Most people would be familiar with the general term “scrum” as the term for a rugby huddle in which teams discuss their strategy for the next phase of the game, while wiping the blood out of their eyes. But, Scrum has taken on a new meaning to us nerds and relates to software development in case of Agile and other types of project management.
Agile software development provides a platform and a step-by-step process by which the client reviews various deliverables or features of the product being created. Scrum comes as a helping hand in case of software development and usually refers to a protocol followed by developers where all the members working on a particular project meet up to discuss the project. Usually with less blood, however.
The team members discuss any feedback from clients and changes suggested or approved by the project manager or boss type person. Developers discuss their respective piece of the project and that which they intend to work on next. They may also discuss any roadblocks or issues which might need attention. This process helps in keeping the project in a live and malleable form throughout development. The person who facilitates and in a way moderates this process is the Scrum Master.
This master need not be a team lead or anyone in managerial position, but it definitely has to be someone from the team who is technically sound and well aware of the status of the project. S/he will follow up the work status of each of the member, request updates on what has been done and that which is still pending, determine the details of any issues that require workarounds or any other issues that have arisen during the initial stages. Usually the Scrum Master will ask questions like “what did you accomplish yesterday?”, “what are you going to do today?”, and “are there any potential impediments to your continued progress?”.
The Scrum Master’s role is not rigid or even necessarily formally defined. In fact, if the paradigm allows for it, different members of the team can take turns as the Scrum Master, allowing each member to be responsible for the proceedings of the project. This can create a level of ownership unparalleled in other methodologies and makes each and every member of the team to be responsible for the final product, for better or worse.
Scrum in software is an innovative concept and has been very effective. Many software enterprises – large and small - now follow this model even for software development models other than agile development.
Stop back next week when we talk about the Product Owner in Scrum development! And feel free to peruse our website to check out our services or see what our clients have to say about our work. We can do the same for you.