Scrum SoftwareMaximizing Team Collaboration & Process Efficiency

Scrum is a project management method that helps teams collaborate better on complex problems. It bases on dividing work into short cycles, called sprints, and aligning team efforts on a common goal through self-organization and transparency. It enables work to be iterative and incremental rather than a single, huge challenge for your team to overcome.

With the iterative approach, the product, the process and the related outcomes are regularly reviewed and adjusted. It ensures that your objectives are clear and current, and, as Scrum's co-creator Jeff Sutherland wrote in "Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time", it prevents your team from doing unnecessary work.

Why should you consider using Scrum?

Although versatile across various fields like marketing, sales, and HR, Scrum finds its roots in software development and remains predominantly utilized there, because its advantages lie primarily in this domain.

Some of the benefits of Scrum are:

  • Quality assurance:
    Precise sprint requirements, ongoing software evaluation, and a unified project vision drive continuous improvement through feedback loops at sprint reviews and from the product owner.
  • Enhanced team dynamics:
    Empowering team members fosters creativity and self-organization, enabling flexible work structures that support individual styles and goals. The collaborative effort across functions uplift team skills and motivation.
  • Optimized ROI:
    Prioritizing critical requirements for early market release minimizes defects, enhances team efficiency, and embraces a "fail-fast" approach, saving time and costs in the long term.
  • Precise metrics:
    Tailored metrics help with project performance evaluation, allowing teams to estimate project time, budget, and quality. Relative estimates grant the product owner flexibility, driving early support and a natural team acceleration. Stakeholder feedback ensures project alignment and progress.

Scrum roles, responsibilities and events

A team discussing tasks written on sticky notes pasted to a window

A Scrum team consists of three roles holding specific duties: a product owner, a Scrum master, and developers.

The product owner is responsible for maximizing the business value of the product. They understand and prioritize the needs and expectations of the users and customers. They also provide clear direction and feedback to the team on the features and releases of the product.

The Scrum master promotes and supports Scrum within the team and the organization. They coach and guide the team, the product owner, and the stakeholders on how to apply the method's principles and practices effectively. They also facilitate and optimize the Scrum events and processes, helping the team overcome impediments or challenges.

The developers are responsible for delivering a high-quality product that meets the requirements and expectations of the product owner and the customers. They have diverse skills and expertise, and they cross-train and collaborate with each other to avoid any dependencies or delays. They also self-organize in planning work for each Sprint, and follow sustainable development practices.

Scrum teams are usually small and cohesive, following a two-pizza rule, meaning a team should be small enough to be fed with two pizzas pies. Also, Scrum teams work closely together, keeping this principle in mind.

There are also five events characteristic of the Scrum method. Sprint planning is a session during which the team estimates the workload and sets the goals for the upcoming Sprint. The team agrees on what and how they will deliver each Increment by the end of the planning meeting. A sprint is a fixed period of time, usually two weeks, when the team works together to complete an increment, which is a potentially releasable or demonstrable piece of the product. The sprint length can vary depending on the project needs and complexity, but it should be consistent throughout the project. The daily stand-up is a short, usually 15 minute-long meeting during which the team members update each other on their progress and challenges. They also plan their tasks for the day and coordinate their efforts to achieve the sprint goals. A sprint review is an informal meeting, usually at the end of the sprint, where the team presents their work and gets feedback from the stakeholders. The product owner may adjust the product backlog based on the sprint outcomes and the stakeholder input. Lastly, during a sprint retrospective meeting, the team reflects on their performance and identifies areas for improvement. They also share their learnings and best practices, and plan actions for the next sprint.

How to use Scrum Software?

Transitioning to Scrum requires more than implementing the right software. It demands a change in mindset and organizational culture, which can be challenging. However, committing to Scrum can result in more flexibility, creativity, and inspiration, leading to better outcomes and products. The following are the steps to successfully implement Scrum with the aid of a digital process board.

A Scrum process visualized in Kanban Tool

Step 1: Define the product vision

The product owner creates and communicates the vision of the product based on the input and feedback from the stakeholders and the users. They also identify and prioritize the features and requirements that are valuable and aligned with the product goal, using a digital Scrum board to create and update the product backlog items, and vsualize priorities and difficulty points and assign them to the team members.

Step 2: Manage the backlog

Ordering and refining the product backlog is done by evaluating the risk of each item. The product owner collaborates with the team and the stakeholders to clarify and negotiate the requirements and the trade-offs, reflecting and tracking the status and progress of the Scrum board items.

Step 3: Plan the sprint

The team plans how to work on a backlog item and sets the sprint goal, which is the objective and scope of the sprint. The selected product backlog items are moved to the sprint backlog column of the board and broken down into smaller and manageable tasks.

Step 4: Execute the sprint

The team gets to work on the sprint backlog items, holding daily meetings to update each other on their progress and challenges, and plan their work for the day. The scrum master ensures that the team is aligned with the sprint goal and helps them overcome any impediments, visualizing the status of each task and the dependencies between different items on the board.

Step 5: Review and retrospect

At the end of the sprint, the team presents their work and gets feedback from the product owner and the stakeholders. They also reflect on their performance to identify improvement areas and plan actions for the next sprint, capturing the feedback on the digital board.

Step 6: Repeat the cycle

The team selects the next product backlog item to work on and starts a new sprint, following the same steps. They use a new instance of the digital Scrum project board to repeat the cycle and to continuously deliver value and quality to the customers and the stakeholders.

Why Scrum software outperforms
physical Scrum boards?

A team at their desks with a Scrum board on the wall behind them

While conducting Scrum meetings around a physical board holds its charm, that charm is possibly the sole advantage of a tangible board. Embracing an online service instantly enhances team flexibility and mobility. Hiring a professional from across the globe becomes seamless as they stay in sync with all developments, just like your local team.

The merits of using online Scrum software extend to its adaptability and ease of transformation. For expansive projects and a long-term overview of consecutive sprints, physical boards pose visibility and accessibility challenges. A whiteboard's limitation to a single location often necessitates team members to leave their workspace for updates. In contrast, Scrum software allows simultaneous access for all team members, fostering convenience at their desks.

Manipulating task cards is more streamlined within an online application, with real-time dissemination of information across the team upon any change.

One of the significant advantages of an online Scrum board is the depth of information it accommodates compared to physical sticky notes, which lack extensive editability. From online attachments, due dates, checklists, assignments, dependencies, estimations, and priorities to an unlimited number of comments, it serves as a repository offering comprehensive insights into each task.

Essential components of Scrum software:

  • Accessibility for all involved parties
  • Transparency facilitation throughout the process
  • Precise highlighting of task priorities
  • Task inter-connectivity for seamless goal tracking
  • Automatic performance metrics provision
  • Support for task sizing
  • Integrated reminders and automation capabilities

Elevate team performance
with the right software

The optimal starting point is embracing the Kanban Tool online software. Despite its name, the service's adaptability allows complete customization of workflows, catering to Scrum, Kanban, or Scrumban methodologies. With Kanban Tool, you can tailor the process flow, establish specific Scrum policies, set WIP (Work in Progress) limits for columns, and foster team collaboration. The team can engage actively, staying informed in real-time about ongoing changes.

The Kanban Tool online visual management service delivers an array of features trusted by over 25,000 users worldwide. Start your free trial now and explore the software's potential!

Kanban Tool online software