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Scrum: Everything Beginners Need to Know

Scrum: Everything Beginners Need to Know

Everything Beginners Need to Know About Scrum

Scrum has become a reliable methodology for Agile in the world of software development. Here is a complete beginner's guide to scrum.

Keyword(s): beginner's guide to scrum

Scrum is one of the most prominent Agile frameworks of today.

Many companies in the software development sector have managed to work wonders with it. But, it can also be hugely beneficial to other businesses. They employ it streamline projects, as well as to complete them on schedule and budget.

Namely, this methodology encourages you to work smarter, not harder. It outlines tasks and requirements ahead of time and enables you to thrive in a team-based environment.

Implementation is no walk in the park though, and it can seem daunting to newcomers.

Thus, we’ve compiled a beginner’s guide to Scrum to illuminate your path ahead. It will give you a clear idea of what to expect and how to supercharge your organisation.

Fundamental Principles

Scrum is rooted in basic principles proclaimed in the Agile Manifesto.

These are collaboration, self-organisation, iterative deployment, transparency, and cross-functional teams. The Scrum Guide echoes these values and builds upon them.

Just like its conceptual parent, it’s dynamic, lightweight, and flexible. One can use it to enhance product development and project management in one stroke.

There’s no need for extensive documentation and planning upfront. Instead, people (teams) and their interactions take centre stage. Projects are broken down in manageable bits that unravel incrementally.

One executes a series of short deployment/development cycles. This setup completely deviates from the sequential Waterfall approach.

What the Scrum’s founding fathers wanted to accomplish was to reduce complexity while improving flexibility. They succeeded at this and allowed large organisations to nail complicated projects.

Events as Stepping Stones

You can think of Scrum as an amalgam of various events, tools, and roles.

We will start with the event called Sprint, which is a predetermined timeframe in which certain tasks must be completed. These tasks are supposed to amount to a product slice that is shippable. This is not to say a finished product, but a minimum viable product (MVP).

One of the key objectives is to gather user feedback as early as possible and draw invaluable insights from it. This process cuts the time to market and validates ideas. Around two weeks is the average Sprint length, although it can go up to a month.

Another mandatory event is a Daily Scrum. It involves short progress updates by the way of a stand-up meeting. Usually, it lasts no longer than 15 minutes with members providing brief reports.

Each Sprint ends with a Review, which includes a product demonstration. This event invites teams to discuss work done so far and plan the next steps. They seek to fine-tune their workflow and be more efficient in the subsequent iterations.

Right after a Review, the Retrospective meeting takes place. As the name suggests, here the teams investigate what went right and identify faults, if any.

Once the Sprint ends, the new one soon begins. The goal remains the same: deliver the next product increment in a timely manner, but without compromising quality.

Tools of the Trade

Product Backlog is the mainstay of any Scrum-based project.

It’s the most important Scum tool that broadcasts what teams need to dedicate their time to. It resembles a to-do list and holds all the tasks and requirements that have to be met. The crucial thing is to list them in order of importance.

The items can be non-functional and functional needs of customers, stakeholders, or a technical team. It goes without saying the most vital items top the Backlog list.

To figure out priorities, members often initiate brainstorming sessions that focus on user storeys. Both speed and accuracy are integral to the success of this project stage.

Notice as well one can use visualisation tools to facilitate decision-making. Boards, for instance, offer a nice overview of all the storeys and make it easier to cherry-pick.

So, make sure to use them to communicate ideas and manage expectations.

Main Scrum Roles

Product Owner is a key stakeholder, who keeps the user’s interests and needs on top of the mind.

He/she decides what goes into the final product and defines the overall vision. In other words, this individual sorts out and prioritises the Backlog.

Scrum Master, on the other hand, is the epitome of a modern servant-leader. This person acts as a mediator between teams and the owner of the product, assisting both of them.

As for team members, they work on Sprints and are tasked with hitting Sprint goals. They share responsibility and possess a self-organising capacity. The units operate as one and are relatively small: they tend to have 5-9 members.

Bear in mind there’s a multitude of tasks these members can handle. They range from analysis and implementation to testing and designing.

Almost There

It’s imperative for individual members to be aware of what everyone else is doing.

Transparency plays a pivotal role here. It lays the groundwork for tight collaboration and communication necessary for Scrum to work. People need to be on the same page and working toward common goals.

The list of conditions and requirements goes on, meaning there’s quite a bit of ground to cover. But, fret not because there’s a heap of benefits that stem from smooth transformation.

Regular inspection of processes and workflows, for example, institutes a robust system of quality control. Feedback further solidifies your project management and decreases project risks.

With various events, you’re able to do away with any impediments, minimising wasted effort and resources. You become adept at dealing with constant change and disruption.

Yes, it’s possible to boost product quality and customer satisfaction at the same time. Done right, Scrum is nothing short of a clear win-win.

Beginner’s Guide to Scrum and Beyond

Our beginner’s guide to Scrum is a great starting point for those new to the Agile landscape.

But, you should test the waters yourself. Assess your current project management practises and consider moving away from outdated Waterfall tactics. Familiarise yourself with the fundamental rules and guidelines of Scrum.

If you decide this method logy is a way to go, use it as a complete, cost-effective, and actionable roadmap for success.

Tackle project in a sequence of iterative steps, with mutually agreed timeframes and prioritisation criteria. Promote open communication and harness the full power of teamwork. Reflect on your achievements and shortcomings.

Get in touch with us if you want to make leaps and bounds with Agile courses. It’s time to take your organisation to the next level and boost productivity across the board.

What Is Lean Product Management?: A Beginner's Guide

What Is Lean Product Management?: A Beginner's Guide

What Is Lean Product Management?: A Beginner's Guide

Lean product management encompasses the whole life cycle of a product and it can be very beneficial to your business. Learn all the basics!

Keyword(s): lean product management

According to a 2016 survey conducted by Pragmatic Marketing Inc, only 28 percent of a product manager's time is spent on strategising, while the other 72 percent of their time is spent on tactics and execution.

Many surveyed agreed that they would have liked to spend more time strategising to ensure the product was more successful.

But what is lean product management? And how can your products be more successful and beneficial to your business? Keep reading to learn the basics of lean product management.

What is Lean Product Development and Management?

Lean product development and management are ensuring that a product is right and ready for the market and your audience. Using digital product management methodology lean product management focuses on making your product as successful as possible.

Implementing the most up-to-date product management techniques, lean product management focuses on the complete life cycle of a product. It does this by applying several lean product processes such as lean startup, lean, customer development, business modelling, financial viability, outcome-drive innovation, and behavioural economics and strategy.

Lean product and process development help businesses work out what the right thing to do is and for how long for. Over time products change and the market changes, so it is very important that your strategy takes this into consideration.

Why is lean product development and management important? Because 21 percent of products fail to meet customer's needs. Your business is only successful if your products are what your customer needs. To meet your customer's needs you need to know what the problems are for your customers and how your product can solve them.

What Does Product Management Methodology Entail?

There's a lot more to product management methodology than meets the eye. The process is very thorough and covers a whole range of areas. All of these are essential for ensuring that a product is successful for the duration of its life cycle.

Lean Startup

The first part of the methodology is lean startup. This includes creating business models, planning customer development, and validating learning. The lean startup also involves building, measuring, and learning about the product and processes.

Some businesses also choose to include innovative accounting and minimum viable product processes to lean startup development.

Ideation

The next part of the methodology is ideation. This includes processes such as prioritising ideas and getting to grips with the environment, i.e. working out how the product will be received by customers.

Problem and Solution

The third part of the methodology looks at discovering the problem and coming up with a solution. This is an in-depth exploration of the customer and the market. You should look at who your customers are and what their needs are. Focus your research on problems your customers have and how your product can add value and a solution to their lives.

Then you need to figure out if there is scope in the market for your product. You can do this by looking at the types of products that are similar to yours that already exist and by experimenting to see if customers need your product.

Product and Market

The next step in the lean product management methodology is further evaluating whether your product fits in the market. This includes conducting a minimum viable product exploration and experimenting with your product.

Survey your potential customers and get their feedback on your product. Give your potential customers a prototype product to test and see if it can help their problems. Then you need to compile all your data and analyse your lean product information.

Strategy

The fifth part of the methodology focuses on strategy. You need to make sure you spend plenty of time creating a solid business strategy and an excellent product strategy.

You also need to make sure your approach is innovative and is something different. Having innovative strategies will help you stand out from your competitors and will drive more sales to your business.

Work out the Scale

The final part of the methodology looks at the scale of your product. You need to work out the scale of your product team, the details of your lean product roadmap, and the scale and outcomes of your product development.

Product managers need to make sure they are prioritising their techniques and implementing the right ones at the right time. You can use your lean analytics to establish the scale of your product and see how well it is performing and why.

What Are the Benefits of Lean Product or Agile Management?

There are many benefits of implementing lean product or agile management principles. For example, following the methodology ensures that you have satisfied customers from the beginning. This helps with your brand and customer loyalty. It also helps you save time because you don't need to go back and change your product or processes.

Another benefit of lean product management is that you get a faster return on investment. Every step of your project is carefully analysed and planned, which means you know how your customers feel about your product. This real-time response can help to ensure your product is marketed quicker and with fewer problems.

Another benefit is that there is less risk of failing. Many start-ups and small businesses fail within the first year or first few years. This is because they don't conduct enough research on their products. Analysing each process will ensure there is less risk of your business completely failing.

Discover more benefits of implementing agile values and principles for project managers.

Find Your Lean Product Management Course

Now you know more about the basics of lean product management, why not take it a step further and find a course that suits you? Having a full understanding of lean product management can be the difference between a potential product being successful or being a disaster.

Contact us to find out more about our lean agile programs and how they can help you.

Creating a Scrum Master Resume: 9 Tips That'll Get You Hired

Creating a Scrum Master Resume: 9 Tips That'll Get You Hired

Creating a Scrum Master Resume: 9 Tips That'll Get You Hired

Do you have your eye on a scrum job opening? Read our tips and tricks and learn how to create a scrum master resume that'll get you the job you want!

Keyword(s): scrum master resume

Do you have a strong background in software development and are seeking a job in Scrum? Is your current resume having trouble getting attention from companies and recruiters?

If so, then we suggest following these tips for creating a scrum master resume that will land you an interview. Your resume needs to emphasis your background in software and managing teams. It is also important for your resume to find a balance between long lists of qualifications and a focus on accomplishments that relate to the job. With our knowledge of Scrum and Agile principles, you can land a job that will help you make a reliable living putting your skills to proper use.

Here are nine tips for creating a scrum master resume that will get you hired.

1. Start with a Resume Summary

The first step to creating a Scrum resume is giving hiring managers an idea of what to expect as they continue to read the document. That's where a resume summary comes in, as it gives readers an idea of your accomplishments so that they keep reading to find the details.

In addition to giving a glimpse into your professional background, the summary should let readers know about your education in Agile. Keep the summary at two to three sentences at most so that readers can look forward to reading the rest of your resume and do so quickly.

2. Seek out Examples

If you've had the same job for years and haven't worked on your resume in a while, then scrum master resume examples will come in handy. With an idea of what success resumes look like, you will be able to apply the same success to your job search.

You can look for examples on Google, LinkedIn, and similar websites to see how to avoid being generic or which qualifications to emphasize. If you know a friend or former co-worker with a scrum master job, you can ask to look at their resumes to see what to add or subtract from yours.

3. Keep the Length Short

Length is another factor that you need to consider when creating any resume, especially if you want to make the hiring manager's job easy. Even if you have a long history in this software, a multi-page resume can reduce the value of each accomplishment and become a chore for people to read.

Our advice is to keep your resume between one to two pages so that hiring managers can understand your qualifications. You can narrow down a long experience with jobs and projects by emphasizing each one's main points so that you don't leave out history that can help you land the job.

4. Start with More Relevant Experience

The best scrum master resumes are those that start off with qualifications that fit the needs of the company they are applying to. Whatever job you have or had that relates more to the position you want should be the first that the hiring manager reads.

When it comes to Scrum, we recommend starting with a job that involved managing projects and teams or creating and improving software. This will allow you to show off your technical expertise and your ability to work with others in a way that helps the whole team.

5. Include a Tech Table

While your resume needs to maintain a professional image, that doesn't mean you can't get creative. That's where tech tables come in, which are especially helpful to those who understand the technical aspect of Scrum.

Your table should focus on your knowledge of operating systems, software development, and Agile tools and how it relates to the job. Place the table at the end of the resume to keep the document consistent and easy to read.

6. Detail Your Experience

If you want hiring managers to maintain the interest they developed from your resume summary, then your background should detail your duties and skills. Each job should be described on your resume that shows your confidence in your background, even if it sounds like you're bragging.

Include three to four bullet points for each job so that readers know you were trusted with a variety of tasks. Make sure that each point relates to the requirements of the job you're interested in, especially if it involves software and team management.

7. Include Project Results

A scrum master resume that will win over prospective companies will show off more than just your duties. Companies that use Scrum want employees who have produced results for the people they've worked for in the past.

Include projects you've worked on that produced success for your companies in the form of increased sales, updated software, or boosted company morale. With statistics to back up your success, hiring managers will feel more confident in moving forward with a resume.

8. Save a PDF

With today's digital tools, it's important for your resume to maintain a professional look when sending it online. The first copy of your resume should be created in a Microsoft Word document, but a PDF copy will allow it to keep its final form.

Saving a PDF will give you a better chance of maintaining borders, charts, and other features that can grab attention. With a Scrum master resume PDF, you can also avoid having to re-send your document if the company's email system doesn't accept the Word format.

9. Add Your Hobbies

While your professional and educational experience needs to be a priority, your resume can also benefit from telling more about yourself personally. Include your hobbies at the end of your resume to let the company know that they would be working with someone who has a fun side.

Start with hobbies that relate to technology and teamwork so that they know it can translate to working on Scrum. It will also help to include activities such as sports and video games to show that you have experience building strategies and helping others improve.

Sending Off Your Scrum Master Resume

The best scrum master resume finds a balance between detailed experience and length for an easy read for hiring managers. It also helps to include statistics and project results to emphasize your ability to do the job.

Consider charts and other features to add that will grab attention and help your resume stand out from others. It also helps to include hobbies that can translate your skills to the job while showing off your fun side.

With these tips, your Scrum resume will land you an interview in no time.

For more of our Scrum and Agile expertise, check out our guides to put your technical and team-building skills to good use.

Agile Values and Principles: The Benefits for Project Management

More and more project management success can be attributed to utilizing Agile Values and Principles, as its adoption grows consistently. 

This has allowed project managers to reap the myriad benefits of using Agile Values and Principles for their various projects. 

If you're a project manager and you're curious as to why you should be utilizing Agile Values and Principles in your processes, you're in the right place. 

In this video, we cover many of the top reasons why using agile methodologies is beneficial for your project. 

We talk about how Agile Values and Principles help deliver high-quality products, and how they tend to provide a faster return on investment. 

We also talk about the increase in customer satisfaction that will come from using Agile Values and Principles. 

And we get into specifics of how there's less risk involved, and how you can attain better metrics when using agile methodology. 

Check out this video today, and for more info, read here: https://agile-center.com/blog/93-10-big-benefits-of-agile-values-and-principles-for-project-managers.html

6 Benefits of Scrum That Prove This Approach Works

6 Benefits of Scrum That Prove This Approach Works

6 Benefits of Scrum That Prove This Approach Works

Scrum is the most well-known Agile methodology in software development, but what exactly are the benefits of Scrum? Learn more about the pros of this approach.

Keyword(s): benefits of scrum

Scrum is one of the most prevalent Agile methodologies of today.

Its birthplace and the testing ground was the software development sector. However, over time, Scrum spilled over into other industries and became nothing short of a game-changer.

Compared to the traditional, Waterfall approach, this framework has several key advantages. It hinges on incremental product delivery over the course of many short sprints. Moreover, it’s adaptive, lightweight, and empirical at its core.

Hence, it equips business organizations with all the tools necessary to tackle the complex challenges of today. They can afford to be much more flexible in pursuing their objectives.

This is to say methodology acts as a powerful catalyst for business transformation and growth. Here are the main benefits of Scrum you can reap from smooth implementation and execution.

1. A Quick Lane to the Market

Scrum aims to speed up the time to market without compromising quality.

In practice, this plays out via early releases of product increments. Teams work on the fly and don’t waste precious time preplanning everything in advance. They also engage in ongoing reviews and real-time analysis.

Sprints, time-boxed units of development, iteratively deliver chunks of work. They represent portions of the end product, which hit the market much faster than with other approaches.

Scrum spares you long project cycles that leave you guess-working until very late in the process. You don’t have to wait for the project to end to see if you have a winsome offering or not.

2. Superior Product Quality

Scrum breaks down large projects into manageable, vertical slices.

Various processes take place simultaneously and frequently rather than on a sequential basis. Code testing, for instance, is conducted at all stages, not just once, after all of the coding tasks have been done. This removes many faults that would otherwise hamper the product’s utility.

Furthermore, Product Backlog establishes a clear hierarchy of task priorities. Items that impact ROI the most are pushed to the top, which is to say teams take them on first. At the same time, they push less crucial work down the list, effectively postponing it.

Pair coding is another best practice that makes a strong case for Scrum. Namely, it leads to faster workflow, promotes knowledge transfer, and improves the quality of work in one stroke.

3. Higher Consumer Satisfaction

Right from the get-go, customers and stakeholders assume an important role in the project.

They aren’t some passive observers desperately waiting for a chance to have a say in what they want.

Among other things, they review product increments and provide direct feedback on them. Combined with the aforementioned benefits, their involvement boosts product satisfaction.

From an organizational standpoint, you have a chance to stay on top of evolving requirements. Events called Sprint Reviews enable you to identify meaningful features and dedicate your attention accordingly. Ultimately, you deliver bug-free products that add value to people.

This is another unique way in which Scrum proves to be a framework geared toward project success.

4. Team Morale and Productivity

The fundamental Agile principles revolve around flexibility and transparency.

They leave a lot of room for team autonomy and foster visibility over the project’s whole lifecycle. In fact, Scrum proclaims teams are self-organizing units by default.

Bosses don’t breath down employee’s necks. Scrum Master is a servant-leader, a person that removes impediments and coaches staff on best practices. He/she also insulates members from negative external pressures.

Moving on, the channels of communication are open and rigid vertical hierarchies minimized. Team members collaborate closely and exchange information. They are in the know when it comes to all aspects relevant to the project.

This type of work environment tends to work wonders for team morale and productivity. People feel valued and appreciated instead of acting as mere cogs in the corporate machine.

5. Making Change Work to Your Advantage

In the booming business ecosystem of today, the only constant thing is change.

The beauty of Scrum is it’s designed for maximum organizational adaptability. While time and cost are constants, the scope of the project is a variable part of the equation.

This calibration mechanism allows businesses to accommodate constant changes and use them as learning opportunities. You can face uncertainty, solve complexities, and ameliorate unforeseen problems.

Yes, you may still encounter minor setbacks, but are unlikely to derail the whole project. It’s easy to adjust your approach and pivot in case you fall shy of goals.

All in all, you become adept at responding to market demand before the competition beats you to it. That’s how you champion innovation and walk the cutting-edge of the industry.

6. Better Control and ROI

A combination of Scrum events, artifacts, and roles lays strong foundations for success.

Everyone is on the same page and working toward shared goals. Organizations reduce the number of unknowns and deal with any problems promptly. They are also able to optimally allocate resources and trim development costs.

On top of all that, there’s a higher degree of overall project control. Scrum addresses ad decreases risks that plague complex business environments. It gives you the means of assessing progress and making data-backed strategic corrections.

All of this amounts to better ROI and substantially improves your bottom line. You know what they say: When it works, it just works.

Time to Tap Into Amazing Benefits of Scrum

The benefits of Scrum are varied and well-documented.

This Agile framework brings value to customers, teams, and business organizations as a whole. But, it’s not a silver bullet or a one-size-fits-all solution.

You can’t just be a lazy copycat and hope things will simply work out. After all, you have the opportunity to tailor the methodology to your unique business case.

So, analyze your current needs and processes to flesh out a sound game plan. Try to stay quick on your feet and embrace change. Master the art of incremental delivery and refine your management practices.

Following these steps, you’ll meet and exceed customer expectations.

Check out our in-house courses if you want to make the most of Scrum transformation. We can help you kick your game into overdrive mode.

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