By: Alessandro Viassone
The implementation of Agile processes leads to higher workplace satisfaction. Especially in the software development environment, individuals find experiences in Agile environments more rewarding than in other organizational settings. In the IT sector particularly, there is the general perception that the “lighter” methodologies, with their reduction of rigid practices, have increased workers’ satisfaction. Among the most popular Agile approaches such as Crystal Clear and Extreme Programming, there is Scrum; the most implemented in the software development sector because its higher project success ratio in the area.
The term Scrum refers to an agile framework designed to guide teams in iterative and incremental product deliveries which focus is on “the use of an empirical process that allows teams to respond rapidly, efficiently, and effectively to change” (Sliger 2011). Scrum arose in the last half of the 1990s to substitute conventional project management practices in the software industry because of the need to cope with the unpredictability and the uncertainties in requirements and technologies. Adopting the name from Rugby, Takeuchi and Nonaka have first used the term “Scrum” to indicate a hyper-productive development process meant to deal with complicated software and product development through intentional iterations and incremental processes (Takeuchi and Nonaka 1986; Cho 2008).
Influenced by Boehm’s spiral model (1988), Scrum encapsulates daily software engineers’ practices into a specific framework becoming more a management methodology in comparison with other Agile practices like Extreme Programming. Scrum can be considered a “workplace innovation”, practice which empowers employees in decision-making and idea sharing processes. Providing a simple delivery structure rather than specific practices, Scrum is team-oriented, leaving the team to determine the necessary methodologies to achieve objectives.
The Scrum ideology is to embrace iterative and incremental practices, delivering objectives more frequently and adapting projects to external changes and uncertainty. The team works following a pace set by short cycles called Sprints, meeting and discussing every day about the milestones to deliver within the current Sprint and which problems and obstacles have to be removed to proceed to the project success. Scrum is based on roles – the Product Owner, the Team and the ScrumMaster – ceremonies – the Kickoff, the Sprint Planning Meeting, the Sprint, the Daily Scrum and the Sprint Review Meeting – and artifacts – the Product Backlog, the Sprint Backlog, and the Burndown Chart.