Project Management in Scrum
Project management in Agile Scrum is a popular topic among software developers. That is because of the fact that it differs significantly from what we are used to call project management. The first thing we may read in any article about Scrum is that a Scrum team is self-managing. This statement may not be completely clear to a typical software developer that works with traditional methodologies. Nevertheless, in this article we will try to clarify that. We will describe the Scrum project management methodology in greater detail to show you that it is quite simple. The only thing you should do to understand it is to learn its basic principles.
The description of Scrum project management methodologies would be impossible without understanding what Scrum actually is. Let’s try and answer this question.
Scrum is a popular Agile method of software development. Moreover: it is the most widely spread Agile methodology. It combines the best Agile practices. That is why Scrum teams are able to achieve great results when they use this methodology properly. Scrum is based on iterative cycles, called sprints. Each sprint lasts between 1 and 4 weeks and has its own backlog. The sprint backlog is the amount of tasks that should be performed during a certain sprint. The testing procedure is conducted after each sprint. That allows the Scrum teams to detect all defects on early stages of work and to remove them before the product is delivered to the customer. The range of customer involvement in the process of Scrum software development is very high. The client, or his representative, called the Product Owner participates in the team’s work constantly. He prioritizes the product backlog and gives advice on the future software. The customer can change the goals of the project or his view at the final software any moment. Scrum teams are ready to that. After all, Scrum is an Agile methodology.
Project management and Scrum
Now, as we know what Scrum is, we can start our talk about project management methodology in Scrum.
First of all, we should mention that there is no project manager in Scrum. This role is typical for traditional methodologies of software development and you may be surprised, but for Scrum teams it is unnecessary. As we have already mentioned, Scrum teams are self-managing. It means that they are able to plan their work without any control from above. However, they have people who help them implement Scrum practices. Such people are called ScrumMasters.
The ScrumMaster is more of a coach than a project manager. His main task is to conduct all team meetings.
Generally, there are four main activities in Scrum project management.
The first is called the sprint planning meeting. Such meetings take place at the beginning of each sprint. Their main goal is to formulate sprint backlogs. The user stories from the product backlog are included into the sprint backlog and turned into tasks during this meeting.
The daily standup is the next compulsory Scrum project management activity. It is conducted every morning during the period of project realization. The daily standups are aimed at improving the communication inside of the team by sharing information on the tasks of certain developers.
Sprint reviews are conducted at the end of each sprint. These are the meetings where the team introduces new parts of product to the Product Owner. If the Product Owner is satisfied, the sprint is finished.
Sprint retrospective is the final Scrum project management activity. It is conducted after the Product Owner estimates the new piece of software. Retrospectives are aimed at defining what went well and what went wrong during the sprint.