Eliminating Scrum Scum

In the highly competitive world, getting products to market quickly while being both flexible and adaptive to change is critical. The answer to this challenge is Scrum, an iterative, incremental methodology for project management often seen in agile software development. Of all the agile methodologies, Scrum is unique because it introduced the idea of “empirical process control.” That is, Scrum uses the real-world progress of a project--not a best guess or uninformed forecast--to plan and schedule releases.

What is Scrum?
In Scrum, projects are divided into succinct work cadences known as sprints. Each is “time-boxed”--a recent survey found that the most common sprint length is two weeks (although the length is generally project dependent and decided by the team). During this time, the team does everything to take a small set of features and transform them from an idea to coded and tested functionality, thus creating a potentially shippable product increment.

The set of features that go into a sprint come from the product “backlog”, which is a prioritized set of high-level requirements of work to be done. Which backlog items go into the sprint is determined during the sprint planning meeting. During this meeting, the product owner informs the team of the items in the product backlog that he or she wants completed. The team then …

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