Although Scrum is used for developing complex projects, it’s important to note that it is not appropriate for any and all projects. So, when is Scrum appropriate? The best time to use the Scrum approach is when working with an end user who is not really clear on exactly what they want. In situations like this, you tend to have a long product development cycle before the project is completed and the product goes through a variety of iterations as the end user develops a clearer vision. Using small cross-functional teams under the guidance of a Scrum Master these expected long, drawn out product development cycles are reduced to shorter cycles known as Sprints.
The Scrum team usually works off a backlog which is basically list of features the customer or end user wants to see in the finished product. The backlog is then prioritized by the product owner; he/she alone decides what features are okay to add to the product backlog and in what order they are to be implemented by the product development team during Sprints.
Each Sprint cycle starts off with a planning session where the team is expected to agree on what the deliverables for that particular Sprint cycle should be and how they can be broken down into smaller tasks for easy implementation. At the end of a Sprint cycle, a review meeting is held and the product owner checks to see that all tasks for that current Sprint were not only completed but done correctly as well. Sprints typically last for between 2-4 weeks.
To sum this up, the Scrum development process recognizes only the three roles – The Product Owner, the Scrum Master and the Scrum Development Team. To get a clearer picture of what the Scrum process actually looks like and what events are recognized in the Scrum approach, here’s an infographic to help make it all easier to digest.