Scrum has been a hot topic in the IT world for quite some time already. If you’re considering switching to this methodology or simply want to get to know more about its specifics, this article will provide you with some hints.
Project methodologies, if well-adjusted, make life easier for both the development company and the client. Working within an established framework helps all the parties stay on the same page and sets up expectations for the whole collaboration. Each of the popular project methodologies has its advantages and flaws – there is no universal, magical framework that works for anyone in all circumstances.
It may surprise you, but actually, the majority of the IT development teams (particularly the small ones) skip the methodologies, working in the “ad-hoc” mode. But if they decide to structure their work with the project methodology, they usually go for Agile – and more specifically for Scrum, a framework that incorporates the main Agile principles.
What’s behind the phenomenon of Scrum, and is it really better than other well-established project methodologies, like Waterfall? In a nutshell, Scrum stands out with its iterative approach to project planning and execution mingled with a high level of collaborativeness.
In Scrum, the work is delivered in short sprints (usually 2 weeks). It facilitates reacting to changing priorities and provides the client with a maximum level of control. Working in Scrum, developers can deliver lightning-fast results without losing sight of the project’s business objective.
What are the roles in a Scrum team?
The structure of the Scrum Team is quite unique. Aside from developers, designers, and testers, it includes two Scrum-specific roles – Scrum Master and the Product Owner.
Product Owner – Roles and responsibilities
The Scrum Product owner’s role is often misunderstood and confused with a role of a product manager. In many cases, the PO’s responsibilities are actually a combination of product manager’s and project manager’s duties.
What does the Product Owner do? Being responsible for maximizing the product value, the PO acts as a bridge between the team and the customer. By gathering feedback and communicating it to the team, POs make it easier for the members to fulfill the business objectives behind the project and incorporate the client’s insight. According to the official Scrum Guide, you need one Product Owner per project – no more, no less.
The Product Owner’s main duties include:
- managing the team backlog
- communicating the customer needs to the team and prioritizing them
- writing user stories
- defining iterations
- motivating the team with clear goals
If you’d like to know more about the product owner role, read this article that describes it in detail.
Scrum Master – roles and responsibilities
Scrum Master introduces the team to the framework’s principles and makes sure that every team member has a good understanding of them throughout the whole product development process. Generally, the Scrum Team should have one Scrum Master, and one Scrum Master shouldn’t be in charge of more than one Scrum Team.
Among all, Scrum Master should:
- support the team in its daily challenges
- facilitate meetings
- prepare reports
- take care of tool maintenance
- facilitate communication between the team members
- review the sprints
- administer the scrum board and the tools (like Jira)
- fosters the relationship between the team and the product owner
As you can see, Scrum Master and Product Owner collaborate, but their responsibilities do not intersect.
A well-organized Scrum Agile Team supported by the Product Owner and a Scrum Master that cooperate to ensure the best results maintains high productivity in the team extension collaboration model, easily integrating into the internal teams. If you’re looking for this form of support, Scrum is the best framework to choose – others may be more demanding and less effective, particularly at the very beginning of the project.