is up to. More importantly, it’s important to cultivate a healthy relationship with the project stakeholders.
Scrum emphasizes the involvement of customers and stakeholders throughout the development process. The Product Owner collaborates closely with the customer to understand their requirements, gather feedback, and prioritize work. This principle ensures that the product aligns with customer needs and provides the most value.
To successfully manage work using the Scrum framework, three artifacts will aid the development process:
- Product Backlog: The Product Backlog is a prioritized list of all the desired features, enhancements, and bug fixes for the product. It represents the requirements and acts as a single source of truth for the Scrum team.
- Sprint Backlog: The Sprint Backlog is a subset of the Product Backlog items selected for a specific Sprint. It consists of the tasks and user stories that the development team commits to completing during the Sprint.
- Increment: The Increment is the sum of all the completed Product Backlog items at the end of a Sprint. It is the tangible result of the development work and should be in a potentially releasable state.
The six Scrum principles form the foundation of the Scrum framework, as well as other Agile-based frameworks. If you’re looking to take your Agile project management skills to the next level and explore a visual and flexible approach to organizing and managing work, it’s time to register for Kanban Zone. By embracing the principles of Scrum and adopting Kanban methodologies, you can unlock new levels of efficiency, collaboration, and transparency in your projects.