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Project Management

What is Scrum?

Scrum is a highly structured yet adaptable framework for developing products and solving complex problems. Developed by Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber in the early 1990s, it is a lightweight, incremental form of project management that relies on the close interaction of project participants to develop, monitor, and adapt to evolving working conditions. Named after the scrum in rugby, it engages all project practitioners to continuously monitor and improve outcomes, to repeatedly meet or exceed customer expectations.

How Scrum Works

The Scrum Alliance describes Scrum as a framework in which “Work is structured in cycles of work called sprints iterations of work that are typically two-to-four weeks in duration. During each sprint, teams pull from a prioritized list of customer requirements, called user stories, so that the features that are developed first are of the highest value to the customer. At the end of each sprint, a potentially shippable product is delivered.”

An Empirical Approach

Scrum is one of the most popular and widely used Agile methodologies. Like most Agile methodologies, Scrum relies on an empirical approach—one based on observation and experience—that creates products incrementally and puts the authority to make critical decisions directly in the hands of the development team. However, in contrast to many other forms of Agile, Scrum offers clear rules and guidelines within its framework, to create a shared sense of understanding and provide guidance for team members.

Video Commentary: What is Scrum?

Review Checkpoint

To test your understanding of the content presented

1. In a Scrum environment, who is responsible for continuously monitoring and improving project outcomes?Choose only one answer below.

a. the project team

b. the project manager

c. Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber

d. all project practitioners

Correct. all project participants and practitioners are responsible for the continuous monitoring and improvement of outcomes.

2. How do Scrum teams ensure that they are providing the highest value to customers?Choose only one answer below.

a. by employing an empirical approach

b. by working with a prioritized list of user stories

Correct. Pulling items from a prioritized list of user stories helps to guarantee that teams will develop those features that provide the highest value to customers first.

c. by limiting their sprints to a four-week duration

d. all of the above

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