Rowan Bunning, the Australian pioneer of Scrum has said, “…the agile movement is part of a larger movement towards more humane and dynamic workplaces in the 21st century.” Every person who knows Agile well will agree that Agile turns the focus on the people from the processes and systems. Somehow, this has proved to work as far as increasing efficiency is concerned.
Those who do not know much about Scrum may wonder why the discussion about Agile, so let us have a tiny discussion on that. Originating somewhere around the ’70s with an emphasis on evolutionary project management and adaptive software development, Agile became truly popular in the 21st century. So did Scrum, with people in businesses starting to talk about it, and even about the CSM and CSPO course that proved as an entry in the world of Scrum.
Scrum, the main topic of our discussion, is a framework based on the agile approach. It follows the agile principles of being adaptive throughout the development process by having self-organizing teams that set and attain smaller goals.
Before speaking about the market demand for Scrum and Scrum professionals, it is interesting to have a look at how Scrum is implemented. Have a look at the image below
Essential Features of Scrum that Make It a Success
The traditional methods of product development had goals that were far set and rigid. Whenever obvious problems such as changes in requirements by customers came, the whole goal had to be rearranged from the beginning, making it difficult to adjust. Additionally, having specific team members working on specific tasks meant slow down or roadblocks in the absence of a particular member.
Scrum overcomes the above problems to an almost complete extent by having teams where members can undertake multiple tasks, and are not weighed down by long term single large goals. The focus is to deliver a valuable product in increments with short term goals. This brings flexibility and adaptability to changes.
One of the important principles of Scrum is delivering high-quality software/products. It is also mentioned in the Scrum Manifesto that working software/product is the primary measure of success. Interestingly, having self-organizing teams makes the team more accountable for its performance, as it is no more tied in conventional processes and systems.
This accountability acts as a factor in the improvement in product quality.
- Iterative and incremental
As mentioned in point 1, having a single large goal is dependent on may internal as well as external factors and has a high chance of failure in achieving in terms of time or quality. Scrum operates in time-boxed iterations called Sprints, as seen in the image above.
Sprints are when smaller goals are set, always less than one month, usually of a week or two, and the focus is on achieving that goal. This ensures higher flexibility and clarity. If there are flaws in the approach towards a product’s development, they are surfaced in these sprints and accordingly, actions can be taken immediately. This makes the whole process less vulnerable to failure. Hence it is rightly said that Scrum is not a problem-solving framework, but a problem surfacing framework.
Scrum Master and Product Owner are in charge of communicating everything within and outside of the team. A core value of Scrum is transparency, wherein product owners are required to communicate the true progress of the project with all the stakeholders.
This builds trust and makes the process more effective.
The Market and Scrum
Take a look at the pie chart below.
Agile has become a widely used approach in many industries, especially those that deal with software development. Among the usage of Agile frameworks, it can be seen from the above image that Scrum is the undoubted leader with way over half the organizations using pure Scrum. Add the hybrid Scrum frameworks and the number goes even higher.
Numbers speak better than words, and we cannot doubt the growing demand of Scrum, and hence the professionals in Scrum. Scrum professionals are certified product development professionals where the certification comes from a global Scrum authority such as the Scrum Alliance.
To make a career in Scrum, one can choose to become a Scrum developer, which is a basic part of the team, or a Scrum Master, who operates as the servant-leader to the Scrum team, clearing obstacles and maintaining clarity, or a Scrum Product Owner, who creates and communicates a vision of what is to be done and also acts as a communicator to all stakeholders.
In any case, a certification is a must and a training course, for e.g., a Certified Scrum Product Owner Certification is highly recommended.