What is Scrum and How Does It Work?

Professional Development
3 min readOct 15, 2019

Scrum is a form of Agile (a flexible project management methodology). Scrum revolves around self-organising teams, shorter project cycles, and the ability to deliver value early and adapt easily to change.

Where did Scrum come from?

Scrum originated in the 1990s, inspired by an article called “The New New Product Development Game”.

This article discussed the brilliance of how rugby teams organise themselves and perform while in play.

Software engineers Ken Schwaber, Mike Beedle and Jeff Sutherland drew from the thinking in this article to create Scrum development.

In the years since then, Scrum has evolved to become an approach to managing projects that can be used in almost any sector of business or industry.


How does Scrum work?

The defining characteristics of Scrum are called the 3 Pillars: Transparency, Inspection, Adaption.

Transparency: Through regular communication and easy visibility on task progress for all work, it’s easy to see where the project is at any given time.

Inspection: Scrum teams are always seeking ways to improve. At the end of every Sprint (project cycle) they review the Sprint that has just taken place, evaluate what went right and wrong, and then gather learning to bring into the next Sprint.

Adaption: Scrum not only handles change well, it welcomes change. Scrum Teams understand that change can be a good thing in terms of the project goals, and they are always ready to accommodate it.

4 Elements of Scrum

Using these 3 pillars as a foundation, Scrum is then built around these 4 Elements:

The Scrum Team

A tightly organised team, with definite roles and responsibilities outlined. These roles include:

Scrum Product Owner: important stakeholder, communicates with the customer, defines the project deliverables.

Scrum Master: mentors the team in Scrum practices, creates a productive working environment for the Scrum Team, works with the Scrum Product Owner to identify priorities as the Sprint progresses.

Scrum Developer / Scrum Team: The developers are team members that will work to create the project deliverables,

Scrum Events

Scrum Events keep everything in motion during the Sprint. These include Sprint Planning, the Daily Standup, the Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective.

Scrum Artifacts

The Scrum Team uses these items to track progress and work on the project. Artifacts include the Burndown Chart and Scrum Board.

Scrum Rules

Throughout a Sprint, the team will adhere to Scrum Rules — guidelines for implementing Scrum correctly. The Scrum Master takes ownership of overseeing the application of these rules.

How can you get started with Scrum?

It’s easy to get started with Scrum project management. We recommend attending a training course and gaining both knowledge and a respected certification.

Scrum Master Certification is the course you’ll find most readily available. This training can give you an understanding of how to perform the role of Scrum Master with skill and ease.