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The Ultimate Guide To Scrum Project Management (2020)

The Ultimate Guide To Scrum Project Management (2020)

Ready to learn about Scrum project management?

Scrum might sound like a complex scientific methodology that takes three Harvard degrees to grasp, but it isn’t!

It’s actually one of the most efficient and streamlined project management methods used today.

It’ll do wonders for your productivity and transform your development team into the A-team!

In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about Scrum project management to help you understand how to get the most out of it. 

This Article Contains:

Let’s get started.

What is Scrum project management?

Scrum is a modern project management methodology that splits your project into different development cycles. These development cycles are called sprints and usually last 2-4 weeks to help you quickly reach your deliverables.

After each cycle is completed, you present it to your stakeholders (usually customers) who give you feedback on what they like and don’t like. You can then incorporate their feedback before moving on to your next project cycle.

How does this differ from traditional project management?

In traditional project management, you work on your project as a whole.

For example, if you were Scotty, developing a teleportation device for the retail market, you’d spend a year conceptualizing, developing and testing the machine.  

You’d only present it to your customers once it was done.

While this allows you to work uninterrupted, it has one key issue:

As you’ve built the transporter without any actual customer input, there’s no guarantee that they’ll like it.

Think about it.

How often do customers like every single feature that you put out?

More often than not, they’ll have a few complaints, right?

Scrum project management can solve this.

With scrum, you would develop each feature separately and once each feature is ready, you present it to your customers. They’ll give you feedback and you can incorporate it before moving on to the other features.

This way, your customer is actively involved in the development process and the final product is carefully developed with their needs in mind.

The result?

A customer like this:

What is the Scrum methodology derived from?

Scrum is an Agile based project management methodology developed by Ken Schwaber in the early 90s.

Hold on.

What’s Agile project management?

It’s a management framework that’s based on the sprint approach. 

To better understand Agile, you need to go over the Agile Manifesto. 

What’s the Agile Manifesto?

It’s a brief summation of what Agile stands for and the principles that guide it. Click here for a deeper look at it. All Agile methods follow the Agile Manifesto and divide projects into smaller sprints to incorporate user feedback at all levels.

Wait, what do you mean by Agile methods?

There’s more than one Agile based project management methodology?

Yes!

Scrum is just one of the Agile methods.

There are tons of other methodologies that are based on Agile, such as Kanban, Lean, Extreme Programming and more!

The best part about each methodology is that you can combine them to make them more effective. For example, you can combine Scrum and Kanban to create a more streamlined software development workflow.

What are the elements of Scrum?

Don’t worry.

Scrum elements aren’t as confusing as the elements of the periodic table.

They’re just essential components of the Scrum project management methodology:

A. Scrum Artifacts

Scrum’s artifacts are core tools that give your Scrum project the focus it needs to stay on track. They consist of:  

  • Product backlog: A product backlog is the list of items you need to complete in a project. It’s essentially a to-do list of what your team has to do. As you have to regularly incorporate customer feedback, the backlog items are constantly updated and modified.

Note: Product backlog items are usually displayed as user stories. User stories are descriptions of features from the perspective of the customer. This ensures that the developers develop backlog items with the user’s perspective in mind.

  • Sprint backlog: A sprint backlog is a list of product backlog items that your team will be attempting in a particular sprint.
  • Increment: The increment is the usable end product that’s released after each sprint. It’s essentially your sprint’s deliverable in the Scrum framework.

B. Scrum Roles

If Scrum is going to transform your team into the A-Team, who’s going to be B.A Baracus?

While there’s no replacing Mr. T, Scrum has its own set of cool dudes running the show.

There are three key Scrum roles that are common to all Scrum teams:

  • Product Owner
  • Scrum Master
  • Development Team

Here’s a closer look at these scrum roles and why they’re vital to your project’s success:

1. Product Owner
The owner is in charge of developing and managing the product backlog. The owner also communicates with stakeholders and relays their feedback to your team.

2. Scrum Master
The Scrum master is like the project manager for Scrum teams. They ensure that everyone involved in the project understands the Scrum process and is on the same page about the Agile framework. 

Note: As the Scrum master roles can vary from the traditional project manager role, it’s recommended that all managers undergo Scrum training to become a certified Scrum master before handling Scrum projects.

3. Development Team
The development team members actively work on a Scrum project. They’re the ones responsible for delivering the increment at the end of your sprint. 

C. Scrum Events

Scrum has a set of repetitive events that support the Agile framework and methodology

Here’s a quick look at them and what goes on in each meeting:

1. Sprint

The sprint is a short 1-2 week span where all the Scrum work happens. In a sprint, your team tackles your sprint backlog to complete an increment.

2. Sprint Planning

This meeting is where your project team goes over the product backlog to decide what items will be attempted in a sprint.

3. Daily Scrum Meeting

The daily scrum is a short daily check-in to update everyone about their progress. This is a very short meeting that shouldn’t last longer than 15 minutes.

4. Sprint Review

A sprint review is a scrum meeting conducted at the end of the sprint. The purpose of this scrum meeting is to display the final sprint increment to the stakeholders.

5. Sprint Retrospective

The sprint retrospective meeting is conducted after each sprint. In this scrum meeting, you go over problems faced and discuss possible improvements for the next sprint. 

What are the benefits of Scrum?

Ever wonder why the Scrum and Agile framework is so popular?

Because it helps you slam-dunk your projects!

Let’s check it out.

1. Better Customer Satisfaction

Unlike other project management methods, the Scrum framework actively involves the customer in the product development process. This way, you’re not assuming what a customer wants – you’re actually collaborating with them.

The upside?

A final product that’s been built by your customers, for your customers, every step of the way. It’s going to thoroughly address all their needs and leave them jumping for joy!

2. More Adaptability

As you’re able to incorporate feedback at the end of every cycle, Scrum work is extremely adaptable to change. 

It allows your project team to cope with sudden customer demands and scope increases without having a nervous breakdown!

3. Better Teamwork

As Scrum teams are so small and cross-functional, they have to actively work together to deliver increments. This ensures that everyone has to involve each other and collaborate effectively to get things done. 

4. Increased Motivation

As your project team works on small, short-term goals with sprints, it’s easier for them to feel a sense of accomplishment and achievement. 

Think about it.

They’re not facing a huge list of tasks that need to be attempted at once. Instead, they’re tackling sections of Scrum work at a time – making the whole project seem more feasible! 

The best way to streamline the Scrum process

How do you make sure your Scrum project goes without hiccups – as smoothly as Emirates first class?

While taking care of the Scrum artifacts, events and roles are important, it’s not enough.

Sure, you could have extensive Scrum training to become a certified Scrum expert, but that’s not enough either!

If you really want to benefit from this methodology, you need the right Agile software.

Why?

Agile software will give your engineering team a consolidated space to manage all their Scrum activities. 

This way, they won’t have to shuffle between multiple apps to just get an idea of what is going on!

Agile software will help you:

  • Manage your sprints
  • Handle your backlog, user stories and story points
  • Collaborate with team members and stakeholders

So which Agile tool out there will make managing Scrum as easy as apple pie?

The best Agile and Scrum management tool for 2020: ClickUp

ClickUp is the world’s highest-rated Agile Scrum project management tool. Used by more than 100,000 teams including companies  like Netflix, Google, Airbnb, and Nike, it’ll help you quickly adapt to the Scrum approach:

ClickUp has tons of features to help you with Agile and Scrum projects, like:

Here’s a quick look at how these features help Agile and Scrum development:

1. Multiple Views to manage various project requirements 

Most project management tools are like the Soup Nazi.

They force you to adapt to whatever interface they use. This way, your Scrum process and team has to adapt to that tool – not the other way around.

And if you don’t?

But wait a minute!

Since Scrum is all about adapting to project changes, shouldn’t your tool be able to adapt to these changes too? 

Luckily, ClickUp offers you Multiple Views to adapt to your team’s Scrum workflow instead.

Here’s a detailed look at these views:

A. Required Task Views

ClickUp has two required task views to handle two of the most common project management styles:

1. List View

If your Scrum teams like GTD-style to-do lists, then this is the view for them. Here, tasks are listed down in a checklist that can be checked off as you progress. 

It’s the perfect view to keep track of Sprint lists for multiple tasks. As every task is listed one after the other, you can quickly tackle each one sequentially.

2. Board View

If you want to combine Scrum and Kanban, then this is the view for you. However, this view is also great if you just want some Kanban functionality in your Scrum board

Here, your tasks are laid out on a Kanban board where you can drag and drop them to make quick adjustments.

B. Box View

Don’t you hate being the guy bugging people about what they are working on?

The box view is great for high-level overviews of your team’s tasks because they are sorted by assignee.

Your project owner and project manager can use this view to easily keep track of who’s working on what. 

C. Calendar View

Do you really want to endure the pain of having to rewrite all your tasks in a physical calendar? 

ClickUp’s Calendar View can help a product owner and project manager plan their Sprint tasks. It’s also a handy way to decide when you’ll be able to add backlog items to your sprint.

For added flexibility, an Agile project manager can view their calendar as:

  • Days: view all the tasks scheduled for a given date
  • 4-Days: look at your task schedule over a rolling four day period
  • Week: view your weekly sprint schedule
  • Monthly: shows your project roadmap on a monthly basis

D. Me Mode

Finally, view all the work that is just for you!

ClickUp’s Me Mode is the perfect way to only keep track of tasks, comments and lists assigned to you. This way, you won’t be distracted by other team member’s assignments and can focus better.

2. Sprint Lists to easily keep track of your sprints 

Since Scrum and Agile revolve around sprints, your management tool needs to coordinate them effectively. 

ClickUp can create Sprint Lists to break down the deliverables for each sprint. As these are essentially checklists, you can quickly check them off as you progress. 

You can even add Scrum points to each list to better determine how long it’ll take to knock out the product backlog.

 

As they’re so easy to read and use, an Agile coach can easily use it to train new teams to cope with Scrum project management.

3. Agile Dashboards for visual overviews of your projects 

Scrum teams are like Formula 1 champions!

So shouldn’t they have dashboards as cool as in F1 cars?

ClickUp gives you uber-cool Dashboards for detailed overviews of your project progress.

Why do you need visual overviews?

What would you prefer:

Looking through vast columns of data on a spreadsheet, or, detailed graphs that accurately chart your progress over time?

Here’s how ClickUp’s Dashboards help Scrum project management: 

A. Velocity Charts

ClickUp’s velocity chart helps you track the completion rate of your tasks. 

All tasks are broken down into bi-weekly or weekly intervals and their average velocity is displayed here. ClickUp can also automatically group sprint list data to make it easier to add. 

B. Burndown Chart

Teams use a release and sprint burndown chart to track how their team is performing against a target line. ClickUp’s burndown chart also highlights the amount of work that’s pending

The release burndown chart highlights various metrics like:

  • Target progress: the ideal task completion pace to reach your increment
  • Projected progress: your team’s existing progress rate based on completed tasks
  • Active: the current number of completed tasks

C. Burnup Charts

Burnup charts highlight how much work your development team has already completed.

This way, project managers can reference this chart during the daily scrum to motivate their team to finish quickly.

D. Cumulative Flow Charts

ClickUp’s cumulative flow charts show how your tasks progress over time. 

Your tasks are broken into different colors based on their current status. This helps you quickly identify bottlenecks and step in to resolve them. 

4. Custom Statuses to manage varying task stages 

Remember, the Scrum methodology isn’t only suited to software development projects. 

Tons of other teams use it too! 

And while the Scrum methodology largely remains the same, each team and project has its own specific needs and project phases

For example, the project stages for a software development and marketing project differ a lot, wouldn’t you agree? 

That’s why your project management tool should be able to create customized statuses for each project.

Which is exactly what ClickUp does!

Like I said, we aren’t Soup Nazis!

Check out this Dashboard for a marketing project.

5. Assigned Comments to facilitate quick communication 

How often do you have tasks falling through the cracks? 

Especially when you leave a comment in your project tool, but everyone forgets – until it’s showtime.

This problem ends today!

As Scrum is all about quick turnaround times, your communication needs to be lightning quick too.

You can’t afford to wait hours for your team to take action on your feedback, right?

With ClickUp, this won’t be a problem!

ClickUp’s Assigned Comments let you convert comments to tasks and assign them to a team member. ClickUp will then notify them about these comments and it’ll even pop up in their task tray. Once they’ve completed the task, they can even mark the comment as resolved to avoid unnecessary follow-ups!  

  

Pretty cool, right?

However, those aren’t all of ClickUp’s features.

You get loads of additional features to boost your project management with Scrum:

Conclusion

Scrum project management may seem daunting, but with the right software, it doesn’t have to be!

It can help you instantly boost your productivity and streamline your work processes. And since you want to manage Scrum projects with the best tool available, it’s time to sign up for ClickUp.

It has everything you need to manage your Scrum meetings, sprint lists, and product backlog items!

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