The Scrum approach to agile software development marks a dramatic departure from waterfall management. Scrum and other agile methods were inspired by its shortcomings. Scrum emphasizes collaboration, functioning software, team self management, and the flexibility to adapt to emerging business realities.

Scrum Methodology

Scrum is part of the Agile movement. Agile is a response to the failure of the dominant software development project management paradigms (including waterfall) and borrows many principles from lean manufacturing. In 2001, 17 pioneers of similar methods met at the Snowbird Ski Resort in Utah and wrote the Agile Manifesto, a declaration of four values and twelve principles. These values and principles stand in stark contrast to the traditional Project Manager’s Body Of Knowledge (PMBOK). The Agile Manifesto placed a new emphasis on communication and collaboration, functioning software, team self organization, and the flexibility to adapt to emerging business realities.

How Does Scrum Fit With Agile?

The Agile Manifesto doesn’t provide concrete steps. Organizations usually seek more specific methods within the Agile movement. These include Crystal Clear, Extreme Programming, Feature Driven Development, Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM), Scrum, and others. While I like all the Agile approaches, for my own team Scrum was the one that enabled our initial breakthroughs. Scrum’s simple definitions gave our team the autonomy we needed to do our best work while helping our boss (who became our Product Owner) get the business results he wanted. Scrum opened our door to other useful Agile practices such as test-driven development (TDD). Since then we’ve helped businesses around the world use Scrum to become more agile. A truly agile enterprise would not have a “business side” and a “technical side.” It would have teams working directly on delivering business value. We get the best results when we involve the whole business in this, so those are the types of engagements I’m personally the most interested in.

What’s The Philosophy Behind Scrum?

Scrum’s early advocates were inspired by empirical inspect and adapt feedback loops to cope with complexity and risk. Scrum emphasizes decision making from real-world results rather than speculation. Time is divided into short work cadences, known as sprints, typically one week or two weeks long. The product is kept in a potentially shippable (properly integrated and tested) state at all times. At the end of each sprint, stakeholders and team members meet to see a demonstrated potentially shippable product increment and plan its next steps.

Scrum is a simple set of roles, responsibilities, and meetings that never change. By removing unnecessary unpredictability, we’re better able to cope with the necessary unpredictability of continuous discovery and learning.

Scrum Roles

Scrum has three roles: Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Team.

  • Product Owner: The Product Owner should be a person with vision, authority, and availability. The Product Owner is responsible for continuously communicating the vision and priorities to the development team.

    It’s sometimes hard for Product Owners to strike the right balance of involvement. Because Scrum values self-organization among teams, a Product Owner must fight the urge to micro-manage. At the same time, Product Owners must be available to answer questions from the team.

  • Scrum Master: The Scrum Master acts as a facilitator for the Product Owner and the team. The Scrum Master does not manage the team. The Scrum Master works to remove any impediments that are obstructing the team from achieving its sprint goals. This helps the team remain creative and productive while making sure its successes are visible to the Product Owner. The Scrum Master also works to advise the Product Owner about how to maximize ROI for the team.
  • Team: According to Scrum’s founder, “the team is utterly self managing.” The development team is responsible for self organizing to complete work. A Scrum development team contains about seven fully dedicated members (officially 3-9), ideally in one team room protected from outside distractions. For software projects, a typical team includes a mix of software engineers, architects, programmers, analysts, QA experts, testers, and UI designers. Each sprint, the team is responsible for determining how it will accomplish the work to be completed. The team has autonomy and responsibility to meet the goals of the sprint.

Scaled Agile

When several teams work on one product, they should generally use a single Product Owner (who can make real business decisions) and a single Product Backlog with customer-centric requirements. Each Scrum team should strive to become a feature team, able to build a complete slice of product which could be delivered to a customer. When interdependencies arise, Scrum’s feature teams must learn to use team self organization principles to coordinate with other teams. Unfortunately, most teams are not initially accustomed to this level of responsibility, and pre-existing management habits and hierarchies present organizational impediments. Scrum eliminates traditional co-ordination roles such as project manager and PMO, as these interfere with team self organization. Scrum eliminates traditional technical czar roles such as “architect,” as technical decisions are made by collaborative teams.

While optimal Agility requires fundamental changes to organizational design, it’s tempting to use one of the hybrid approaches that combine a watered-down version of Scrum with traditional hierarchical management. Large organizations that are more committed to the values and principles of the Agile Manifesto are advised to learn about Large Scale Scrum (LeSS).

Learn More

Online Scrum Master training is available in the Scrum Training Series, a free collection of entertaining e-learning modules covering an Introduction to Scrum, the Backlog Grooming Meeting, the Sprint Planning Meeting, the Daily Scrum Meeting, the Sprint Review Meeting, and the Sprint Retrospective Meeting.  You can download the 6-page Scrum Reference Card or learn what the Scrum Master does. In person Certified Scrum Master training, typically using group immersion activities and case studies, is also available all over the world.

About The Author

This article was rewritten by Michael James, an Agile coach and Certified Scrum Trainer based in Seattle (but often found in other cities). Follow MJ on Twitter or LinkedIn.


Comments Feed

Reader's Comments

  1. Manoj Koova |

    A good article to learn the SCRUM methodology.

  2. XT |


    i have always been exposed to waterfall methodology….i have just joined a comapny tht uses scrum but a product owner has experienced challenges in reporting to customer wrt to delivery dates??…please help with the following:
    1. How does one link scrum to the project plan i.e. my understanding is that even if u follow scrum, project plans and road maps must still be done?
    2. how can product owner communicate progress to clients i.e. prodcut owner that i am trying to assist is being given task that are to be done on dailiy bases but doesnt know how those tasks link to the final product??

    Hope i make sense.


  3. S. Dean |

    In response to Jose, who indicated that using Scrum “sucks”, I’d say that it’s not Scrum that is not working, but the implementation that’s not working. For e.g., the responsibility of the ScrumMaster is to remove impediments that may prevent the development team from doing their job, not to micromanage the activities of the development team. Some of the overriding agile principles are to ensure the customer is getting what they actually asked for, and to keep the lines of communication open. You’re trying to prevent surprises by ensuring that EVERYONE knows what is happening on the project at all times. Scrum and other agile methodologies were designed to prevent what occurs on many waterfall projects, which is that you don’t find out the project is way off course until too late in the lifecycle, wasting time and money.

    My suggestion is to look at how Scrum has been implemented in your organization, compare it to what Scrum teaches, see where the differences are, and modify your implementation to align with what the methodology teaches. You may find that you’re not really doing “Scrum” even though you say you are.

  4. admin |

    Gain – I would recommend reading this website and also check out popular blogs like

  5. Nitu |

    Is Scrum methodology useful for a testing project?

  6. Kumar |

    Scrum 101 explained at its best. Thanks. I feel Agile methodologies like scrum needs to be implemented at every level in the company not just development.

  7. Ryan Kessler |

    Hello all,

    I am brand spanking new to the Scrum world. I am traditionally a WATERFALL guy and I am very confused on where testing fits into the scrum methodology. I understand the sprint cycles and all that and I understand that the code is developed to pass the tests. I guess where I am confused is in shorter sprints, say for instance, a one week sprint, where SQA run the intergration tests or the regression test.

    Is this how it works or am I missing something here? Say we have a 1 week sprint.
    ** Mon – Wed (Developement of the test and the code.)
    ** Thurs – Friday (Integration/Regression testing as well as a product demo)

    I am assuming that if this is the general idea that the SCRUM methodology relies heavily on automated regression testing, is this a correct assumption?

    Thanks in advance for ANY help.

  8. admin |

    Thanks Ryan for the comments here is my recommendation:

    QA & Scrum Blog posts here:

    If you need more – just ask!

  9. Atul |

    It’s a very good article. Just please let me know that using scrum, whether there is need of Tech Lead/Project Lead/Project Manager.

  10. Giridhar |

    very well written summary …succint and clear..Thanks.

  11. Scrum Dog |

    Great article, great questions, and great group commentary and advice.
    I am running an Agile project as the scrum Master and we have had a great amount of success. This is a project that was stopped or put on hold twice over 2 years in Waterfall. We started Scrum in July of 2009 and have a final first release of our solution rollibng out to 10% of our locations (about 800) now through March. We have a complex solution, a team of sub small teams because of skill sets of their focus and anagressive timeline. We also had external vendors participating or owning some of the development. We are very happy with our results in 6 months. Here is my 2 cents:
    – Read Mike Cohns Toward a Catalog of Scrum Smells. We hit all of these.
    – The Product Owner Role is Key. Ours was involved and Co-located with the team 95% of the time. It made all the difference in the world.
    – The preson that alked about Scrum not working in a environment where team mebers get pulled away to do support a lot We have that bad. We made it work. The scrum Master must get involved every time and be creative, negotiate.
    – Those thinking of entering the scrum world, it helps to have some PM background but I would recommend you try. The best projects I have ever been on were those of colocated groups where collaboration and team work was the approach. Scrum Agile is a lot of fun and very rewarding. Not to mention efficient and sucessful.

    QUESTION- Scrum is new to us and we did not follow it to the “T” but were adapted it “Cafeteria style” took what we felt we needed and it worked. My shortcoming is – How do you measure your progress from the beginning and forecast an end date when you never really know the complete picture or workload? Requirements evolve, scope expands (does not always creep)or becomes more robust, that makes it difficult to see what you have in front of you. The siza of the elephant if you will. We measure team hours burn against the project and timeline burn. I expect you will tell me that when we run out of time/money, we need to request new approval to move forward from what we have accomplished so far. I believe that is where we are at and I have no issue with that, I just would like a better metric on Progress through sprints as it relates to the Product Backlog
    Thank s alot for this site.

  12. Kiran Karnad |

    To answer Ryan’s question, in my team, the test team is 100% automation. We dont have any manual tests happening unless there is any automation-tool limitation. What this means is:

    Each team has a tester (couple of them) and s/he’s a part of the pre-sprint planning and the daily scrum from which s/he knows the tasks and starts identifying/ designing the automation scripts for the functionality developed the previous day or the one which is going to be developed the same day (which also means the wire-frames or cut guides must be ready to automate). So the cumulative automation scripts are run twice or thrice within the 1-week sprint (we have 2-4 weeks sprints here). Another point is that unless there is automation, the test team will not be able to give a decision for that sprint’s deliverable within the sprint time. Hope this helps. If not, do add in your question here

  13. admin |

    @ScrumDog – I would read through Michael James’s macro-measurement white paper here:



    This article is really helpfull. Thnaks for posting. If somebody can explain this thru some diagram it whould be wonderfull


    Really nice and helpful article. It clear all the queries in my mind.

  16. K.Marie |

    Thank you for a nice article. Can scrum be applied as a project management in general, not only software development?
    What are the requirements for scrum to be sucesfull? (if you don’t consider the implemetation part..)

  17. Sterve |

    I’ve been testing for about 10 years but have only heard of Scrum in the last few months. Probably because I’ve been stuck bouncing around between contract positions for a very long time. As a contract employee I don’t usually get involved with the processes a company is using, I am there just to fill a short-term need. I feel like I’ve been in a cave for about 5 years!

    All that to say that this was a great article and I now I have a basic understanding of Agile/Scrum and can at least follow a discussion. I’m not sure when I will actually get the opportunity to learn about Scrum first-hand. I guess it all depends on the job market.

    I appreciate all of the insightful questions and answers and I look forward to learning more. If any of you folks are looking for a good blackbox tester with little knowledge of Scrum then I’m your man!

  18. Gnanabharathi |

    Good introduction on SCRUM. Explained nicely to understand. How do we compare CMM with Scrum.

  19. Prabakaran |

    Neat and precise explanation. Best of all, even the newbie can grasp important aspects of Scrum. Very good posting. To the most part, the visitors to this website shared their knowledge / questions and one way or other, enriched the entire group. Thanks to admin for answering all the questions asked.

  20. chirag patel |

    I am really very much thankful to you for scrum tech.
    it is presented nice way to understand as well as implement.

  21. Neetesh |

    It was a fab article on SCRUM. Thanks!!!

  22. sandesh |

    Great Article.

    Where do Coaches and Managers fit into this equation. I believe, Coach is the Scrum master. Is there anything called as a Tech Lead or will that be a Team Member.


  23. Ravi Kumar Gupta |

    This is very nice article on scrum also a very good discussion. I’m new on scrum and Agile. Going through study on these and wants to do certification. If someone can suggest , what should be the ideal way to start getting experience on scrum?


  24. Paul G |

    I am new to the Scrum Methodology and would like to know if it could be adapted to something other than software development, i.e. Business Processes. I deal mainly with government contracts developing integration of business models and practices within bureaucratic enivronments, I utilize a project management tool which is cumbersome and time consuming.

  25. Amol |

    What is the ratio od developers to QA in 4 week sprint?
    How could QA overcome the problem of regular requirement chnages in scrum, means how to handle testing in such scenario when requirement keep chaning regularly?

    Amol J

  26. Murali |

    it very nice summary.rellay help full topic.
    Thank you.
    Murali Krishna

  27. Bashir |

    Very helpful article!! I am very new in QA industry. Thanks.

  28. minhaz |

    it’s a awesome post.

  29. Anupam |

    Very nice article and discussion thread indeed.

    Any suggestion on how to avoid the situation where “The Daily Scrum feels like it is a status update from the team members to the ScrumMaster”


  30. Gopinath Avuku |

    Hi to All,
    It’s been very good blog for those who wnat to know what actully SCRUM can do for us.

  31. Alain PARMENTIER |

    Hi all, just a comment on SCRUM. For me, Scrum is an art. You need to practice it to develop your skills. It is good to have a starting point (framework) but the skills of the people will make the difference. In complex situations, SCRUM is necessary to succeed but it is not enough. Just wanted to share a thought with you all.

  32. Stephan Toth |

    This was a very well thought out article and good reading. However, I would like to point out that the principles of Scum is not a new concept and should not be confined to Agile or software production; as its principles and methodologies are universal and can be transferred to any project or management situation.

    Conceptualising Scrum suggest that it is really based on a managers attitude towards his or her role as either as a manager/controller or a facilitator.

    Considering the managers role as a facilitator in any context or situation means that the principles of Scrum by definition have to be applied. Facilitators by nature clear the path for other people to succeed and shine through their endeavours.

    The management aspect of the job is really just an over stated team leadership/coaching and administrative function that people with an autocratic management style do not seem to comprehend.

    To be honest I have been practicing these principles since the early 70’s and it is nice to see that attitudes towards managing the efforts of workers has and is continually improving over time.
    Kind regards

    Stephan Toth

  33. Ashok |

    HI All,

    It was a good/brief summarization of what the Scrum Org structure of Agile methodology.

    looking to read more & learn to be implemented in the Agile project we are working now.


  34. Muhammad Najmul Hasnain |

    its really a good blog for Basic info of SCRUM

  35. Mike Curry |

    Nice easy to understand and very used friendly. What does it take to get certified in Agile?

  36. Mahesh Shete |

    Very good post to start up for good Agile Methodology like Scrum….

  37. Manoj |

    Nice presentation. Do we get such type of training in India ?

  38. Chinni20 |

    Hi Guys,

    Could some one explain indetail What are the Roles & Resposibilites of a QA in Scrum Team?


  39. subrat |

    Very helpful information on Scrum. Thanks

  40. Kiran Sripada |

    Very nice presentation.. and good discussion. Could some one help me to get the Steps and Challenges to migrate an existing Waterfall Release delivery Model to Scrum Delivery.. Thanks much – Kiran Sripada

  41. Santo |

    Are there any testing automation tools for testing Oracle development projects using PL/SQL packages. We are looking to implement scrum on an Oracle project but do not have any automated testing tools.

    Any suggestions will be helpful

  42. Rajesh |

    As I understand, SCRUM in ONLY about project management — it is silent on software engineering. Folks use Extreme Programming (XP) or FDD as frameworks for Software engineering.

    I believe, combination of SCRUM + XP is most widely used and popular…

    Can you share your thoughts?

  43. Akila |

    Nice Article about the SCRUM !!

    can anyone say how frequently code review can be done within a sprint to make the story as Done.
    pls share me the best approach to be followed.


  44. Howard Podeswa |

    Where does the IT Business Analyst (the BA role as defined by the IIBA and Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK) fit into the Scrum approach? It might be said that there is no need for a BA on Scrum, but I have found that it is necessary to have someone on-board who is trained to elicit requirements from stakeholders in an analytical way. With our clients, I find this person coming from the business side in about 1/2 the cases and from the tech side for the other half. The best fit seems to be the Product Owner in Scrum, though a case could be made for the BA being the one doing analysis within the Team. Any thoughts?

  45. MasterBlaster |


    A few random thoughts on your post: I can certainly see the benefit of formalized requirements (backlog) collection and refinement. That said, we Agilists favor action over planning, so comprehensive, all-complete requirements management (as in Doors, Dimensions RM, RequisitePro, et al) is not really the way to go. If the BA is not the Product Owner, he’ll act in a supporting role to the Product Owner as a stakeholder. The PO has ultimate say in what backlog items are prioritized, but I think the work of a BA could help inform his decisions and make him a better PO.

  46. Small Business Web Marketing |

    Agile, among the rest, has worked out for my projects. Easier resources allocation and reduce risk of not meeting deadlines because of minor yet critical issues.

  47. Nomi |

    Nice Article on scrum

  48. Amanjeet Singh |

    Is it affordable for a startup company to adopt Agile Methodology ??

  49. admin |

    I would argue that Agile is uniquely suited to a startup, and that its a far more cost effective means of building software (or whatever) than traditional plan-driven approaches.A few reasons for this, off the top of my head:

    1. Small companies tend to have people that wear many hats. The cross functional teams in scrum are just that – cross functional;
    2. Agile/scrum is iterative. You don;t need to wait for the whole thing to be done before getting software into production. Each iteration delivers value.
    3. Small companies cannot affords to misfire on quality. Scrum is far better suited to delivering quality and on-target releases than traditional approaches.

  50. B. R. Ghimire |

    I have little knowledge about Scrum. One thing that I wonder in Scrum methodology is: Where do The Product Manager, Project Manager, Team Leader fit in the Scrum?
    The Product Manager seems to fit with the product Owner and that is fairly ok.
    Now Project Manager if fits into the Scrum Master, then it seems there is no scope of a Team Leader or sometimes Engineering Manager in Scrum. Does Scrum tries to eliminate Team Lead out of Scope?

  51. admin |

    I’d caution about making direct, one-to-one comparisons between the roles of a plan-driven approach and the roles in Scrum. Making those comparisons are all too simplistic, and often incorrect. Moving to Scrum often entails moving away from those old roles.

    A traditional project manager is all about command and control. A product owner in Scrum is more about keeping the team on track with his vision by building and maintains a prioritized backlog, and helping the team collaborate. A ScrumMaster’s primary role is to protect the team from inbound distractions and help them overcome impediments. The ScrumMaster does not assign tasks – the teams self organize and self-assign tasks. He also helps facilitate the crucial meetings – daily standups, sprint reviews and retrospectives. The ScrumMaster should be the only communications conduit to the team from outside. But again, the ScrumMaster does not assign tasks -something that in a traditional model was handled by a Team Lead.

    It is scary to eliminate these traditional roles, but it works.

  52. JasRaj Bishnoi |

    very nice thread for Scrum.
    thanks to Admin.

  53. Chuck |

    Just learning scrum s- forgive me if my question seems ignorant. From what little I have read so far, it appears this methodolgy is primarily used on existing, well established applications to provide updates/enhancements?

  54. admin |

    Actually, that is not the case. Agile generally and Scrum in particular are well suited to brand new projects. Scrum excels in helping tease out innovation from a team by leveraging daily meetings amongst the team, ensuring that the team is cross-functional and thus cross-pollinating, and providing rapid feedback.

    As an aside, a methodology many apply for maintenance is Kanban. The thing about maintenance is that it is really interrupt driven. You just can’t plan on when a P1 bug will hit. Kanban provides a way to manage prioritization and a way to juggle multiple issues at the same time.

  55. Derek Davidson |

    @chuck : Not at all. If anything, it’s harder to implement Scrum on an established project as you have legacy issues to deal with. Introducing Scrum on a brand new project is a great way to go.

    @B.R.Ghimire : With new Scrum implementations, its common (especially for senior management) to try and correlate Scrum roles with existing roles in an organization. However, it’s usually a very bad idea because it drives legacy expectations such as requiring Specifications, Business Change Requests, Ganntt charts etc. Scrum is a framework that needs to be learned by all involved to avoid this. Learning it is easy though and there are a number of videos on YouTube about learning Scrum in 10 minutes.

    Hope that helps.

    Derek Davidson

  56. Keith L |

    I like the idea of organization stability, this is the basis for delivering consistent results to meet goals; I also like the idea of having small sprints to continuously measure alignment with the projects goals; the Process Owner and the Scrum Master and the Process Team will need to make sure external influences that typically create pull are not alienated. Being agile is important but with agility it become easy to remove your eye off the ball. Project Management in the classical sense delivers this but not at such a macro level of activities.

  57. Dan |

    Wow! A lot of viewpoints, and certain amount of controversy. This topic never fails to get people talking and even a bit heated. And so it should. Scrum is tackling a fundamental issue to our lives: the effectiveness and efficiency of project delivery. This underpins our organizations, companies and their competitiveness and ultimately our economies. So it is no trivial matter.

    I appreciate that there is a certain degree of backlash to Scrum, as you would expect when you get any kind of hysteria in the first place about a methodology. I would argue that a certain amount of this backlash has been against either poor implementations of Scrum, or perhaps individuals resistant to change in the first place (for whatever reason – often change is intimidating).

    I would also stress that if we tore up the project management rule book and started again – a kind of post-apocalyptic scenario – we would find ourselves in a situation where we could re-ask the big questions:

    Would we choose to deliver products incrementally, or in a big-bang way?
    Would we prefer our developers to communicate with our ‘product-owner’ via documentation and infrequent meetings, or less documentation and more face-to-face.
    Similar question for the developers and testers.
    Do we want to deliver features according to business priority or some other priority?
    Do we want to commit to features within a delivery increment, or are we happy with a more random approach?
    Are we concerned in any way about staff morale and motivation?

    You can probably guess that these questions are quite terse and leading towards Scrum as your weapon of choice. But they do demonstrate the almost bizarre way organizations have evolved to do the exact opposite of what they probably should be doing. However, there can be a minority of cases – for low risk predictable simple projects – where waterfall is also suitable. But how many projects like that do you work on though ? Personally, I can only think of one project like that in the last decade from my experience.

    As indicated it is vital that if you do Scrum that you get skilled up and probably get some outside assistance in the early adoption phase.

    Bringing it back down to the individual for a moment – you might like to consider gaining a CSM (Certified Scrum Master) certification to progress yourself and your organization further down the road. If so, then I am pleased to announce to this blog that there is a free mock test available and also a discounted paid test at Visit the link below to get your £1 discount of the normal price of £2.49



  58. Joe Krivoski |

    Hey, I read over the Agile Manifesto, and from what I understand, it is better to break 500+ people into smaller groups, one to keep track of everything, but also so you have more direct and responsive leadership decisions. One person trying to tell hundreds of people what to do or the best way to tackle a problem can get overwhelming, so it’s like when you’re working on any problem break it into smaller more managable chunks. Hope that helps.

  59. Sachin Tiwari |


    In my team we have 1 month sprint and I would like to ask following 3 questions related to daily scrum (sync-up) meeting:
    – what is the best time to conduct the daily scrum (sync-up) meeting
    – what is the recommended duration of these scrum meetings
    – what is the recommended procedure for these scrum meetings i.e. what to discuss? Should it just be about reporting progress made yesterday and plan of action for today? Or something else should/could be taken up as well?

    I understand there is no right/wrong answer to these 3 questions but I would like to get a 2nd opinion on them in term of how to make best use of these daily scrum (sync-up) meetings.


  60. Jacob Andrews |

    A development approach that helps to minimize assumptions, speculations and worthless sky high imaginations in software development processes. It helps to progressively set right expectation both development team and end customer that it turn help to minimize last minute surprises.

    A process that will help to set a collective responsibilities and ensure that both development & customer teams work towards one cohesive goal. In net effect it reduces the re-work at the later stages of the development project and increase in some additional effort during the initial development stage.

  61. Peter J |

    Hi guys, wonderful discussion, very informative.

    As a Waterfall guy, may I ask:

    1) Is the primary function to get software developed and delivered ultra fast?
    2) How easy is it to sustain clear project accountability and transparency?
    3) Are the people skills to involve the project participants still as important?
    4) With client time scarce, can a client-like scrum manager still deliver?


  62. Craig |

    Can anyone provide a typical timeline/work breakdown structure/schedule for a Sprint of 1,2, and 3 weeks? For example:
    8:00 Product Owner meets with ScrumMaster and Team to provide executive summary

    ScrumMaster updates and prepares for meeting with team
    Team sharpens pencils and prepares for review of items.

    13:00 ScrumMaster meets with team, which statuses work items
    15:00 Team meets to discuss action plans

    08:00 ScrumMaster and team members discuss any impediments

    10:00 Weekly team meeting to corrdinate functionl exchange

    10:00 Test results formalized into a report for review

    10:00 Test and development meet with ScrumMaster

    Actually, I have a limited perspective, since I have never done all this before.

    Please help me out

  63. KJO |

    – what is the best time to conduct the daily scrum (sync-up) meeting
    * Mornings should be the best time for all, but remember many start their days at different times, therefor solicit the team on the start time.
    – what is the recommended duration of these scrum meetings
    * This will vary depending on your agenda – but do not go over 1 hour, keep them to the point and on topic for that weeks’ activity. (Parking lots were made for shortening meetings :) )
    – what is the recommended procedure for these scrum meetings i.e. what to discuss?
    * Progress made and planned activities for the day.
    Should it just be about reporting progress made yesterday and plan of action for today? Or something else should/could be taken up as well?
    * Remember to stay on track with the scope of activity for the period – all other activity is outside your daily scrum update meetings.

    1) Is the primary function to get software developed and delivered ultra fast?
    * Improving the speed is the objective, but breaking the work down into smaller activity is mean to keep concentration on the speed to delivery.
    2) How easy is it to sustain clear project accountability and transparency?
    * That depends on the control that is maintained byt the Scrum Master and the willingness of the team. This is a project team and not just a project manager directing indivuals. Everyone must be on the same page in order for progress to continue and if they are not – then the Product Owner is pulled in to reiterate the vision.
    3) Are the people skills to involve the project participants still as important?
    * Every role is important and the project manager/scrum master should be reiterating and removing any doubt a member may have on their role.
    4) With client time scarce, can a client-like scrum manager still deliver?
    * Delivery is always a challenge with any methodology. The client or a representative should be a member of the team and will always be aware where the project is in its delivery, risks and constraints.
    Timelines have to be defined for the project print you are working on – but typically you have identified most parts, but keep in mind the sense of urgency in the activities you are defining for the week. For instance… team ‘sharpening pencils’ at 8 am to prepare for a review have already missed the mark. They are to be present and ready for their update at that defined time – not preparing for their update, make sense?
    You may be having a daily huddle each day… that depends on your effort, the teams focus and the ability of the master to motivate. It’s not a meeting to take time from everyone, but with many members being remote in many cases – it’s a time for all to make certain the focus in on the activities and an early warning for the master on issues needing resolution.
    Executive summary should have been sent on Friday (ideally so they can review as necessary over the week end, before Monday) on progress from the week. That way Monday morning’ focus is on activities for the week – not an exercise to recall what was done last week.

    Hope this helps… this is from an executive point of view of course

  64. admin |

    Sachin and KJO:
    – Many teams agree to a time box of 15 minutes for the daily scrum meeting.
    – There are typically three questions that are answered by each member of the team: what did I accomplish yesterday? what will I accomplish today? what are the impediments that I am facing?

    You might find these short videos from Michael James to be very interesting (in this case, especially the video on the Daily Scrum Meeting – it’s 9 minutes long). I took my ScrumMaster certification class from Michael – he clearly knows what he is doing. See

  65. Bob |

    A question about the relevancy of Scrum in a small group. I’m three weeks into a project and suddenly the decision has been made ‘that we need to do this in Scrum,’ which I have zero exposure two.

    I’m not opposed to it, however the prospective Product Owner also has no experience with Scrum, the Scrum Master is the driving force behind it but is only available after working hours, and there would be precisely two Team Members, one of them being me.

    It seems to me that taking on this methodology gives it no chance for success. All of the documentation I’ve come across says “Three or more team members”, as well as daily meetings of 15 minutes (which we likely won’t have with the Scrum Master).

    Am I being too pessimistic here?

  66. admin |

    @bob: Certainly your overall goal is a successful project. There are improvements that you can make to your current process using some of the thinking behind agile and Scrum. However, if you don’t have a daily standup with the ScrumMaster, you aren’t “doing this using Scrum.”

    I suggest some quick education as one of your first tasks – learn what Scrum is. Check out a superb (informative and fun) set of free elearning modules at They are written by Michael James, a great process mentor and Scrum trainer. Also, check out the Agile Manifesto for background. Then get the entire team together (Product Owner, ScrumMaster, and the other Team Member) and discuss the approach that you as a team want to take on this project. Of course, we’re interested in what other readers on this blog say.

    Good luck!

  67. Rob |

    What would (must) be the minimum size of a typical scrum team?

    We are starting a project and want to apply scrum but my fears is that the team is too small for it. Currently we have someone from the business, a process owner, a project manager and two developers. Please advice how to organize this team according to the scrum methodology.

    Many thanks,


  68. Simson |

    Wonderful article. Thanks for sharing.

  69. Malik |

    Here is my understanding of PM or Scrum Master’s role on scrum. S/he has to preapre/update plans for each sprint, manage cost, scope, risks, schedule, quality and offcourse the major stuff.. Communication.
    S/he would not have to manage the change as it is the essence of the scrum methodology itself.
    disagreements? agreements? 😉

  70. ewok_bbq |

    Hi Malik – thanks for the comments. My suggestion is that you review the ScrumMaster Checklist website here:

    After you read through it – come back and let me know what you think. Cheers

  71. Malik |

    Thanks ewok. I understand the pdf talks about managing the client, team, prodcut. I did see some reference to some project docuemtation. What all Project documentations does a Scrum Master prepares?

  72. MJ |

    Malik, I’ll respond for ewok. The Scrum Master role is intended to be a facilitator, so ideally they would teach the team to prepare what ever documentation is required rather than always doing it themselves. The Scrum framework itself doesn’t impose any particular documentation requirement. We do like to keep the Product Backlog visible to the organization, and the Sprint Backlog visible to the team. Sometimes burndown charts are useful, though most times they lead back to old habits. Does your product need documentation for the customer, or for internal purposes? For more on that see our Suggested Topics for Definition Of Done.

  73. Malik |

    Thanks MJ

  74. Sean |

    Scrum sucks!
    It is designed for the scums in the company. The MBAs and project managers.
    It might work for a mature product, which only needs routine maintenance. Even so, route of least resistance determined that your code base would get messy quickly.

    As to new product development, I couldn’t think there is a worse method.
    A flat structure would never work in American Society. A technical savy person need a good control of real development.

  75. skmind |

    How is the effectiveness of SCRUM measured?

  76. MJ |

    Sean, sorry you’ve had such a bad experience with Scrum. Scrum’s focus on a self organizing team was particularly intended to get unqualified managers out of your way. It explicitly replaces the Project Manager role with the self organizing team. What part of it seems designed for the MBAs and project managers to you?

  77. Vikrant Bapat |

    I feel that people are looking out for a silver bullet and there isn’t any. I have used traditional as well as agile/scrum methodology and both work quite well but depends on your need.

    This is, as expected, very subjective. Some people like scrum and some don’t and it it natural as they are talking from their experience. Whether it is good or bad depends on so many factors – organizational goals and structure, team maturity, type of project/product etc. Just applying Scrum methodology without realizing the right fitment would lead to frustration and criticism of Scrum methodology.

    If your team has quite less experienced members, scrum would not be beneficial as most of the members would need more direction and support from senior members. They cannot work independently or end-to-end on a feature for example, you will be forced to break the tasks in a waterfall model. That will defeat the purpose of the scrum and it would be more suited not to use it. Scrum will work at its best when your team consists of solid individual contributors.

    If you have committed your milestones to the customer in a typical waterfall model, i.e., system test plan, design, unit tested code, system tested code etc, then scrum is not for you. On the other hand, if you plan to build your system part by part, feature by feature and your milestones are based on delivering them that way, Scrum is the way to go.

    I could go on and on but it is prudent that you understand you requirement before deciding to use Scrum or pass a judgement. Just appreciating or criticizing Scrum would be quite naive.

  78. Saga |

    Yes, perfect :-). Thanks for this info about scrum.

  79. Django |

    Can you run an Agile project with just 1 developer ?

  80. Rhonda Bernhardt |

    We have converted to Agile-Scrum and the stress level has gone down. It’s a good methodology. We stopped maintaining our system specifications/requirements and now collect user stories.

    I have a question and it is best asked by describing a hypothetical situation.

    Assume a user requests a change to the system in the form of a user story. An agile team implements this change and the user is happy.

    Unknown to the team, including the user, this change affected another user making this other user unhappy. The unhappy user submits a change request.

    A few weeks later an Agile team (maybe a different team) works with the unhappy user to make the application change and the unhappy user becomes happy. Yeah!

    Oops. The first user is now the unhappy user.

    In this hypothetical example, the first user story was negated by the second user story. This tells me that user stories (provided we saved them in a repository and can find them) cannot be trusted to tell us what the system is currently doing nor what it is supposed to be doing.

    We have no regression suite. How do we know for sure that our application is doing what it is supposed to do? How do we know for sure what it is supposed to do? How do we write regression tests when we don’t know for sure what the system is supposed to be doing?

  81. Leandro |

    What are you talking about man when you say “Of all the agile methodologies, Scrum is unique because it introduced the idea of empirical process control.”??
    It’s not true! Empirical process control is the foundation of any Agile process.

  82. Jaringtn |

    You know I have to laugh at all of this. No method is any better than the people who implement it. This is a universal truth. When it comes to project management this is even if possible, more true. I love the way people who learn something new think that this is the first time these principles have been applied or used and that somehow magically everything will simply be better because of the adoption of some new standard or methodology BUT no matter how good something is it can be implemented poorly. I’ve gone through so many iterations of these processes it’s not funny. In 40 years I’ve seen RAD, JAD, Waterfall, Agile, Agile/SCRUM, and a host of other methodologies, schools of thought and leaders be thrust upon us. Agile and SCRUM are simply the evolutionary result of all that has gone before. The key to any successful project implementation and hence the methodology employed to bring it to fruition is communication and cooperation. Rigidity of thought and inflexibility in adjusting goals, milestones, or expectations does not work no matter what methodology is employed. Our business has almost never been one where concrete deadlines, rigid schedules, or drop dead dates have worked as effectively as many would have liked unless we’ve had enough forewarning, forethought, and or pre-drop dead date test time to completely flesh out the process from top to bottom. I will say that Agile based methodologies and in particular SCRUM have the potential to provide a better than average framework for successful implementation but just by themselves they are not the end-all answer to all IT Project Management situations. SCRUM simply provides a good framework for most project and or development processes to work in and gives us another tool to use in our ongoing attempts to find better ways to perform our functions.

  83. Ashok Jayan |

    The tutorial was really good. I have a suggestion, can you please add tutorials regarding other Agile Methodologies like XP, Lean Development, Crystal etc..

  84. Navaneethapperumal |

    I love this model. This is the perfect model for all the projects. It will deliver the products in time boxed manner. We used Jira tool for tracking. This is also helped much more in agile. If you are having clear requirement/Change requirement, then this methodology do a favor for you. End of every sprint it will have deliverables. Client can see the progress. Fantastic Model….

  85. Rajasekhar Reddy P |

    Nice Explanation about Scrum and will be very useful those who are new to SCRUM

  86. Lazar Sokolov |

    Thank you for the good and useful explanation of Scrum.I’m new to it but it seems
    very useful tools for maximizing of developer use.

  87. Lee Goddard |

    Superb, simple explanations that make sense IRL. Good stuff.

  88. Raj |

    Thanks for all the videos, reference card etc., great!! effort and most amazing part is that it’s free and not at all boring, easily understandable.
    Thanks a lot!!!.

  89. Saurabh S |

    How much should a scrum master be loaded by the coding work ? Does pressure to accomplish his/her own stiff coding targets limits his/her own abilities to discharge his job ?

  90. 2Hilarious |

    Thanks for all the videos and the files. It help us improve our work and now we don’t do projects we do scrum :)

    Thank you so much

  91. Dean Peters |

    Dear Mr. Scrum:

    Thank you so much for your wonderful introduction to Agile/Scrum. I’m sure I’ll need you again in the future. God bless.

    Dean Peters

  92. Ramana |

    “Excellent” is the only word can be used.

  93. Karly Edwards |

    Some really great info about agile and scrum here. Just thought you and your readers may be interested in this agile conference this summer It’s a great opportunity to learn from industry experts and network with likeminded people. Thanks again for the great post!

  94. Stefan |

    This Website is totally awesome! I love every second in every video! 😉

  95. Javed Haider |


    I am into IT Service Management Domain, primarily working in Change & Release Management areas, Often there are argument that ITIL processes doesn’t go well with Agile method of development. There is a lot of fight between the Service Management teams and project teams working on Agile methodology over the release of Sprints.

    Can you please suggest how ITIL process can better amalgamate or aligned to Agile method of development?


  96. Sean Marchiafava |

    May I use some content for a Scrum Agile description document for a client?

  97. Cynthia Harris |

    The site was extremely informative and had a variety of examples to thoroughly allow understanding of the material. It was a great learning experience to read and watch the interesting videos – it made the material come alive.



  98. Ashish Sankhala |

    I was looking for some resource to understand that Agile methodology and once i reached here i could not go away.
    wonderful site will great explanation of each and every part of Agile Methodology.

    Ashish Sankhala

  99. Thomas F. |

    I am currently studying Information Systems, and found this site to be extremely helpful in understanding the concept of agile development.

    Thank you for making these resources available. It’s been a great help.


  100. Joe |

    good site I have understood more as a student

Leave a Reply

Scrum Training Courses