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Scrum Models in Systems Engineering: Process & Examples

Instructor: Sebastian Garces

Sebastian has taught programming and computational thinking for University students and has Master's degree in Computer and Information Technology

Have you ever wondered how actual software projects are developed and brought to life? This lesson will describe a framework called Scrum, which is one of the most popular frameworks for rapid product development.

What is Scrum?

Scrum, more than a method or a fancy set of steps, is a framework. It is a heuristic approach, with respect for people and self-organization. It seeks to address common development life cycle issues, such as unpredictability and complex problems. Scrum aims for continuous action while seeking to minimize errors.

The Scrum approach seeks for teams to prioritize action over anything else, giving each person on the team great levels of autonomy.

In Scrum, each member self-regulates their responsibilities and work. For this to work, companies use horizontal structures to avoid power conflicts.

Scrum Team

The Scrum team consists of 3 roles:

  • The Product Owner
  • The Scrum Master
  • The Development Team

Product Owner

The Product Owner is a person from the client's point of view, that works as part of the Scrum team. This means the Product Owner is the team member that will help guide the development decisions in an agile way - a way that meets the demands of customers and stakeholders. Basically, this is the person that will take all the input from the customer and refine the project needs.

Scrum Master

The Scrum Master is the leader of the team from the development side, and who maintains constant communication with the Product Owner. Also, the Scrum Master is the one keeping the Development Team on track with the project (basically, the person dealing with the unexpected). The Scrum Master is part of the team as a peer - and by no means should act as a boss, but more as a peer leader.

Development Team

Scrum Development Teams are skilled, self-organized, and cross-functional developers. Each team decides how best to accomplish their work. The team model in Scrum is designed to optimize flexibility, creativity, and productivity.

Scrum Workflow

The day to day of a Scrum team starts with the Daily Scrum. This is a short stand-up meeting that shouldn't last longer than 20 mins. In this meeting the Scrum Master will ask the team 3 questions:

  • What have you accomplished since the last meeting?
  • What have you planned to accomplish today?
  • Do you have any impediments that will prevent you from accomplishing your work?

The Scrum Master will find the best way to resolute these impediments outside of the meeting, so it can stay in the 20 min range. This daily meeting should be conducted at the same location and same time, every day. While anyone involved in the team can attend this meeting, only team members are allowed to talk and they should stick to the project agenda.

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