If you have followed the trends in the job market, you must have noticed the significant rise in the number of certified Scrum professionals. This popular Agile framework has taken both IT and non-IT industries by storm. But what makes Scrum certification a valuable credential on your resume? How can the Scrum framework add value to an organization? How effective is a Scrum certification course in instilling the Scrum mindset in professionals?
Here is a quick Scrum guide to understanding the Scrum framework and its importance, and how Scrum certification can help you gain an in-depth understanding.
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Commonly used in IT ecosystems, Scrum is one of the most popular Agile frameworks that has helped organizations achieve their goals and targets. It is a combination of tools, techniques, meetings, feedback cycles, and roles that when put together streamline a team’s work process. It helps organizations break down their projects into smaller tasks and give due importance to each one of them, rather than encouraging an unhealthy focus on the ceremonious end delivery of the product. It is the most suitable when a project demands the collaboration of cross-functional teams and there is a great deal of work and planning involved.
The Scrum framework embraces the fact that the team needs to execute the parts well to make a functional whole. When used right, a Scrum framework enables a team to visualize how plans may work, to try them out, to reflect on the results, and to make changes, if required.
Scrum framework is not a methodology; rather it is an empirical process that enables the Scrum team to discover and learn by themselves. It focuses on helping people become competent enough to deal with uncertainties and complex problems.
A Scrum framework consists of the following:
A sprint is a time period that spans from two weeks to a month during which the team creates a releasable or shippable product. Its fixed-length is to maintain consistency and sprints always move from the highest value requirements to the lowest. They come in succession; a new sprint begins immediately after one sprint is complete. An ideal sprint is short to keep complexities and risks at bay. Shorter sprints increase the number of learning cycles while restricting the risks to a smaller time limit.
A sprint consists of the following:
The Scrum manager organizes a sprint planning meeting before every sprint to map out the objectives of the upcoming sprint. It occurs in two parts: The first part is all about deciding which product backlog item makes it to the sprint, and the second part is when the team members collaborate to decide how they can achieve their sprint goals.
The daily Scrum is a 15-minute meeting, the purpose of which is to analyze the progress and address roadblocks. A Scrum team can choose its preferred meeting techniques as long as the meeting is aimed at the sprint goals and creates actionable tasks. It is supposed to be at the same time every day.
A sprint review is to oversee the sprint’s progress and outcome. The team presents the results to the stakeholders so that it can reach a consensus regarding future adaptations.
A sprint retrospective is the Scrum event that takes place after a sprint review and precedes the next sprint planning. It is usually one hour long and helps the Scrum team identify areas that need improvement. It then uses these insights to plan the next sprint.
2) Scrum Artifacts
A product backlog is an organized list of what needs improvement in a product. It is also the source of all the work Scrum undertakes.
The Scrum team members make the sprint backlog during the sprint planning meeting. It is a collection of user stories for use during iterations.
A Sprint burn-down chart is a graphic representation of the status of a sprint and shows the percentage of items completed in a single sprint.
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A Scrum team must adhere to a group of values (focus, courage, respect, commitment, and openness) that will encourage them to become valuable assets to their team as well as to their organization.
Scrum is an advanced framework used to tackle adaptive issues that arise during the development of complex products. It is no wonder that the enablers of the framework need to stick to the following principles to ensure a smooth journey from initiation to product delivery.
A Scrum team needs to continually evaluate their tasks and must make changes whenever and wherever necessary. Every member of the team has to be flexible enough to adapt to changes in the working environment as well as individual responsibilities.
The Scrum framework involves hypothesizing and visualizing tasks before executing them, and of course, rigorous feedback cycles and evaluation to ensure the quality of the end product. The daily Scrum meetings and sprint review meetings are some of the techniques used for regular evaluation.
Transparency is the most important Scrum principle. Every team member needs to know the status of tasks, issues, and developments. The absence of transparency can stand in the way of the team’s ability to sustain sophisticated products.
Empiricism is a theory that asserts that knowledge comes from experience and observation. Agile work environments thrive in empiricism; there is no room for prejudices or assumptions. It is the lynchpin that holds the team together and helps it to have active control of the development process. A Scrum team works and learns from the work; that is, in a Scrum team, events, experiences, evidence, and facts are the basis of all the activities.
A Scrum team requires a hefty amount of self-organization to define, debate, and challenge their goals. A team that wants to adhere to the Scrum framework will need to work closely with the Scrum master to step outside of their comfort zones and fully commit to the framework. A Scrum team never holds back when it comes to redefining their roles and responsibilities for building a high-value product.
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In product development, the development cycles can sometimes encounter uncertainties in resource allotment, cost optimization, change in the requirements of customers, and so on. These when coupled with the tough competition in the market can aggravate the challenges a development team faces. Designed to help team members, the Scrum framework also helps the team to easily adapt to changing requirements and uncertainties. It saves time and significantly reduces operational costs in Agile work environments.
A Scrum team is the building block of a Scrum framework. It consists of a product owner, a developer, and a Scrum master who are united by a desire to achieve product goals. They are highly skilled, self-organized, and self-managing. The Scrum team has neither any hierarchy nor any sub-teams; they are independently capable of deciding who does what and can even redefine roles and responsibilities as and when required.
Source: Product Tribe
A Scrum team should be small enough for easy communication and large enough to meet sprint requirements. If the team is too large, break it down into smaller cohesive teams. While doing so, the Scrum Master should ensure that all the teams share the same product goal, product owner, and backlog.
The team takes care of all product-related activities: research and development, experimentation, operation, maintenance, verification, collaboration with stakeholders, and so on. It maintains consistency, has regular sprint meetings, and reviews the timeline, and doesn’t let the product goal expand.
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Here are the benefits of using the Scrum framework in product development:
1) The Scrum Framework Helps Build High-Quality Products
Developing a quality product requires great discipline, constant experimentation, observation, and evaluation. The Scrum framework is for building sophisticated products while effectively tackling the challenges.
Scrum uses the following practices to ensure quality:
2) Scrum Facilitates Faster Delivery of Product
With the right implementation of the Scrum framework, a Scrum team can deliver a product faster than traditional methodologies. This is due to the following reasons:
3) Scrum Practices Ensure Increased Return on Investment (ROI)
Since there is faster delivery of value to the product, the time getting to market, in turn, decreases. This paves the way for a higher return on investment.
The following are the Scrum practices that facilitate a higher return on investment in an organization:
4) The Scrum Framework Promotes Collaboration and Ownership
The Scrum framework is best suited for complex projects that demand cross-functional collaboration. A Scrum team member’s quintessential quality is his or her ability to cooperate and collaborate with other team members and to take ownership of individual tasks.
The following Scrum practices ensure collaboration and ownership in a Scrum team:
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5) The Scrum Team Has Control over the Project
The Scrum framework ensures the Scrum team does not stray from its objectives. The following practices ensure control of the project:
6) The Scrum Framework Reduces Risk
It is impossible to encounter absolute project failures in a Scrum framework. Scrum team members never have to be apprehensive about devoting large amounts of time and getting no return on investment. The team delivers products early, and if at all there are chances of failure, they happen early in the development cycle.
Here is how the Scrum framework reduces risk:
7) The Scrum Framework Increases the Visibility of Progress
Transparency is inevitable in a Scrum team to accurately foresee problems, analyze issues, and make improvements. The Scrum framework helps a Scrum team keep every member in a Scrum team in the loop with the following practices:
8) The Scrum Framework Involves the Most Relevant Metrics
The metrics used by a Scrum team to measure performance, time, and cost and to make decisions are much more relevant than the ones used in a traditional team. The following are the reasons why a Scrum team’s metrics have enhanced relevance:
A Scrum team member’s general responsibilities include:
There are three accountabilities in the Scrum framework: a product owner, a Scrum master, and a developer. Let us dive into the individual responsibilities of these roles.
The key responsibilities of a Scrum master include:
When a Scrum team member plays the role of a product owner in an organization, he or she needs to understand the customer’s requirements while also foreseeing the value that the Scrum team is going to add to the product. The Scrum Guide lists the following as a product owner’s responsibilities:
The developer in a Scrum team takes care of the following responsibilities:
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The Scrum framework has a set of five rules that pertain to different aspects of the Scrum framework.
The following are the rules related to sprint:
The following are the rules pertaining to the product backlog:
A product owner has to adhere to the following rules:
The members in a Scrum team follow these rules:
As per the main objective of a Scrum framework, a Scrum professional regularly ships value to the customers and works to deliver products of the highest possible value. A Scrum professional must ensure the smooth execution of the Scrum framework throughout all development cycles. He or she religiously sticks to the values and principles of Scrum and strives to bring about quality outcomes in the team while being flexible and open to changes. A Scrum professional works closely with all the team members and is always willing to redefine his or her responsibilities.
To be on par with the rapidly increasing competition in the market, both IT and non-IT industries have adopted a Scrum framework for faster deliveries, quality solutions, and customer satisfaction.
Here is why you should consider getting Scrum certified:
Scrum certification is the best way to gain a holistic understanding of Scrum, its principles, and methodologies, without which a Scrum professional cannot implement the framework. The certification equips a professional with the necessary skills to become a successful product owner, Scrum master, or developer.
The certification is an attestation of your practical know-how in tackling all issues that pertain to product development. If you are a certified Scrum professional, your organization trusts you to stay productive, offer quality solutions, and remove impediments.
Scrum certification is a globally recognized credential that helps inculcate the Agile mindset in professionals. The growing community of Scrum-certified individuals is proof of the acceptance of Scrum certification as an important credential in the job market. The certification reinforces a professional’s courage, commitment, openness, focus, and confidence.
A Scrum framework is all about good communication and effective feedback cycles. Organizations prefer Scrum professionals who have an adept understanding of the framework and demonstrate the same with effective communication skills. One of the most important skills that a Scrum certification course teaches you is good communication skills.
Scrum certification enables professionals to judge risks and hazards while developing a project. They also train to prioritize tasks, identify glitches, solve them, and deliver the product successfully.
A globally accepted recognition, Scrum is a certification provided by an organization called Scrum Alliance. It is important to earn your Scrum certification because it indicates your ability to theoretically and practically use the Scrum framework. If you aspire to be a Scrum certified professional, there are three credentials to go for:
It goes without saying that you need adequate work experience to understand the Scrum framework. To be a certified Scrum professional, a candidate needs 36 months of Scrum experience; you need to have successfully completed implementing a Scrum framework in a real environment for 36 hours as a Scrum master, product owner, or developer.
Scrum Education Units (SEUs) is another mandatory requirement for Scrum certification. Developed by Scrum Alliance, these units are a combination of formal and informal training, independent learning, event participation, volunteering, and so on. Scrum Alliance mandates that a candidate requires 70 SEUs during a timeframe of three years prior to your certification.
The certification exam is about an hour long and consists of 35 multiple-choice questions. You can retake the exam in case you do not clear it the first time.
However, the right Scrum certification course can help you crack your test in one go. If you are an aspiring Scrum master, GreyCampus is a leading Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) that offers you in-depth training for Scrum Master Certification. It is a two-day, intensive, instructor-led training program that guarantees Scrum Alliance membership, 16 SEUs, and one year of access to PMI-ACP audio and video lectures.