What is Scrum? An overview of the agile framework

Everyone wants to become more flexible and productive. No wonder that agile working methods are especially in demand right now. And Scrum is one of the best known! Because it is not a rigid set of rules, but rather a kind of framework, it is referred to as a framework: With Scrum, products can be developed in a customer-oriented manner within defined timeframes. There is no project manager, instead the team acts completely on its own. But read for yourself!

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What is Scrum, simply explained?

Scrum is a framework for agile product development. Here, an interdisciplinary team organizes itself in order to be able to react flexibly and quickly to changing requirements (such as new market conditions or customer wishes).

For this purpose, the large product that is to emerge in the end is broken down into small subproducts. The customer is regularly and closely involved in the entire development process. In order to implement changes promptly, the Scrum team works in time-limited loops - the so-called sprints. The progress of the project is regularly made transparent, reviewed and adjusted if necessary. In this way, a product with real benefits is created in the end.

What are the roles in Scrum?

There are three different roles in the Scrum team:

The up to eight developers are professionals from various disciplines. They are the developers or creators of the resulting product.

The Scrum Product Owner is accountable for the overall product. Based on his specifications, the team members implement the tasks in a self-organized manner. It is important that they determine the way to get there themselves. The product owner specifies the goal; however, he does not make any statements about how exactly individual tasks are to be performed. In addition, the Scrum Product Owner represents the interests of the customer in the Scrum team, discusses requirements and expectations and documents them. To perform his or her job, the product owner needs either technical knowledge or a market-related understanding - depending on the type of product being developed.

The team is supported in its work by the Scrum Master. As a servant leader, he or she ensures that everything runs smoothly, removes obstacles, and provides support to everyone involved.

What does a Scrum Master actually do?

The Scrum Master is responsible for the processes as well as the effectiveness of the Scrum team.
First of all, he promotes the understanding of Scrum: the team has to internalize the theory, values, best practices and the rules of Scrum. But also the organization and the customer need to know what it means to work with Scrum.

Another important task: The Scrum Master supports the team members in organizing themselves and doing a good job. His goal is to optimize cooperation. A main focus is therefore on building and maintaining trust within the team. In addition, the Scrum Master helps to resolve interpersonal conflicts: He removes obstacles - of a technical, structural or personal nature - and ensures a positive mindset. He also initiates changes that increase the productivity of his team.

In contrast to the product owner, who brings technical or market-related knowledge, the Scrum master has methodological knowledge of agile topics. He or she knows which approaches can be combined with Scrum - and which best practices prove to be target-oriented in which case. The role also requires a fair amount of empathy, organizational talent and interpersonal skills. This is because the Scrum Master acts not only as a moderator, but also as a coach and mentor.

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What is an Agile methodology?

With the help of agile working methods, products and services can be developed in a more customer-oriented, resource-conserving and focused manner. Communication and collaboration play a key role: The customer is regularly and closely involved in the entire development process.

In the agile approach, the large mammoth product is broken down into many small subproducts. In contrast to classic methods, the agile approach does not specify in detail from the beginning what the end result will be. There is an overarching idea in which direction the product should develop. However, this can be adapted at any time if market conditions or customer requirements change. Changes are expected, accepted and, if necessary, implemented quickly. In this way, the agile idea places flexibility and responsiveness above strict plans and specifications.

WHY WORK AGILE? What are the advantages?

Agile working offers several advantages at once:

  1. Product development is more flexible because it takes place in short time cycles. The same process is run through again and again like a loop - from recording the requirements, through design and planning, to quality testing. At the end of each process, the customer gets to see the finished small product. If the development runs in an undesirable direction, he can express criticism in time and specify his wishes.
  2. This increases the chance that the customer will be satisfied with the product in the end. The overall product is developed in an agile manner that is significantly more efficient and therefore more budget-friendly - precisely because the customer no longer has to make time-consuming and cost-intensive changes at the end.
  3. In addition, there is the advantage that a finished, functional partial product already exists at any time. If the customer puts development on hold, for example, he still gets something for his money in the agile way. This is another reason why agile working methods are becoming increasingly attractive for companies.

What are the Agile methods?

Among the best known are Scrum and Kanban. But innovation methods such as Design Thinking or techniques for decision-making such as Liberating Structures also belong to the agile methods. In addition, there are so-called hybrid methods such as PRINCE2 Agile, which combine the planning reliability of classic project management with the agile world.

It is often difficult to choose the right one for one's own company from the abundance of options. For this reason, overview training courses such as the SERVIEW Agile Foundation, in which the agile mindset and various agile methods are briefly and succinctly explained with their advantages and disadvantages, are ideal for decision-makers. This quickly provides a basis for deciding whether and which agile methods are suitable for one's own company.

When to use Agile methods?

Whether classic or agile methods are preferred depends on the respective development team and the customer. The agile mindset must also fit the company itself. Because agile work means more than more flexible, customer-oriented processes. There is a whole attitude behind it: people-centered, error-friendly, welcoming change. Respect and courage are just as necessary for an agile approach as trust in oneself and the abilities of others. This is another reason why an organization does not become agile from one day to the next.

In addition, there are products that can be implemented much more purposefully in the classic way: The foundation of a house, for example, can be developed confidently in the classic model. For interior design, on the other hand, agile methods can have clear advantages.

Do you want to use these advantages for yourself? Then come to one of our agile training courses - on Scrum, for example. We look forward to seeing you!

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