Agile 101: SCRUM methodology

June 18, 2021

Not too long ago, seventeen software engineers and expert developers sat down and decided to change the way people used to develop software solutions forever, creating what we know today as Agile software development.

This was done back in 2001, when there were too many different methodologies, ways and resources available to carry on a software development process, but little to no control at all, which resulted in programmers and software engineers implementing processes that were hard to finish, and not helpful at all.

These seventeen software engineers saw the problem the IT community was going through, and decided to curate these outdated and annoying processes, and from that moment on, Agile software development is by far the best methodology ever implemented.

A quick look into Agile Software Development.

As a software development company ourselves, this is not the first time we have ever talked about Agile Software Development. Actually, we have a full on blog about what this is, and how to use it to accelerate your processes, which you can read here.

To put it simply, when we talk about Agile, we talk about the most popular approach to software development, one that focuses directly on working on specific requirements through collaborative team effort, organization and cross-functional teams between the company and the customers or users.

Keep in mind, that Agile isn’t necessary a methodology on its own, but rather an umbrella term that holds other different methods, various practices and approaches to software development, through which software developers can create and finish any given project.

Think about it this way: Agile is only the tip of the iceberg, it is what holds the other software development methodologies that software engineers are currently using as we speak.

Basically, Agile Software Development holds the best software development methodologies under the same place, allowing software engineers to decide which one to implement according to the project they have to face.

The many different types of software development methodologies

Like we have mentioned throughout this blog, Agile itself isn’t a methodology, but an umbrella term that holds many different types of software development methodologies.

Now, these methodologies are there because they are considered as the most efficient ones, and they all revolve around the idea of working alongside the requirements from the stakeholders, advocating for a fast and evolutionary development process that allows adaptive planning and a constant improvement throughout the whole project.

The software development methodologies that compose the agile software development umbrella term are:

  1. SCRUM Methodology

  2. Kanban software development

  3. Lean software development

  4. Extreme programming

  5. Crystal

  6. Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)

  7. Feature-Driven Development (FDD)

These are the seven different approaches to software development that are currently being used by software engineers across the world. Keep in mind, all of them share a very similar working philosophy that is targeted towards achieving goals in the fastest way possible, without compromising any step of the process, nor indulging in unnecessary steps.

However, today we are not going to talk about all the different methodologies and what differentiates them, but instead, we are going to talk about the SCRUM methodology, which we must say, is the one we implement here in Roostack.

An insight into SCRUM methodology

Amongst the seven different types of software development, the Scrum methodology is by far one of the most popular ones (if not the most popular), due to how simple and straightforward it is to implement.

Keep in mind this methodology isn’t exclusive to software development, and could be implemented for other processes as well, however, it has its origins on software development and it was one of the major methodologies that actually influenced the Agile Manifesto.

Engineers define SCRUM as a framework that is used on software development projects with the single objective in mind of delivering a new software solution on a short period of time.

Let us elaborate a little bit more on that, shall we? You see, SCRUM is based on the Agile manifesto, which means it is targeted towards managing and controlling incremental software development projects.

This particular methodology is based on three main characteristics:

  1. Adopting an incremental development strategy.

  2. Creating self efficient teams based on the solid knowledged of each developer, aiming for an overall better result.

  3. Working on different phases of the project at the same time instead of following a consequential circle.

To sum it up, the SCRUM methodology provides software engineers with an adaptable and increasing working framework that involves different figures and methods in order to finish a software solution in an established period of time (usually, from 2 weeks up to a month).

How SCRUM methodology works

Like we previously said, SCRUM is based on the premises of cross-functional teams working together in an organized way to reach up a goal. Meaning many different figures are involved in the software development process.

In total, there are three different roles within this methodology, which are:

  1. The Product Owner: Also known as the customer, the Product Owner is usually the person who needs the software solution done, and therefore, should be involved during the development process.

In the SCRUM methodology, the Product Owner does not interfere with the process itself (since self organization amongst teams should never be disturbed) but should always be present and open to communicate with the team throughout the whole process.

  1. The Scrum master: Think about them as a facilitation between the other two parts involved (Meaning the product owner and the development team), whose job isn’t to directly manage the team, but to be aware of any issues or impediments that are obstructing the process.

Usually, the scrum master tends to be the Project Manager, and has to act as a breach between his team, and the customer.

  1. The team: Last, but definitely not least, the software development team, also known as the responsibles for making everything work. Keep in mind, the tam should be completely self organized and self managing, and should be 100% focused to finish the process within the established period of time.

As to how does SCRUM works, we can sum it up in just one word: Sprints. You see, sprints are the heart and soul of the scrum methodology, it is the way the team manages to be as efficient as possible.

As a software development company ourselves, we are already used to the idea of working with sprints, since they are a great way to get things done in the most effective way possible.

You see, in software development, a spring is simply an specific period of time through which work has to be completed. In a sprint, there will usually be the goal (which is the work to be completed) and the different tasks that have to be done to reach said goal.

Basically, each team is 100% responsible for determining how they will reach the goal of the sprint, what will they do, and how they’re going to organize themselves to successfully completing the work required.

As you can see, the scrum methodology is simple, yet effective, and it can be applied to almost any project you might have, as long as you stick to the principles of Agile development.