Introducing Scrum: 10 Steps to Scrum Success In Your Company

Introducing Scrum: 10 Steps to Scrum Success In Your Company
Ekaterina Ryzhikova
April 26, 2021
Last updated: April 26, 2021

What’s the most essential step in building a car, saving your marriage, or even writing a book?

Planning.

Even as simple as a whiteboard or a pad of sticky notes can help so much in accomplishing goals.

If you work in tech (or you’ve spent time among engineers), you’ve probably heard of “Scrum” and “Agile.”

These words, alongside terms such as “planning poker,” “stand-ups,” and “sprints” are the common buzzwords spoken in reverent tones among techy types.

It can all be a bit intimidating to the uninitiated.

But these technologies aren’t just for the wizards.

In fact, these should be a necessity for businesses that prioritize productivity and efficiency.

Is that something that interests you?

Well, let us introduce Scrum to you.

But before that, secure your belt first, as we’re about to “sprint” through this brief discussion (trust me, you’ll get the joke at the end of this article).

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What is Scrum?

Scrum is a framework that allows organizations to bring about value through solutions for complicated problems.

In short, it helps teams work together.

Scrum supports teams to learn through experiences, self-organize while doing a task, and reflect on their successes and failures to improve continuously.

This is one of the reasons why introducing Scrum in companies is becoming mainstream. However, many people think scrum and agile are the same thing.

Wait, what is Agile?

Agile is a process that aids a team to efficiently manage a project by breaking it down into several stages, allowing consistent collaboration with participants to promote steady improvements at every phase.

So it does sound almost the same with Scrum, doesn’t it?

Hold on a bit as we will be introducing agile scrum methods.

Scrum vs Agile

Nomenclature can get a bit confusing to newcomers.

“Scrum” and “Agile” may seem to be used interchangeably when you’re new to this world, but there is an important distinction.

Let’s use the diet-recipe analogy.

Think of how a vegan diet is composed of methods and practices based on principles and values. Meanwhile, a recipe for vegetarian tacos would be a framework used to implement your diet.

Here you can see the relationship between Agile (the diet) and Scrum (the recipe you follow).

A brief history

Agile was forged out of the techniques utilized by innovative Japanese companies (Toyota, Fuji, to name a few) in the 80s. They started employing the kanban method to improve the speed and flow of their work.

In the mid-90s, a man named Jeff Sutherland sought ways to better help companies that are constantly plagued by project mismanagement. 

Through his research, he came across these Japanese companies and their Agile methods. Getting inspiration from this, Sutherland introduced the Scrum framework.

From there, Scrum quickly spread throughout the product development world.

Who can benefit from Scrum?

You’re not alone if you thought that Scrum was something limited to engineers or developers.

However, this framework can be beneficial across many projects.

Although it works best when there’s a concrete product being produced, Scrum can be used for any sort of complex project.

For instance, if you work in marketing and need to write copies for a project, Scrum can definitely be beneficial for your team.

Any time you’re producing a product, be it software or an email campaign, Scrum can help you organize your team and get more work done in less time.

Why use the Agile Scrum methodology?

Given you’ve been introduced to scrum, now’s the time to think about it more seriously in your company.

Do you need this methodology? Will it make your products better? Will it fit your organization?

Here’s what we thought you should know.

Agile Scrum methodology is a sprint-based project management system aimed at delivering the optimal value to stakeholders.

Sprint refers to a predetermined timeframe within which the team completes a task from the Backlog (or a set of tasks).

One important feature of agile scrum methodology is its flexibility.

It allows the team to receive feedback from stakeholders after each Sprint.

If there are any problems or changes in the project, the Scrum team can easily and quickly adjust to provide more valuable iterations.

By being involved in every step of the way, stakeholders get exactly what they want in the product.

Now let’s compare this with traditional project management systems wherein stakeholders do not provide frequent feedback. Hence, time can be wasted making changes to the product halfway through development.

Worse, the teams may need to go back to square one after the product has already been built.   

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Let’s break down the basic pieces and parts that make implementing Scrum feasible.

It starts with a Product Owner who represents the end user’s best interest and has all the say on what goes into the final product.

He is likewise in charge of making the Backlog, a list of tasks and requirements that the final product needs.

Then there’s the Sprint.

As defined above, a Sprint is a predetermined timeframe i.e., the deadline within which the team completes any set of tasks from the Backlog.

Scrum teams meet every day to give progress reports in the daily scrum. This is also often called the “daily stand-ups.”

Each Sprint ends with a review, where the team revisits their work and discusses ways to improve the next sprint.

On top of all this, there’s the Scrum Master who facilitates the scrum development process.

Aside from coaching and motivating the Scrum team, the scrum master makes certain that scrum rules are being enforced and applied as intended.

As you may have noticed, there’s not really any special equipment or training you need to get started.

The hardest part perhaps is learning the lingo and sticking to the rules and guidelines that make Scrum work.

Ready to create your Scrum Team?

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Scrum projects: 10 basic steps (and tips) to help you in implementing Scrum


1. Get to know the important phrases and roles that may be new to you in this framework

Download the PDF version of the official Scrum Guide and read it on your commute or during your lunch break.

2. Pick your roles

As mentioned above, you need a product owner, a Scrum Master, and team members. Hence, you also need to introduce scrum to your team first.

Pro tip: The most effective scrum teams are tight-knit, co-located, and usually 5 to 7 members. They have differing skill sets and cross-train each other so no one person becomes a bottleneck in the delivery of work.

3. Create your product backlog

This is primarily the task of the product owner. This is where you list out everything the project needs.

The Backlog is never complete. As each task or project takes a shape and requires a new need, you will constantly update the Backlog.

4. Plan the Sprint

It’s time to choose tasks from the Backlog to be completed in your first Sprint. While planning the Sprint, the team decides what tasks to embed in it and who will be responsible for them.

5. Working on that Sprint!

This is when each member of your Scrum team works on their individual tasks. Daily check-ins on any progress are also done via the Daily Scrum Meeting.

6. Review your work

At the end of each Sprint, your team reviews the work accomplished and each of the completed tasks.

7. Review your process

This is called the Retrospective meeting. Here you’ll review how the actual work process went and how you plan to improve your work and be more efficient next time.

8. Make all your steps transparent

Implementation of Scrum is a long journey. Some people will leave your team, some will join you midway. Therefore, important that you show the entire roadmap to everybody and communicate your goals, accomplishments, and next steps.

9. Think outside the box

Just because a tip/plan worked for others doesn’t mean it will work for you, too. Look for similar cases, listen to the folks more advanced in Scrum than you, but instead of blindly copying their solutions, experiment with them to find out if they fit your particular situation or not.

10. Inspect & adapt

Your Scrum implementation goes in a different direction than you originally planned? No problem! A complex change may mean that you discover untrodden paths and unique issues while you keep going. Make sure to inspect and adapt whenever you find something new.
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