Being part of a team is almost inevitable when working in a company that has to do with Information Technology. Of course, someone could be more productive working alone but when it comes to big projects loneliness is not an option. A popular solution for complicated projects is setting up a SCRUM team.
What is SCRUM?
SCRUM is a framework for organizing software development. The main idea behind it is to break the work that has to be done in many smaller parts. All those little pieces of work and requirements are called “tickets” and are gathered together to constitute the “backlog”. Every once in awhile (most times weekly), the team holds meetings where they decide how much time each ticket is going to cost and how many tickets need to be completed until a deadline they set. The number of the tickets that are decided to be done and the time limit for getting them done, constitute the “Sprint”. So every ticket belongs to the running sprint, the next one or the backlog.
The struct of the scrum model
SCRUM consists of three to nine members with different responsibilities. The core roles of the framework are three: Product owner, Development team, Scrum Master.
The product manager
The product manager is an individual person who is the link between the stakeholders, the clients, and the development team. He is accountable for ensuring that the team delivers value to the business. He is responsible for managing the backlog, the sprints, and setting priorities with the tickets based on their significance. He is concerned about the business side of the product rather than the technical.
The development team
The development team consists of professional specialists who are responsible for getting the job done until the end of the sprint. The team is an independent autonomous unit. They can fulfill, on their own, every task assigned to them. Although the team consists of individuals, any success or failure is for the whole team. This means that if a member of the team fucks it up and the sprint is not completed in time, then it’s the whole team’s fault.
The scrum master
The scrum master is an individual person who is responsible for keeping the team organized. He ensures that the sprint will be completed in time and that every part of the team follows the theory, the practices and the rules of the sprint. On the other hand, he is accountable for removing any impediments that the team has. This is why this role is often referred to as servant-leader.
The stand-up meetings
Apart from the weekly meetings, it is very often that a team holds daily meetings called “stand ups” that last no more than 15 minutes. In these meetings every member answers three questions:
The scrum master deals with the impediments any.
- What did I complete yesterday that contributed to the team in order to achieve sprint goal?
- What am I planning to complete today that will contribute to the achievement of the sprint goal?
- Do I see any impediment that could prevent me or the team from meeting our sprint goal?
The weekly report meetings
At the end of the sprint, another meeting is held where the team discusses the sprint. The main questions discussed are:
- Was the sprint successful or failure and why?
- What went well during the sprint and what could be improved for the next ones?
This way, the team is always organized and improving. In a big project, there can be more than one scrum teams that work on the same project but are independent of one another. Furthermore, each team may be differently organized and use different techniques to achieve similar goals but this is fair as long as it improves productivity and creativity of each team.