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Scrum: A Brief Summary

The Agile project methodology 'Scrum' is sketched out on the blackboard.

Scrum: Iterative Method with Post-It Notes

At Elder Studios we use the Scrum methodology to deliver systems to our customers. Scrum is an agile project management method that can be used in many project environments, but which is probably most widely used in software development.

The principles behind Scrum demonstrate why it is the right methodology for us. These key principles that, taken together, summarise the culture and ethos of the method:

Iterative Development

A Scrum project is delivered to our customers in a series of releases, each of one represents an iteration of the process. This flexible development means that we can accommodate changing and evolving requirements from our customers. Moreover, each delivered iteration delivers real business value to the customer.

Value-Based Prioritisation

A key feature of Scrum is that work is divided into short “Sprints”, and the work to be done in the next Sprint is selected from what should be done, not on what could be done. The implication of this is that the work that achieves the greatest business benefit for our customers is done first, meaning that customers should see benefit from the project quickly.

Time-boxing

In Scrum, Time is a limiting factor, as opposed to other resources such as cost or scope. Strict time-boxing gives the project rhythm and a sense of continuous progress. We deliver on-time.

Empirical Process Control

Control of the project is based on observation rather than on detailed up-front planning. In other words, we get on with the work without spending vast amounts of time on detailed planning. The best plan will emerge during the project. The emphasis is therefore on
controlas opposed to detailed planning. This clearly promotes flexibility, and provides us with the ability to react to changing requirements.

Collaboration

Scrum views any project as a shared development, with all stakeholders (the Scrum Team, customers, other vendors) working together to achieve the project goals. This fits completely with the way we want to work with our customers.

Self-Organisation

We believe we have some of the best developers around, so we trust them to organise the best way to deliver. Working with a certfied “Scrum Master”, each Scrum Team organises itself to complete the required deliverables during the Sprint. Moreover, individual Team Members are permitted to manage their own time and work. The closest role to a traditional “Project Manager” — the Scrum Master — has an enabling role, ensuring the best possible project environment for the team.

We have more on Scrum at our local guide; Just Enough … Scrum.

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