Hubstaff agile scrum project management

A guide to Agile Scrum project management

In today’s fast-moving and complex world, you need a flexible approach to project management. Agile Scrum project management might be what your organization needs.

Agile Scrum project management is one of the most popular project management methodologies in business today. It’s iterative, solutions-focused, and easy to use in any industry.

Curious to know more about Scrum? Read our Agile Scrum project management guide to increase efficiency, better use customer feedback, and keep your team engaged.

What is Scrum methodology?

Agile scrum project management

Scrum is an Agile project management methodology that helps teams work better together while delivering more value to shareholders and clients. Scrum methodology uses an incremental and iterative approach to project management.

A small group meets daily, led by a Scrum Master whose primary goal is to reduce bottlenecks.

Scrum helps you prioritize work by arranging project goals into two-week Sprint deliverables. Important work gets done first when you adopt Agile scrum project management.

Using Sprints let you figure out what needs to be done in the correct order, eliminating dependencies and downtime.

Scrum also enables rapid development processes and testing in small teams.

This project management style improves customer service, reduces development costs, and increases job happiness and profits.

The Scrum framework is not a static process but an iterative one that adapts to changing circumstances, teams, and objectives.

Agile Scrum makes project-based work more collaborative and efficient.

Jeff Sutherland, a project management thought leader, describes Scrum as "The art of doing twice the work in half the time." That’s a great way to think of the “why” behind Scrum and why your team could find it helpful.

How can you use Scrum for project management?

You begin the project with a rough understanding of what needs completing and a list of priorities (the product backlog) from the product owner.

Many businesses have large backlogs of unsorted tasks, goals, or deadlines. Various companies adopt Scrum to improve project management deliverables, getting out from under an intimidating list of to-dos.

Smaller teams benefit from Scrum when they face constantly shifting deliverables, not-yet-known customer pain points, and frequent requests for new features — or “scope creep.”

Scrum is one of the Agile methodologies designed to encourage teamwork, accountability, and step-by-step progress towards a goal. tart with what's visible or known. Tackle those tasks first. After you organize and spec out these initial projects, modify your scope and workload as needed.

This method really works. When the FBI used Scrum to modernize Sentinel, an important large-scale project, they got the job done in less time, with fewer people, and using a smaller budget.

What does Scrum stand for?







Scrum emphasizes teamwork and feedback. The name comes from the moment in a rugby game when each team member works together to move the ball down the field.

A project planning board using Kanban and Scrum project management

What are the six scrum principles?

  • Empirical process control: You make decisions based on observation and experimentation. Scrum establishes core business values of transparency, inspection, and constant refinement.

  • Self-organizing: Scrum Teams are self-organizing and cross-functional. This principle is vital for the growth and independence of your team. Taking creative ownership will boost morale and productivity.

  • Collaboration: Scrum encourages teams to learn from experiences, swiftly self-organize while solving problems, and reflect on wins and losses to improve. Awareness and articulation are critical for teams to interact and create collaboratively.

  • Value-based prioritization: In Scrum, you spend your energy where and when it is needed most. You’ll often re-evaluate priorities as customers' wants and needs change.

  • Timeboxing: Timeboxing in Agile is the technique of setting aside and planning a certain amount of time for tasks. In Scrum, you complete work in 2-4 week cycles called "Sprints." In Sprint planning, you plan, track, and discuss tasks; in Sprint reviews, you evaluate tasks and how they went.

  • Iterative development: Requirements constantly evolve throughout a project's lifecycle to suit customer wants and needs in Scrum. You may need to complete revisions of the work to provide the highest quality result.

What is the difference between Scrum and Agile?

Agile planning represents the concepts and ideas that motivate a productive software engineer. Scrum continually provides a set of steps to deliver software to the customer, unlike Agile principles.

Scrum is a methodology, while Agile is a framework. Scrum defines how different players in an organization should work together to develop and deliver software.

Unlike the highly linear waterfall approach, Scrum promotes flexibility and a team-based approach to development.

Here are some differences between Scrum and Agile software development.


Focus on delivering customer value in the shortest time

Continuous iteration of development and testing

Product or feature delivery after each Sprint

Delivers product or feature versions regularly for feedback

Empowers a self-organizing and cross-functional team

Led by business leaders

Collaboration via a small team in daily stand-up meetings

Collaboration involves many face-to-face meetings across many teams

Innovation and experimental design and execution

Simple design and execution

Clear steps to continually deliver

No or few deliverables until project end

Who uses Scrum?

Scrum is prevalent in software development and IT. Nearly every industry worldwide could use Scrum to run teams, departments, or organizations.

Here are some industries that historically use Scrum:

  • Financial services

  • Legal and consultancy

  • Construction

  • Data analytics

  • Pharmaceuticals

  • Engineering

  • Food and beverage

  • Hospitality

  • Travel and tourism

  • Telecommunications

  • Government agencies

  • Transportation

  • Medical devices

  • Customer support

  • Education

  • Insurance

  • Automotives

  • Manufacturing

You'll find that most companies regularly use some part of Scrum methodology.

Here are some well-known companies that receive value from scrum project management.

  • Apple

  • Facebook

  • Yahoo

  • Spotify

  • Adobe

  • Airbnb

  • Bank of Ireland

  • Amazon

  • HSBC

  • Salesforce

  • Netflix

  • Lego

  • Ryanair

  • 3M

  • IBM

  • Deloitte

  • Version

  • Zurich

  • Sage

  • Siemens

Some of these companies combine Scrum and Kanban project management. This model is called "Scrumban" or "Kanplan," which is Kanban with a backlog.

A Scrum team has a Stand Up meeting to discuss project management

What are the three roles in scrum project management?

Product owner, Scrum Master, and development team members comprise Scrum. Scrum teams are typically small (ten or fewer individuals).

The principle is that you reduce the number of people on each team to boost productivity. 

It’s commonly thought that the most effective teams have roughly seven members. If you need to scale, you create multiple cells or teams of fewer than ten people.

Just what is it about small teams that makes them so effective? Multiplying the number of people working together in a group increases the number of possible lines of communication, which creates multiple handoffs, longer approval chains, and more potential points of failure. The process slows because it takes too much bandwidth to keep up with a bloated team.

Let’s look at the project team roles and responsibilities in a Scrum process.

Scrum Master: Keeping it together

The role of the Scrum Master is to guarantee that the scrum runs effectively. They assist the product owner in defining value, the development team produces value, and the scrum team improves each Sprint.

In the daily scrum meeting, when the team meets, they ensure progress and remove blockages. The Scrum Master uses every chance to improve processes, prevent work stoppage, and provide clear solutions and results.

You can become a certified Scrum Master, highlighting the importance of this role to the Scrum framework.

What makes a good Scrum Master?

  • Coaches the team in Scrum methodology

  • Takes ultimate responsibility for the Scrum process

  • Stays centered on what the team, the business, and the customer need

  • Helps the entire team work together well and address negative attitudes

Product owner: Setting clear goals

The product owner must ensure that Agile teams are flexible and responsive to produce the maximum customer value. The product owner represents the business and instructs the development team on what to provide. 

Each of these scrum roles must trust each other.

The product owner should understand the customer and the value the scrum team delivers while balancing stakeholder needs.

What makes a good product owner?

  • Experience in their specific market

  • Independence from management in making decisions

  • Ability to communicate with team members and outline expectations

  • Accountability for the final product or revenue goals

Development team: Transforming development

The development team is accountable for completing their work. Development collaborates as a team to attain Sprint goals. The product owner sets priorities, and the Scrum Master monitors work. Self-managed Scrum development teams have strong relationships, a culture of empowerment, and a favorable work environment.

Scrum teams and each team member should have specific goals addressed by project managers.

The development team should be able to self-organize and make choices. Self-organization empowers team members to solve problems.

What makes a good Scrum development team?

  • Perform as a cross-functional team

  • Complete continuous feature releases during the Sprint

  • Take time to innovate

  • Know what "done" (meeting requirements) means

Scrum artifacts

An overview of an Agile team’s Sprint views

Agile Scrum artifacts detail the product, the tasks required to produce it, and project tasks that have reached the completion stage. Artifacts provide Sprint metadata. They offer transparency, inspection, and a chance to adapt — these are three essential Scrum qualities.

Let's examine the main and extended Scrum artifacts.

Main artifacts

Product backlog or vision

The product backlog lists new features, improvements, bug repairs, tasks, or work requirements. It incorporates customer support, competitor analysis, market demands, and company analysis.

In the first step of the Scrum process, you make a project backlog, a list of everything you want to get done. The team should prioritize high-value, low-risk tasks.

Which tasks have the most impact on your business? Which earns you more? And what's easiest?

Consider what's reasonable and what drives you. Prioritize the backlog based on what's most accessible and most valuable.

Sprint Backlog

The Sprint backlog contains product backlog tasks promoted for future product development. Development teams establish Sprint backlogs to forecast future increment deliverables.

Sprint backlogs originate from the product backlog. The product backlog contains the primary job, and the Sprint backlog contains supporting tasks.

Potentially Releasable Product Increment

A key scrum artifact. Product increments are deliverables from the Sprint backlog that have reached completion.

Each Sprint creates a shippable product increment. These must meet the team's definition of "done" and receive the product owner's approval.

Extended artifacts

Extended or meta artifacts provide metrics and constraints that deepen the process and effectiveness of each Sprint. Extended artifacts bring value and insight to a scrum cycle.

Burndown chart

Many teams use a Sprint burndown chart to communicate and track continuous improvement during the Sprint. Burndown charts display Sprint tasks for the entire team.

Burndown charts help teams determine if they'll meet their Sprint targets or if they must reprioritize efforts. Teams can use prior burndown charts to estimate how many jobs they can complete in a Sprint. 

You can also use burndown charts to determine progress in relation to work needed versus available project spend.

In-progress burndown charts can help teams see if they’re on target to complete work before the end of the Sprint. Teams can evaluate the burndown chart during the Sprint review to determine where they met or missed expectations. Burndown charts help teams refine estimates during scrum planning.

The definition of "done"

Teams must define what "done" means. That is, they must clearly define goals and completion criteria. A development team is complete with work when its code passes QA tests and goes into production. A team without a clarified definition of "done" might incorrectly start new projects without closing out things that still need some finalization work.

Done also defines product increments. Done explains when tasks are complete for burndown tracking.

Scrum events

Sprint Planning, Sprint, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective: these are the five Scrum ceremonies or events.

Sprint planning

User stories explain how people use a product or feature, and focus on the end consumer — not the product owner, designer, or coder.

Scrum masters facilitate project planning by utilizing a scrum board to visualize a Roadmap.

Some Scrum Masters prefer using an online Roadmap tool, project management software, or app to visualize the Roadmap in a Sprint planning meeting.

Hubstaff roadmap tool for Scrum project management

The Sprint

The Sprint is an event containing all the work during a timeboxed development period. The work should be "Done" by the end of a Sprint and ready to be deployed.

Sprint management tools like Hubstaff Tasks split enormous projects into digestible segments, enhancing productivity. Sprints start and end automatically based on how long you set them. As mentioned, these are generally between one to four weeks.

Daily Scrum

In Daily Scrum or Stand-up, everyone on the team discusses what they've done, what they plan to do, and any obstacles to progress from the day before.

Only team members should attend the daily Scrum, which occurs every day and lasts no more than 15 minutes. Stand-ups don’t have to be in a circle in a meeting room or over Zoom. Using written automated Stand-ups is another great option.

We recommend reading up on the best scrum tools if you're interested in digitizing your scrum processes.

Sprint Review

The Sprint Review is held at the end of each Sprint to check in and gather feedback from stakeholders and customers.

In addition to assessing working features developed during the Sprint, you’ll want to collect helpful information for the Product Backlog so that it can guide future Sprints.

Sprint Retrospective

The Sprint Retrospective concludes Scrum.

This event examines the last Sprint and plans strategies to improve quality and effectiveness. During this discussion, your team should consider incorporating newly gained insights into the following Sprint's work.

You want to make the most considerable improvements first, and then add them to the Sprint Backlog for the next Sprint.

Getting started with Scrum

Throughout this article, we’ve discussed the fundamentals of Scrum and the Agile community.

Bookmark this page, share it with your team, or present it to your manager if you want to implement a system guaranteed to provide value, efficiency, and even greater teamwork to your organization.

It’s time to retire inefficient waterfall methods and replace them with Scrum. This Agile and adaptable strategy will transform the way you approach software development. To really boost your Scrum productivity, give Hubstaff Tasks a try. Hubstaff has all the features you need to run Stand-ups, track project burndown, and run Sprint.

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