Efficiency is a must for any great endeavour. Whether you are setting up a small business or running a multi-million dollar company, efficiency is key to success.
In this week’s Knowledge Nugget, let’s take a closer look at Scrum by Jeff Sutherland.
According to author Jeff Sutherland, Scrum first had its origins in the world of Software Development.
And now it is sweeping through a myriad of other places where work gets done. Major companies such as Google, Salesforce, Amazon and even the FBI are using the SCRUM method.
Insight: A majority of businesses struggle when it comes to efficiency. A failure to enhance the work process may impede progress within the organisation.
Data: A study from Florida State University found that productivity and performance are at their peak during uninterrupted 90-minute intervals. (Workgroups Da Vinci)
What’s the step change: Learn how to do twice the Work in Half the time. Download the Knowledge Nuggets: SCRUM PDF to learn more.
What is Scrum?
Scrum is a ground-breaking framework that focuses on business agility at an organisational scale. Its main emphasis is on teamwork, accountability, and a steady and consistent advance towards a shared goal.
3 Key Roles in Scrum
- Product Owner: The product owner is the brains of the outfit. He/She is the one who comes up with the ideas and defines the key features of the product.
- The team: Is made up of members who specialise in various tasks. The team is usually made up of developers, writers, testers, etc. It is sometimes necessary for team members to fulfil secondary responsibilities to keep the process running smoothly.
- The Scrum master: Is the person who directly oversees the team, and is responsible for keeping the work process as smooth and efficient as possible.
Key Documents in Scrum
- Product Backlog: The product backlog is a list of projects and everything that needs to be done in order to make the plan work. This list is known as user stories and this list changes in priority at every sprint.
- Sprint Backlog: The most important user stories go into the sprint backlog. These get ranked for size and get prioritised on the next sprint.
- Burn down Chart: This chart shows the progress of each user story. This chart should approach zero points as the user story reaches completion.
- Sprint Planning: This phase is where the product owner, scrum master and the team converse and plan out every aspect of the sprint.
- Daily Scrum: Is a quick meeting where the team discusses completed projects and what they are working on at the moment. This is technically a quick huddle.
- Sprint Review: The sprint review usually occurs at the end of the sprint, and the team discusses what they can improve on the overall process.
- Sprint: It is a one to four-week time box. Throughout each sprint, all of the work decided upon during the sprint planning will be worked on till completion.
The Scrum Workflow
Now that we know the key aspects of the scrum work-flow, we are going to have a quick summary of the scrum work process.
The product owner builds a list of the key ideas and features that comprise the product. The product owner also prioritises the list and updates the team on the top items.
This is the phase where the product owner and the scrum master discuss and rank the user stories. Through this process, they will be able to decide what will go into the next sprint.
The end result of the sprint planning is the sprint backlog. These are the user stories that the team has decided to work on. Based on the discussions of the sprint planning meetings, the team can now stay focused on the overall work process.
As it was stated earlier, the sprint is the one to four-week period where the designated tasks are worked on. The outcome of the sprint is a potentially shippable product.
Within the time-span of each sprint, the daily scrum takes place. During the daily scrum, the team conducts a stand-up meeting where they discuss completed and unfinished tasks.
This is where the team shows the end product to the product owner. During this stage, the team works on how they could improve the overall process. This workflow should be followed for every sprint.
Scrum is the Bible for agility in practice. It’s primary premise is how to be productive in a changing and uncertain world. And how to beat complexity and overwhelm in teams.
One of the key principles from Scrum is that Agility is really lean. While Scrum is an operating model, it is still rooted in the agile manifesto.
One of the key values in the agile set, is that the team should understand the principles of why we’re doing something, rather than get stuck on what we’re doing. It states that we should value collaboration over contract negotiation. We should value responding to change, rather than sticking to the overall plan.
The second key value is the daily huddle. We should conduct our meetings with a scrum board to make the process more efficient. Huddles should last no more than 15 seconds. They are key because they allow team members to commit to duties and ask for support from fellow team members. The daily huddle is a core principle that comes out of Scrum.
The third key value is momentum. When it comes to intention, we want to make sure that the team is improving. That it gets faster and more effective, and that feeling of momentum rises up in the team.
So small teams are important and 3-week cycles are important. And at the end of the time cycle, the scrum cycle closes out at the end of every three weeks and looks to improve the capability and structure of every team.
The fourth point looks at the science of productivity. It states that a happiness survey is one of the greatest predictors of team performance.
Overall, Scrum is one of the most innovative organisational frameworks in use today, and continues to help a myriad of organisations to reach their full potential.
Download our Knowledge Nugget on Scrum and learn to do twice the work in half the time.