Scrum Project Management – Bringing Agility In Projects

Scrum Project Management is a methodology applied to manage software delivery efficiently. Also a part of agile project management, some people look upon it as not only a methodology but a smart technology and a smarter style of project management. The process followed is extremely lightweight and uses iterations as well as increments to help organizations deliver work at a much quicker pace.


In this page we will cover the following:

1. The values that scrum project management will bring to your business and the basics of it to give you a good understanding of what it achieves.

2. The complete framework to how scrum works

3. The important roles needed to achieve a successful campaign

4. The process to tie it all together

5. And finally, how to start applying scrum project management to your business with an easy 3 step process.



The Value of Scrum Project Management:

Scrum is now a famous name in the world of software technology. It maintains the project impetus and completes valuable work within a very short amount of time. To complete the project, scrum project management makes use of several small sprints which are fixed time periods of development followed by meetings.

The sprints progress in a cyclic manner until the deadline is reached, resources are used up or the work is completed.


Scrum vs. Traditional Project Management

Scrum is much more valuable than the traditional waterfall style of project management where the requirements are first fixed and analyzed and then the documentation is done. In traditional project management, the actual work can begin only after these steps are done which increases both the likelihood of delay and the chances of overrunning resources.

Also, the customers are unable to see the result until the finished product is prepared. It might not be possible to make changes after the entire process is completed, and in that case, the product fails to satisfy the clients.

Scrum project management, on the other hand, is agile and completes the project within the deadline.  Thus, it overcomes the flaws of the traditional method and is extremely valuable in the field of project management.



Basics of Scrum Project Management

Scrum is a simple system of breaking down large projects into smaller manageable projects with coordination, inspection, feedback, adaptation, and transparency. See the importance of each and how it applies below.


Divide and Conquer Policy

Scrum believes in dividing the work or target into smaller parts. Therefore, complex work is divided into smaller blocks, large organizations are broken up into smaller teams and long-term goals are divided into shorter targets which makes the road map clearer for the team to work. Since large organizations are broken down into smaller teams, a better utilization of human resources also takes place.



Coordination of smaller teams makes it easier to communicate and manage than larger group as individual teams are assigned to different pieces of work which ensures simultaneous running of the works parallel together.


Inspect and Adapt

Scrum Project Management involves regular feedback from the client and making modifications accordingly. The work is regularly inspected and changes are adapted accordingly. As a result of this, there is no need of re-doing the entire work after the project submission in case the client does not like it.



Today’s corporate world demands transparency in work. Scrum helps in achieving that. The entire process followed in scrum is transparent and nothing is hidden by the project team.  As a result, the people in the managerial positions in the respective organizations are fully aware of the details like which employees are working, what they are working at and how they are progressing. As a result, troubleshooting and decision making becomes easier.

The methods by which Scrum Project Management maintains transparency are:

1. Sprint Planning: Here the strategies for the next sprint are decided.

2. Daily Scrum: This process helps in staying focused.

3. Sprint Review: After the completion of a sprint, it is reviewed and feedback is given for improvement.

4. Sprint Retrospective: The methodology of the sprint is reviewed and a thorough analysis is done on what could have made the sprint better and what were its positives that can be utilized in the future.



The Framework of Scrum

Shared Tools: Product Backlog is one of the most important parts of the Scrum framework. It is basically a list of things doable in the projects lifetime. The backlogs are ordered according to their project value. This ensures that the more important features are prioritized. In addition to this, customer feedback is also considered to decide which features to include for the next sprint.

Sprint Backlog: It is a list of things that are pending within the sprint. It also states the order of priority of the things in the sprint.

Scrum Board: The final sprint backlog is transferred to the scrum board which has three columns- “To do”, “Things in Progress” and “Done”. Every activity first makes its place in the “To Do” column and then gradually progresses to the “Work in Progress” and “Done” columns. The choosing of activities and their proper placing is done by the sprint members.

Velocity: It is a parameter used to measure the output of the team in each sprint. It is nothing but the summation of the points gained in that particular sprint.


The Three Roles and Process of Scrum Project Management

There are three different roles in a scrum project management which are of equal importance in the completion of the project. They are:

Product Owner: He is the representative of the customers and ensures that the priority of the product backlog is maintained and interest of the stake owner is served.

Scrum Master: He is the man who ensures the proper implementation of the project. Unlike the traditional project manager, he does not impose workloads on the team members but ensures that there is no obstruction in the path of smooth workflow.

Team Members: Depending on the project, there are anywhere from five to nine in number, dedicated towards the successful completion of the sprint. They are the people who are actually entrusted with the execution.


Scrum Process

The Scrum process is based on several artifacts. One of them is the product itself whereas the product backlog is another one. The product owner prioritizes the product backlog so that the team can understand which feature to consider first. The product backlog is basically the features desired from the product while the sprint backlog is a to-do list of the project tasks of the sprint concerned.

The Product Owner sets the right goal for the team while the Scrum Master sees to it that the team does not suffer from any distractions from outside and the members put in their best efforts in achieving the goal set.

The team members in the sprint work in their own disciplines and also sometimes in other areas beyond their discipline.

Thus, in a Scrum Project Management, the product owner sets targets, the team continues to work towards it and the Product Manager ensures that there is no disruption in the workflow due to some reason.


Applying Scrum and How to Get Started

Whether the company has had previous exposure to scrum or not, here are a few easy steps that will help any organization get started with scrum and agile project management.


Step 1: Pre-Planning and Initial Setup

scrum project management

1. Create a collaborative work space: A whiteboard area, i.e. the collaboration hub of the sprint team must be created.


2. Arrange your Product Backlog in Order: Arranging the product backlog in the proper way is the most critical and significant step. Unless a team has a concrete priority list, it will not be able to execute things in the proper order.


3. Estimating the Product Backlog: This is important since it helps in deciding the order of priority. A high-level, indicative estimate is required since the details regarding the items are not known. It is basically a rough estimation that is made.


4. Plan the Sprints: A sprint planning meeting should be held where the entire team must be present. One of the significant things to be decided during the meeting is the sprint duration.


5. Estimating Tasks: It is all about estimating the time required to perform each task. The sprint budget is calculated by counting the number of people in the team and the amount of time spent by each in performing their task. The number of hours they work per day, the holidays that they enjoy- everything is taken into account to make the sprint budget.



Step 2: Execution and Tracking Progress

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1. Execution of the Sprints: This is the technical part of the Agile Project Management. So scrum project management method is no way related to the details of sprint execution.


2. Reporting Back: Each team member must report back regarding his performance and also the difficulties faced by him in doing his part (if any).


3. Tracking Progress: Tracking progress regularly is very important so a burn down chart may be used for this purpose. Just like the traditional method of project management has a project report associated with it, the Scrum Project Management requires a burn down chart to maintain a daily record of the progress of the sprint.



Step 3: Completion and Follow Up

agile project management

1. Completing the Task: In Agile Project Management, the task in a sprint needs to be fully completed before moving on to the next. Maintaining the deadline is also very important.


2. Reviewing: Reviewing of the sprints is the last and one of the most important steps in Scrum Project Management. Reviewing and reflecting upon the positives and negatives is a part of the strategy. The mistakes found should not be repeated while the positive attributes should be maintained.


The framework created by Scrum is of immense importance in today’s software-based project management. Naturally, the traditional methods are being replaced by Scrum Project Management. If you’re looking for a more in-dept understanding of advanced scrum practices in the workplace then take a look at our approved books section to read some of the books on scrum that we highly recommend.