Agile & Scrum has been used in market as synonyms. Majority of the time when agile is referred it is meant scrum. Agile has transitioned from an optional knowledge to mandatory knowledge in today’s IT market and that’s the reason it is very important to know agile and for that matter Scrum. In this article we shall try to understand why it has become mandatory to know Scrum in today’s IT market
What is Agile?
Agile is set of values and principles defined as part of agile manifesto along with 12 principles which echo’s these values defined in the manifesto.
There are many different definitions of agile given by many experts and crux of all will be based on few keys terms like iterative, incremental approach focused on Customer value delivered early and frequently.
In a broad prospective, agile can be referred as the super-set of different techniques and methodologies and also refereed as umbrella of manifesto and principles. Scrum and other methodologies are its different flavours. Below diagram will help you in making understand what is agile all about. In interest of subject, we shall restrict our discussion in this article between Agile & Scrum only. It will help us in focusing on why Scrum understanding is getting more and more need of hour.
What is Scrum?
From above its very clear that Scrum is one flavour of agile which is a lightweight framework to use agile values and principles and implement in projects. As we mentioned earlier that scrum is used synonym to agile, the reason for that is scrum is the most used flavour of the agile. Lot of surveys and results on google can be found which shows this.
Scrum is based on empirical process control theory which has three pillars i.e. Transparency, Inspection & Adaptation along with iteratively incremental approach. In empirical process control focus is to keep the scope of the product variable. Iterations/sprints are run to get increment of the product. This tiny piece of product called increment will get refined in subsequent iterations and same gets inspected. Inspection results in opportunities to adapt and same is identified and worked upon by team.
All the artefacts, roles and ceremonies in scrum rotates around these three pillars of empirical process control.
Why Scrum is mandatory?
Just to be clear and frank, Scrum is not mandatory but agile is. Due to the fact that Scrum has become so popular it’s used on place of agile, it has become mandatory indirectly. The reasons why scrum is very popular are:
- Its lightweight in nature
- Easy to understand
- Easy to implement
In organizations, where agile is used, scrum artefacts, roles, ceremonies are used without even realising that it’s Scrum. This makes scrum important to know and important to sustain in today’s agile world.
Reasons which drives Scrum knowledge are:
Most Popular Agile Flavour
As per one of the survey conducted by “Master of Project Academy”, Scrum is the most used agile based framework. Due to its popularity and successful case studies across industries, it’s most commonly used in organizations
Ceremonies are popularly used in organizations without knowing Scrum
Even if organizations doesn’t know scrum, Scrum ceremonies are used very commonly. This can compared as per below
This makes much more sense for aspirants to know Scrum and its ceremonies. This will help in speaking same language in the projects.
Scrum Roles are used as roles in agile
There are three popular roles in Scrum that is used by scrum team and also non scrum team on and off.
- Product Owner
- Scrum Master
The most common role “Scrum Master” is used so commonly that indirectly this has been used as one of the job profile in the organization. Even for the organization not completely into Scrum, Scrum Master Role exist if they are following agile. Similarly Product Owner role and self-organizing, self-motivating team culture is also getting developed and agile teams are conversing with Scrum role as team.
A person not knowing Scrum in such an environment with struggle for day to day understanding. This makes scrum part and parcel of agile teams these days
Scrum artefacts are used as standards
Let’s first look at the artefacts in Scrum
- Product Backlog
- Sprint Backlog
- Product Increment
If you ask any agile team, even using Kanban, Lean or XP or for that matter using agile without any particulate name, Backlog as a word is used so leisurely. It’s because agile, in the form of Scrum is in nerves.
Backlog is used as artefacts even in projects where waterfall is using at execution level. Set of requirements nomenclature has also been in transition from Business Requirement Documents to product Backlog or Business requirement backlog.
Set of requirements going into iteration is also started getting backlog as name there are multiple versions of this as Iteration Backlog, Backlog set1, Backlog set2 etc.. all these changes shows the completing need of today’s environment to know agile and scrum so that yelling of terms in the project environment happens naturally.
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Organizations are moving towards agile due to obvious reasons and to keep up to the pace of the market. Scrum being the most popular and most used flavour of agile has made its place so well that it’s now mingled as agile itself even though agile is a bigger umbrella.
This has made the compelling need to understand Scrum as well agile mandatory for individuals. Lacking the knowledge of scrum will make it hard for individuals to understand the things in project environment. On the other hand if one has basic scrum knowledge, the smooth flow of information and understanding happens for both i.e. in current organization as well as new organization.