Intro to Scrum (1 of 16): What is the Scrum Framework?

What is the Scrum Framework?

Many agile teams are using Scrum. Sometimes in whole, sometimes just part of it. But what is the Scrum Framework? What is its intent?

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Scrum is a lightweight framework that helps people, teams, and organizations generate value through adaptive solutions to complex problems. In a nutshell, Scrum requires a Scrum Master to foster an environment where a Product Owner orders the work for a complex problem into a Product Backlog. The Scrum Team turns a selection of the work into an Increment value during a Sprint. The Scrum Team and its stakeholders inspect the result, and adjust for the next Sprint. Rinse, repeat.

Scrum is simple, just try it as is. See if its philosophy, theory, and structure don’t help you also accomplish goals and generate value. The Scrum framework is purposefully incomplete. Sometimes I say annoyingly incomplete because it doesn’t tell you everything. It only defines the parts required to implement Scrum theory. Scrum is built upon the collective intelligence of the people using it. Rather than provide people with detailed instructions, the rules of Scrum Guide their interactions and their relationships. Various processes, techniques, and methods can be employed within the framework. Scrum wraps around your existing processes or makes them completely unnecessary. Wait…what?  Makes them unnecessary? 

What we sometimes find is that when you employ Scrum, you realize you’re doing a lot of things that make Scrum not work, and you have to make a choice. Use Scrum, or do what you were doing before. But if what you were doing before doesn’t get you the results you’re hoping for, perhaps Scrum has a better answer. Scrum makes visible the relative efficacy of your current management, environment, and work techniques so that improvements can be made. 

So what is all this saying about Scrum? What it’s saying is that Scrum is a pretty lightweight framework. It’s got some things in there that you should do. But they’re designed to expose the way that you’re working now, and expose if it’s working or not. 

Sometimes we find that our current management practices aren’t effective, or that our current environment isn’t conducive to an agile environment. That our work practices and techniques are hurting us or holding us back. Scrum exposes all this so we can look at it with our own eyes and make decisions about how to improve it.

Scrum doesn’t tell you everything. You’re going to have to think for yourself when using the Scrum framework and that’s by design. So like Scrum said “just try it out.” Just use it the way it comes out of the box. Try it for like six months and if it really, really doesn’t work. Then maybe Scrum isn’t for you. But if you’re developing complex problems, and you’re trying to manage risk and things are changing all the time. I’m willing to bet Scrum is gonna work for you.

If all of this information about Scrum is interesting to you and you’d like to learn more, please join us in one of our Applying Professional Scrum courses, Professional Scrum Master courses, or Professional Product Owner courses. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us.

Robert Pieper

Robert Pieper has been a licensed Professional Scrum Trainer since 2014 and National Public Speaker since 2013. Robb holds an MBA from Marquette University and an Electrical Engineering Degree from Milwaukee School of Engineering. Robb has 15 years of professional software development experience with a passion for making Scrum work delivering real products and services
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