Scrum methodology overview: Is it right for your team? (2023)

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Posted by: Lucid Content Team

You've probably heard of all kinds of project management methodologies - Scrum,waterfall,Kanban,Agile– but which of these methods suits your team best?

This post will walk you through the basics of the Scrum project management methodology to see if it's right for your team, and provide some resources to help you get started.

What is the Scrum methodology?

The Scrum project management methodology is a structure used to organize and manage the moving parts of a project. Originally designed for use in software development, Scrum is now used by organizations and project managers in all disciplines. The methodology works well for smaller teams tackling projects with changing deliverables, unknown solutions, and frequent interactions with clients or end users.

Scrum favors incremental and iterative production phases to deliver functional products faster and more frequently. In the words ofAntonio Nieto-Rodriguez, the world champion in project management:

"Scrum is the perfect way to remove the tight controls of traditional project management and unleash a team's creativity to meet rapidly changing client needs."

In addition to allowing teams to think creatively as they iterate, Scrum drives feature prioritization by organizing features and goals into deliverables that the team works on in two-week sprints. So the most important work gets done first.

The term scrum is borrowed from rugby, where a scrum is the collection that the team forms on the pitch during play to announce plays and make strategic decisions. Scrum can be used by anyone who needs to create an end product, e.g. B. a website, a software program or even a construction project.

Let's take a closer look at the Scrum process, including the different Scrum roles, to see if this project management methodology is right for you.

Benefits of Scrum

Implementing a new project management method for your team will present challenges, but Agile Scrum offers many unique benefits to share with your team and other stakeholders as you make the transition.

(Video) Scrum in under 5 minutes

  • adaptability: Agile Scrum projects involve frequent check-ins and updates, so when a project needs to change, it doesn't stagnate for weeks before anyone notices. You'll be able to quickly spot an issue or needed change and pivot around without losing weeks of work. Also, your project will be continually improved throughout its lifetime, rather than a few periods of major change.
  • sight range: Stakeholders have the opportunity to see the progress of a project throughout its lifecycle—not just at specific intervals around the beginning, middle, and end. You feel more involved, as does the whole team, and give everyone the opportunity to collaborate and see the project from start to finish.
  • efficiency: Any Agile process aims to get more work done more efficiently, and if you and your team implement Agile Scrum well, you will see these results.

Scrum roles

To start using the Scrum methodology, a few key roles need to be assigned: the Product Owner, the Scrum Master, and the Development Team.

product owner

Thatproduct owneris a proxy for the customer and should keep stakeholders' best interests in mind while working through sprints and prioritizing the backlog.

The Product Owner's role is to lead the team and encourage open communication across all positions. A successful Product Owner is organized and available to answer questions and provide clarity throughout the project lifecycle.


ThatScrum-Masterremoves roadblocks and facilitates handoffs where needed to keep the sprint running smoothly.

A key difference between a Scrum Master and a traditional project manager is that a Scrum Master does not give step-by-step directions to the team. At the beginning of a project, Scrum Master and Product Owner meet to prioritize features and organize the sprint.

development team

The remaining participants in a Scrum are members of the development team tasked with executing the product deliverables. Everyone involved in the development of the product is part of the development team, including programmers, designers, writers, and platform testers (also known as Quality Assurance (QA) professionals).

In Scrum, the development team is self-directed and all members work together to complete each sprint. The development team must decide among themselves how best to achieve the results.

Once the roles are identified and filled, the Product Owner and Scrum Master host a series of planning meetings to identify the characteristics of the project.

Scrum methodology overview: Is it right for your team? (1)

Find out how to find the right people for each role and build an effective Scrum team structure.

(Video) Introduction to Scrum - 7 Minutes

learn how

3 steps of the Scrum process

During each two-week sprint, the scrum process includes these three activities so the team has checkpoints to communicate on.

Scrum methodology overview: Is it right for your team? (2)

1. Sprintplanung

Before work can begin, the Scrum Team must meet to prioritize features for the product and create a product backlog of features. The Product Backlog is a list of work that the team intends to complete in an assigned sprint. Sprint planning should aim to answer two questions:

  • What features can we deliver in this sprint?
  • How will we work to achieve these results?

You can plan the sprint using scrum software or the old-fashioned pen-and-paper approach, but you may want your plan to exist as a living document that is updated as needed. With Lucidchart, you can easily record and visualize the tasks you want to get done, and your entire team can edit and collaborate on that plan in real-time as you create that plan.

Scrum methodology overview: Is it right for your team? (3)

2. Daily scrum meeting

A daily Scrum meeting is held to talk about the previous day's work, discuss issues, and determine what work will be done that day. Each member of the team updates the group on what they have been working on and brings up any problems or questions.

Ideally, a daily scrum meeting should not exceed 15 minutes.

3. Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective

A sprint usually lasts about two weeks, at the end of which the team meets to review progress and processes. To optimize the next sprint, team members collect feedback on features and their functionality.

During a Sprint Review, the Scrum Master, Product Owner, Development Team, and Stakeholders review what they accomplished during the Sprint versus what they set out to accomplish. This meeting may include demonstrating the product to the customer or stakeholders. All necessary changes are implemented.

during oneSprint-Retrospektive-Meeting, the Scrum Team takes a closer look at the sprint itself – what went well and what could be improved in the process – so the team can become more efficient and agile over time.

(Video) 5 Ways to Improve Your Scrum Team's Process

Communication must be the focus throughout the planning and review process as the Scrum methodology relies on transparency across the team to work properly. When obstacles arise, team members should be ready to adjust their course and prioritize goals as needed. As each iteration of the product is completed and feedback is collected, the project roadmap is subject to change.

Essential Scrum tools to get you through your next sprint

Now that you have the actors and process in place, let's look at the key Scrum elements that contribute to this iterative process.

product backlog

Throughout the life of a project, the Product Owner manages the Product Backlog. Thatproduct backlogAll features of a product are listed and prioritized here. The Product Owner is solely responsible for any changes to the organization and prioritization.

Sprint backlog

Within a given sprint, the sprint backlog lists all the work to be done. Tasks are pulled from the product backlog, prioritized in the sprint, and assigned to the development team for completion during the sprint. It's up to the development team to decide together how best to accomplish the tasks at hand.


AScrum-Boardused throughout the sprint to track progress on tasks. It is usually divided into these columns:

  • Make:Product features planned for the sprint but not started yet
  • In progress:Tasks that team members are currently working on
  • Finished:Completed Tasks

You may want to include an additional column to indicate when a feature is in testing, or vertical swimlanes to further break down work by team member or user story. Some teams could even integrate the product backlog into this document and just pull from this list each week.

With this graph, the entire team can see how the sprint is going and potentially reallocate resources or change course if tasks don't start on time.


Burndown charts are a visual representation of the remaining work in a sprint and should give team members an at-a-glance update on the progress of the sprint.

A burndown chart can be housed with a few post-it notes on a blank wall, an Excel document, a Google sheet, or in scrum project management software.

Retrospective activities in the sprint

As mentioned earlier, Scrum teams meet at the end of a two-week sprint to discuss what went well during the sprint and what could be improved next time. Scrum teams can use several different formats or activitiesSprint-Retrospektive-Meeting, such as:

  • Happy, sad, angry:Team members emphasize their feelings to work towards an enjoyable experience for each sprint.
  • Start, stop, continue:Improve the sprint process by asking team members what they want the team to start, stop, and continue.
  • 4 Ls:This method describes what each team member liked, learned, lacked, and yearned for during the sprint.

Start with one of the following templates - just share the document with your team members and they can contribute their thoughts on the sprint in real time.

(Video) What is Scrum? Agile Scrum Methodology Explained - Roles, Artifacts & Events | Invensis Learning

Scrum is all about a handful of people working efficiently together to do iterative work. To use the Scrum methodology most effectively, team members must be available for communication and collaboration throughout the sprint. Team members should also be willing to take on different roles as needed to deliver a working product and meet sprint goals.

As a result, it can be difficult for people working remotely to fully engage in the process. But by using the tools above in a cloud-based visual workspace like Lucidchart, you can keep teams on the same page no matter where you work.

As teams work through these exercises, it's important to remember that the Scrum methodology is just one approach to project management methodology. Antonio says it's a frequently asked question:

“I'm often asked if I prefer Scrum or traditional project management, and the answer is, it depends. Like leadership, it's about knowing what to apply and when, depending on the challenge.”

So is Scrum the best method for you? For more project management methods, seeAgile project managementorwaterfall methodologyto find the best solution for your projects and your team.


Is scrum right for my team? ›

When you have a small team, usually under 10 people, that consists of the skills needed to deliver your product, scrum may be a good option for your team. You're in even a better position to use scrum if each of your team members is able to do multiple things.

Is Agile right for my team? ›

Agile may be the stronger choice for projects that are more flexible, where you have more communication with stakeholders and changes may come in at the last minute. “If there's a more interactive way to be able to develop whatever product you're producing, then Agile makes way more sense for you,” Burger said.

Is scrum right for every project? ›

Scrum will work on any type of project from software development to marketing campaigns or product releases. Executing a Scrum project management framework can be made easier with the help of project management tools.

What is scrum methodology best for? ›

The Scrum methodology is an agile project or product delivery technique that helps teams work more efficiently and effectively. It's a simple, yet powerful approach that can be used for software development, product design, marketing projects, and more.

Where Scrum is not suitable? ›

When you are not able to set even short one week Sprint goal, you should not use Scrum. In IT, see maintanance and support initiatives. In my experience, Scrum is best for work that is not clearly defined. Routine, repetitive work can be done with Scrum but there really isn't much benefit from doing so.

When Agile is not appropriate? ›

Projects that need to deliver against very specific, often legal or regulatory, requirements aren't agile-appropriate either. In these cases, the requirements and delivery timeframes are very explicit – typically with penalties associated for failing to meet them.

Is Agile right for every project? ›

Not every organization is well-suited to working and succeeding in Agile. The ones that are often have a flat structure and use flexible management methods. The benefits of the Agile mindset can be best seen in websites and mobile apps - or other type of IT project that put a strong emphasis on delivering a great UX.

Is Agile methodology effective if yes why? ›

There are many advantages of Agile methodology for project management. Agile methods can help teams manage work more efficiently and do the work more effectively while delivering the highest quality product within the constraints of the budget.

What are the disadvantages of Scrum? ›

Disadvantages of Scrum
  • Scrum often leads to scope creep, due to the lack of a definite end-date.
  • The chances of project failure are high if individuals aren't very committed or cooperative.
  • Adopting the Scrum framework in large teams is challenging.
  • The framework can be successful only with experienced team members.
Sep 27, 2022

Why Scrum has become irrelevant? ›

Scrum does not promote new and fresh ways of working; instead, it champions repetition. Let good development teams self-organize to their context.

Can Scrum be used for non IT projects? ›

While the vast majority of time Scrum is used for software development, people often ask, "Can you use Scrum for non-software projects?" The emphatic answer is always "YES!"

Why is Scrum better than agile? ›

If an Agile approach is right for your project, you will then need to determine whether or not Scrum is the best Agile methodology for your specific needs and goals. Scrum is typically best suited to projects which do not have clear requirements, are likely to experience change, and/or require frequent testing.

What is Scrum in simple words? ›

Scrum is a framework for project management that emphasizes teamwork, accountability and iterative progress toward a well-defined goal. The framework begins with a simple premise: Start with what can be seen or known. After that, track the progress and tweak, as necessary.

What is the biggest challenge in a Scrum environment? ›

Top Scrum Master Challenges
  1. Difficulty in Maintaining Time-boxing. ...
  2. Scrum Master's Role is Considered to be Extra. ...
  3. Lack of Buy-in From Senior Management. ...
  4. Agile Meetings Not Conducted Correctly. ...
  5. Conflict Between Agile and Waterfall. ...
  6. Lack of Agile Training. ...
  7. Lack of Understanding Between Agile Teams and Stakeholders.
Jan 5, 2023

What are the key strengths of Scrum? ›

A key strength of Scrum lies in its use of cross-functional, self-organized, and empowered teams who divide their work into short, concentrated work cycles called Sprints. The Scrum cycle begins with a Stakeholder Meeting, during which the Project Vision is created.

Why is Scrum better than others? ›

Another advantage scrum has going for it is that scrum increases team accountability. Because you're moving quickly, you're meeting often, at least daily. This adds to the transparency of the project, naturally, but also keeps scrum team members accountable for their work.

When should you avoid Scrum? ›

If there's no way to deliver a useable and potentially releasable product Increment in a month or less you have nothing to inspect. This means that there's no way you can adapt your Product Backlog based on the Increment. With that it makes no sense to Scrum.

Why is Scrum not good? ›

Scrum puts too much responsibility in a single person — Bad. The Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product. One Product, one Product Backlog, one Product Owner. Break this rule, and you're not doing Scrum.

Is Scrum good for small teams? ›

Small teams are better positioned to efficiently and effectively manage Scrum events like Sprint Planning, the Daily Standups, the Sprint Review, and the Sprint Retrospective. Having a small team size increases the likelihood the team communication is focused and fast decisions can be made.

What is the disadvantage of Agile methodology *? ›

Long-term projects suffer from incremental delivery

However, this is also one of the disadvantages of the Agile model. Compared to other methodologies, Agile lacks many of the checks and balances that safeguard less experienced developers and team members.

What are the pros and cons of Agile? ›

What Is Agile?
More flexibleHard to predict
Product get to market fasterFinal product is not released first
Better communicationDocumentation gets left behind
Dec 20, 2021

Why do organizations fail at Agile? ›

A lopsided and underutilized methodology of communication and collaboration is often why agile transformations fail. Improper communication and collaboration are significant hurdles in larger teams. Agile favors individuals & interactions over processes & tools.

Which projects are not suited for Agile? ›

Here we would like to explain when not to use Agile methods and why:
  • Your project is not very urgent, too complex or novel. ...
  • Your team is not self-organizing and lacks professional developers. ...
  • Your customer requires neat documentation of each development cycle. ...
  • Your customer requires approvals at each stage of development.
Mar 21, 2018

What are 3 benefits of an Agile approach? ›

Streamline proofing and reporting for seamless campaigns. Take control of billable hours and increase client satisfaction. Plan Agile projects, track deadlines, and deliver results. Create high-quality assets and get them approved in record time.

Is it possible to use agile methods for non IT projects? ›

Yes, it can. Many IT organizations are embracing agile methodologies as a primary method of managing development projects.

Is scrum Agile worth it? ›

If you want to excel in the Agile space in 2021, earning a Scrum master certification can let you impress the hiring managers and give you an edge over thousands of candidates applying for the same job. Professionals learn Scrum for streamlining their risk managing skills and accomplish the projects within deadlines.

Under what conditions should you use Agile methodology? ›

Agile works really well when the product vision or features are not well defined. Agile allows product owners to adjust requirements and priorities along the way to take advantage of opportunities and ultimately deliver a better product to all of the project stakeholders.

What Agile methodology is best suited for? ›

Agile Methodology

One of the more recognizable project management methodologies, Agile is best suited for projects that are iterative and incremental. It's a type of process where demands and solutions evolve through the collaborative effort of self-organizing and cross-functional teams and their customers.

What is the disadvantage of doing scrum? ›

Disadvantages of Scrum

Scrum often leads to scope creep, due to the lack of a definite end-date. The chances of project failure are high if individuals aren't very committed or cooperative. Adopting the Scrum framework in large teams is challenging. The framework can be successful only with experienced team members.

What is the 80/20 rule in scrum? ›

The Pareto Principle, commonly referred to as the 80/20 rule, states that 80% of the effect comes from 20% of causes. Or, in terms of work and time management, 20% of your efforts will account for 80% of your results.

Is scrum good for small teams? ›

Small teams are better positioned to efficiently and effectively manage Scrum events like Sprint Planning, the Daily Standups, the Sprint Review, and the Sprint Retrospective. Having a small team size increases the likelihood the team communication is focused and fast decisions can be made.

Is daily scrum micromanagement? ›

Almost every principle and practice of agile is there to support micromanagement. The daily scrum is about micro-managing the team's daily work plans and making sure that everyone is doing what they say they'll do.

What causes Scrum to fail? ›

In essence, Scrum fails because we assume a role is the same as a mindset. There are many great ScrumMasters out there who possess an agile mindset, but sadly, there are also a great many that lack it and see the role as the application of a rule set rather than the application of a mindset.

What is difficult about Scrum? ›

The team decides how to take advantage of the team members' special skills and areas of expertise. For a team to do this effectively and successfully, the team has to adopt the five values of Scrum — Commitment, Courage, Focus, Openness, and Respect. This is what makes Scrum so hard to master.

Which is the golden rule in scrum? ›

These are the five golden rules in Scrum: Openness: Scrum sees collaboration as the most effective way to create the best possible product. So teamwork and transparency are essential. Rather than anxiously downplaying problems, Scrum team members are open about their progress and any roadblocks they encounter.

What are the 3 rules of scrum? ›

Basic Scrum Rules

There are no Breaks Between Sprints. Every Sprint is the Same Length. The Intention of Every Sprint is “Potentially Shippable” Software.

Can Daily Scrum exceed 15 minutes? ›

- The daily scrum, or standup, is the heart of sprint execution. Time boxed to 15 minutes, it should be short and direct. Keeping this event healthy will keep your sprint delivery healthy, too. A common failure in this event is when your scrum lasts longer than 15 minutes.

Why is it not recommended to have a Scrum team bigger than 10 people? ›

Having more than nine members requires too much coordination. Large Development Teams generate too much complexity for an empirical process to be useful. The Product Owner and Scrum Master roles are not included in this count unless they are also executing the work of the Sprint Backlog."

Can a shy person be a Scrum Master? ›

Having spent eleven years as a Scrum Master (time flies!), I've concluded that being an introvert actually doesn't need to be a disadvantage at all. Quite the contrary, there are in fact several benefits to being an introverted Scrum Master!

What is the ideal team size for a Scrum team? ›

What is the recommended size for a scrum team? For large enterprise projects, the ideal Scrum team size is 7 people (product owner, scrum master, and 5 developers). Smaller projects typically consist of four team members (product owner, scrum master, and 2 developers).

How many hours a day does a Scrum Master work? ›

Scrum masters usually spend a minimum of 15 hours a week with one team, but most work with multiple teams. Many jobs require that you spend around an hour preparing for the day and any meetings you have and up to two hours going over the reports from your team.

What role should a Scrum Master avoid? ›

The Scrum Master should not take sides

The facilitator role of the Scrum Master means that in a situation of conflict, he should not take sides or have any predilection for someone's opinion. Instead, he should serve as a mediator in helping the parts reach a solution.

Is a Scrum Master a stressful job? ›

Being a Scrum Master is also about removing impediments. I coach the team on how to solve their own problems, but if it becomes necessary, I will step in and help resolve the issues. The Scrum Master role is fun, exciting, and fulfilling, but also pressure-filled and stressful sometimes.


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