PTo put it quickly, the Scrum method is an agile method for managing IT projects that favors communication and facilitates timely reorientations. This is now the preferred method for so-called “agile” approaches. Building on its success in the computer world, it is now deployed in companies as a new organization of operations in “project mode”. In this article we will stick to the fundamentals of computer development.

Definition of Scrum

Scrum, the scrumScrum is an agile IT project-oriented development method whose resources are regularly updated.

The Scrum method takes its name from the world of rugby, scrum = scrum. The basic principle being to be always ready to redirect the project as it progresses.

It is a dynamic and participatory approach to project management. The scrum is an essential phase of the game in rugby. It allows the game to start again on other bases. The meeting in the Scrum method relays the metaphor.

Principles of the Scrum method

Of course, the Scrum method is consistent with the principles of agile methods. Like all agile methods, Scrum favors the rapid delivery of a prototype, operational by definition, so that customers, principals and team members can evaluate it.

This active participatory approach is a fundamental asset. It guarantees for the customer the right balance between the planned investment and the product finally delivered. The study of the prototype allows the evaluation of the functionalities carried out, and facilitates the common reflection on the opportunity of future developments. On the other hand, the close intimacy between user clients and developer service providers facilitates the future appropriation of the tool.

5 Scrum concepts you need to know

It is often said that the Scrum master is a coach. This is true since his role is also to bring out the best in everyone to make the project a success. But the Scrum Master is above all a project manager. He makes sure that the Scrum principle takes place as it should, he sets roles, timings and objectives. It’s a complex job, it’s about being rational while being an excellent communicator turned towards others. As we can see, it is not given to everyone to combine these qualities. That said, these are also the qualities of a good project manager even for a more classic project that does not necessarily take place according to the agile framework of the Scrum method.
Product Owner:
Business-oriented, he is the one who will share the vision of the product to be produced with the development team. He is responsible for the proper execution of the project, he is in close contact with the development, marketing and customer teams.
Scrum Board:
Quickly said, this is the project dashboard. It must be well positioned so that each member of the team can benefit from it. It makes it possible to follow the progress of the project, it makes sense. So the tasks are listed and qualified: to do, in progress, to check, to test, completed.
The most practical ? A magnetic dashboard or even a wall used for this purpose and easy-to-move post-its to change columns as you progress.
It is a team of a good ten people who, in theory, are capable of leading the project (or a heavier subset of the project) in total autonomy. It is therefore multidisciplinary and autonomous. Not always easy to build.
This is the essential phase of product development. Limited in time, without exceeding a month, it aims to achieve “something” presentable to a client. The Scrum method proceeds by iteration. It is indeed the right method to, theoretically, always stay in tune with the defined need and the expectations of the customer.

Advantages disadvantages

It is quite obvious that methods such as XP programming, Scrum briefly presented here or any agile approach are not without flaws. Each of these methods has a number of advantages, but they are not free from disadvantages.

Thus the customer must be participative. It’s not always the case. If he stops playing the game as it unfolds, if he is reluctant to invest himself fully, the decision-making process will be difficult to conduct.

Note: mastery of negotiation (applied game theory, for example) is an essential skill for the project manager (see the book The effective project manager).

The definition of a perfectly shared, known and common metric for all stakeholders is also essential. This chapter is very rarely treated in its proper “measure”.

On the other hand, rapid and repetitive development results in high pressure on all members of the development team. The “sprints” require a maximum level of productivity for all the actors of the project. Beware of stress, we are not machines…

To go further

Finally, the effective project manager knows how to use the methods and knows their limits. He knows full well that to get as close as possible to an optimal computerization of business processes, especially the question of strategic alignment, he will have to go beyond the methods and tools of the profession to appropriate the best practices based on common sense and accumulated experience. This is the theme of the book The effective project manager, reference of this site.

A practical application

Used well, Scrum can prove to be a fairly effective method for carrying out, at reasonable time and cost, some business intelligence projects that are inherently delicate.

The close cooperation between future users, decision-makers and developers is particularly beneficial, as is development by successive iterations. Business Intelligence has no other purpose than to facilitate decision-making while reducing its risk. An approach based on short, rapidly operational projects is the best solution for achieving a useful, usable and used tool.

web resources

  • Official Scrum Guide
    The Official Scrum Guide in French, Developed and maintained by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland, accessible online in Creative Commons

    A clear and precise site on the subject of the Scrum method.

    The site of the association founded by Ken Schwaber, Mike Cohn and Esther Derby to spread the use of agile methods and the Scrum method.

Scrum packages

    An Open Source Scrum project management software, practical, quite complete and easy to use.
  • Jira from Atlassian
    An “agile” Scrum and Kanban project management tool.
  • scrumworks
    Collaborative Scrum project monitoring software

On this subject, see also

  • The right method and the creation of value
    A good method can be defined as the formalization of the rules of success of a project in order to properly frame the design and implementation phases to achieve the creation of expected value. “the right method is the one that will allow me to achieve my goals without asking myself too many questions. No more complicated…”
  • The IT project, a complex project by definition
    Conducting a business IT project is not part of the campaign. Far from it. It is indeed a question of building a team with specialized skills to implement young and therefore delicate technologies, at the service of stakeholders who do not always agree on the challenges of the project. Let’s all see this.
  • How to become a Coach Manager?
    To manage a team effectively, that is to say so that it produces in accordance with objectives, it is good to know that authority is not (or is no longer) the main quality expected. of the manager. To carry out his mission, he must on the contrary devote himself to bringing out the best in each member of the team while ensuring its cohesion. Vast program, but developing a coaching talent is now an imperative for the manager.

To read…

A reference guide to agile methods. Scrum is a team-oriented method of development. The book emphasizes the key concepts: the Team, the Scrum Master and the Product Owner. The organization phases, production of versions and running of meetings, the “scrums” are detailed…

SCRUM: Succeeding with AgileSucceeding with Agile

Mike Cohn
Addison Wesley
504 pages
Available : & Kindle-format

The reference book of the Scrum method. Ken Schwaber, the author of the book, is the main designer of the current version…

Agile Software Development with SCRUM Agile Software Development with SCRUM
Ken Schwaber, Mike A. Beedle

176 pages
Available :

A book in French quite complete to learn about the Scrum method…

Scrum method, book in FrenchScrum – 5th ed. : For a lively practice of agility

Claude Aubry
384 pages
Available : & Kindle-format

In 2 volumes, the guide to the body of knowledge in project management (PMBOK Guide) with the addition of the Agile practical guide…

Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide + Agile GuidePMBOK Guide + Agile Practical Guide
Project Management Institute
PMI Edition
2018 edition
800 pages
Available : & Kindle-format

The business and IT project management book, reference for this site…

The effective project manager
12 best practices for human management
Alain Fernandez

Editions Eyrolles
6th editing

240 pages 22 Euros

EAN: 978-2212569735

Available in bookstores

Available in ebook format
PDF & ePub, Kindle

See here the technical sheet, extracts, reviews…

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