Managing a software development project is a challenge in itself, and with all the complexities that developing software involves, the Scrum process is a holistic way of dealing with objectives. If you are a rugby fan, you will already be aware of the word “scrum”, and if you think about what a scrum is, you realise it is a group of people trying to achieve something. In the sport, once a scrum begins, it can move in any direction, and in software development, the idea is the same.
The Scrum process was developed in the early 1990s by two professionals, Ken Schwader and Jeff Sutherland, who realised that if a software developer group were to use a specific framework, the team became more efficient. This is objective rather than task based, and with a large amount of freedom and flexibility, the team focuses on short time objectives, during sprints, which are two week durations whereby certain objectives are achieved.
In order for the framework to be effective, there needs to be a ScrumMaster, who acts as a facilitator and mentor during the project. There are currently training programs for all aspects of Scrum, and if you are based in Australia, contact scrum-on.com.au, who offer arrange of course by accredited trainers. The ScrumMaster course is a 2 day program that enables the student to master the technique of overseeing a project, and once you have this certification, you would be highly sought after, as many software developing companies wish to give their team some working experience and they are prepared to hire a ScrumMaster.
The Product Owner
A vital member of the Scrum team, the product owner (PO) takes on the role of the customer and makes sure that the overall project objectives stay on track. Without a PO, there is a risk of the developers getting so into a specific issue that the end product is not what the client is looking for, and the PO ensures that the main objectives are not pushed to one side. If an Australian developer wanted to become proficient in this role, there are affordable courses at scrum-on.com.au for all aspects of the Scrum process.
The project is carefully split up into sections, and with a typical sprint lasting two weeks, the team work on specific objectives, rather than tasks, and with daily meetings every morning, the team discusses the previous day and the work they will complete today. The ScrumMaster is not the leader of the group, rather the group becomes dynamic, with the ScrumMaster acting as a buffer to the exterior pressures, advising where necessary to ensure the team stays on track.
In two decades, Scrum has become recognised as the most effective way to design, code and test software applications, and with very specific requirements from the client, the team must possess a working knowledge of the Scrum framework, and after training, the software developer will be able to work effectively with any group that uses the Scrum process.