If you are a student of IT or just someone that works in tech, then you’ve probably heard these two words “Agile” and “Scrum.” For those who have no idea what these two words are, well, Agile is a mindset that describes a set of principles in the Agile Manifesto, while, Scrum is a framework that prescribes events, roles, rules, and artifacts to implement that mindset.
Created in 2000, the Agile Manifesto revolutionized the software development process and by extension the software industry, resulting in the widespread adoption of the agile methodology. This is an introduction to scrum methodology, so let’s begin.
What Is Agile Methodology?
The agile methodology is one of the working models used by the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle); it is iterative & incremental and breaks the product into smaller builds.
Unlike other software development methodologies, the development and testing activities are concurrent in the agile methodology. Processes need to be tailored to suit the specific project requirements of the client. This software development methodology encourages face-to-face communication and teamwork. All stakeholders must work together to develop a product.
What is Agile?
Agile project management proposes alternatives to sequential or waterfall project management. The methodology is designed to work in an iterative structure, to help businesses to respond to unpredictability by adapting to changes.
When related to software, this methodology defines roles, increases collaboration, self-organization, ongoing review and adaptation, and cross-functionality of the teams. It is the most preferred because it allows for the rapid delivery of high-quality software that is tailored according to the client’s needs and is aligned with the business goals.
Now that we know what is Agile and its methodology, let’s take a look at its types.
Types of Agile Methodology
There are many subsets of the agile methodology. Here are some of them:
- Scrum Methodology
- Lean Software Development
- Kanban Software Development
- Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)
- Feature Driven Development (FDD)
- Extreme Programming (XP)
Each of these methods follows the same underlying principles; however, they differ in regard to implementation with each having a unique set of practices, terminology, and use cases.
Let’s Take a Look at Scrum Methodology
One of the agile processes, scrum is used to manage environments of complex software development. It results in higher productivity, minimal TTB (time to benefit), and allows for easy incorporation of fast changes into the product. Like agile, scrum methodology is based on iterative development.
In this lightweight, simple-to-implement framework, the customer collaborates with the team to distribute a software program into sprints (short timeboxes). Each sprint has a duration between 1-4 weeks, after which working software is delivered. Testing is done for every sprint. Based on the Sprint Retrospective, the framework of the process may be adjusted. Scrum is aimed at maintaining a high quality of the software deliverables customized to the needs of the customer, by enabling better adaptation to change of requirements.
Burn down Chart
It is a graphical representation that is used to show work left to do against time. The projected time is depicted along the horizontal axis, with a backlog along the vertical. That is, it is a run chart of backlog & is useful for estimating the time of completion.
Epics are big chunks of work (customer requests, features, or business requirements) that can be broken down into smaller specific tasks. Typically implemented across several iterations, epics are a great way to organize your work and create a hierarchy.
It is an ordered list of all the work that is needed in the product which may add value to it. The customer is responsible for the Product Backlog (including its content, availability, and ordering). During the planning phase, user stories are taken from it, dissected, discussed, and refined.
Product owner aka customer is the key stakeholder of the project. So he has the final say. As mentioned above, the customer (product owner) is responsible for the Product Backlog (including its content, availability, and ordering).
According to their priority, user stories are picked up from the product backlog. During the sprint planning meeting, discussions are held to find out the feasibility of each story, some of which are then chosen to work on a specific sprint. Sprint Backlog is the collective list of all the product backlog items identified by the Scrum team to be completed during that Scrum sprint.
He/she works as the facilitator of the Scrum team.
This is the development team which is typically composed of three to nine team members.
Sprint is a pre-fixed time frame (typically between one-to-four weeks) within which the project is to be completed for review or production deployment.
Defined in a single paragraph, user stories are requirements expressed from a user perspective.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Scrum Methodology
Now that we’ve been through all the necessary details, in the end, let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of Scrum methodology.
- It is quite budget-friendly and gives the desired results in a very short time.
- Large projects are divided into easily manageable sprints.
- Fast results and simple testing procedures for better work output and quality.
- The team gets clear visibility through scrum meetings which help in identifying problems and resolving them in time.
- It creates a system of transparency; the individual effort of each team member is visible during daily scrum meetings.
- Scrum, being agile, adopts feedback from customers which ensures the best results.
- It is easy to cope with the changes as Scrum consists of short sprints with constant feedback.
- It offers motivation on multiple levels.
Nothing is perfect and like every framework, scrum also has few disadvantages:
- With no deadline, Scrum often leads to scope creep.
- Requires strong commitment & cooperation from all team members. The chances of project failure are high, in case some members are not up to the task.
- It’s not easy to adopt this framework in large teams.
- The scrum framework can be successful only with experienced team members.
- Daily meetings sometimes frustrate team members.
- If a member of the team leaves in the middle of a project, it can have a huge negative impact on the project.