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How to use Scrum


Scrum is an agile framework that helps facilitate collaborative project development and is used to address complex, adaptive problems.

Scrum differs from traditional project management in that it abandons several notable roles present in many project management methodologies. For example, in Scrum, there is no need for a project manager, rather the role is substituted for its Scrum counterpart, the Scrum Master.

Scrum is a comprehensive agile methodology that, while effective, requires extensive training in Scrum methods, strategies, processes and principles.

You can learn more about how agile practices and tools can be applied to the management of agile projects by taking an Agile Project Management course.

How to use the Scrum method

1. Select a Scrum team

  • Product Owner – represents the customer, communicates the priorities and vision of the team.
  • Scrum Master – acts as a facilitator between the product owner and the team
  • Development Team – self-organized, responsible for developing the product

Product backlog

The product owner creates a ‘product backlog’ which is a ‘prioritized wish list.’ The product owner owns the backlog, but everyone can add to it.

2. Sprint planning

The Product Owner presents the highest priority items from the Product backlog to the Development Team.

The Development Team decides what they can complete for the sprint and break user stories into tasks, estimating the effort and transferring them to a sprint backlog.

3. The sprint

One sprint cycle lasts 2-4 weeks.

4. Sprint review

The Development Team members demo the product increment to the Product Owner, who makes necessary changes to the Product Backlog. Feedback and suggestions are given.

5. Sprint retrospective

The team evaluates the sprint. They decide what worked and what didn’t in order to improve the next sprint.

6. Product increment

The increment is the product of all backlog items completed during the sprint and previous sprints. It must be in a useable condition. The Product Owner decides whether to release it.

7. Final/Interim delivery

The product is tested by users. If the product is incomplete, the Development Team return to the product backlog to prepare for another sprint. This cycle repeats until all user stories are completed to the Product Owners’ satisfaction.

Scrum infographic

The following infographic explains how to use the Scrum method to structure your project development cycle.

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