Introduction to Scrum

A Scrum is a method of restarting play in rugby after an accidental infringement or when the ball has gone out of play. As a framework, Scrum constitutes a complete system of meetings, artifacts, roles and values. It represents a simple process model for the development of products and is based on the principles of agile software development.

Scrum relies very much on the self-organization of the team members. A project manager with extensive authority in the traditional sense does not exist in Scrum.

Ken Schwaber, Jeff Sutherland and Mike Beedle developed Scrum in the 1990s and have since been working on the further development and dissemination of their framework.

Scrum was first described as a software development method in the book “Wicked Problems, Righteous Solutions” [DeGra90]. Scrum in production environments was explained for the first time in the article “The New New Product Development Game” [NewNew86] and later explained further in “The Knowledge Creating Company” [TheKno95].

Schwaber presented a certification program for “Certified Scrum Master” in 2003. Since 2009 he has developed this further into two levels of professionalism, the “Professional Scrum Master I” and “Professional Scrum Master II”. One motive in doing so is to free the agile principles and the framework Scrum from its “semi-professional” stigma. One common objection often stated with regard to the agile approach is that the principles can only work for relatively small developments with few participants. Practical experience with teams larger than 300 members showed however that, contrary to popular belief, the agile software development can indeed be used successfully for large and very large projects.

Scrum consists of only a few roles, meetings and artifacts. The following chapter explains this in more detail.