What is scrum in project management?

Written by Zubair Tariq
Project Manager

If you have done any project management, it is quite possible you have heard of scrum.

Scrum is a development and project management methodology that helps break down complex projects, tasks, and problems into smaller, more easily solvable parts in a systematic way. Scrum involves specific roles, meetings, and tools to achieve the end product, whether it is an object, a service, a vision, or anything in between.

The term itself originates from rugby. When a minor infringement happens in the game, the team gathers up and discusses strategies on how to move forward and continue the game. In other words, scrum in both rugby and project management is about how to achieve a common goal together as a team.

Agile and scrum go hand in hand

Scrum is based on values and principles of agile. Agile means flexibility.

Agile is about:

  • Preferring individuals and interactions over processes and tools,
  • Prioritizing a working product over documentation,
  • Focusing on customer collaboration over contract negotiations, and
  • Following change instead of a pre-set plan.

Scrum and agile are especially prevalent in software development projects, but they offer a framework that fit many teams and topics. The basic principles and specific roles, meetings and tools can be applied to any project that may benefit from an agile approach more than the classic waterfall project management.

Project management is about people

These shifts of focus in project management bring the attention from minor details to the big picture where people, interaction, and communication are what matters. In scrum, work is done together, and the risks are carried together. The whole team owns the project and carry its responsibilities and share its success. This is why people are at the heart of scrum.

Read the next blog post to learn six benefits of scrum in project management.