What actually is SCRUM?

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SCRUM is not an acronym, but is derived from the English word for "scrum". It refers to an approach in agile software development and in the rest of project and product management, which was first described in the mid-1990s. The word is intended to indicate that in very complex projects, teams and ideas cooperate and compete at times in a very crowded manner.

Meaning of SCRUM

SCRUM implements the Lean Development in project management (especially in software development). Through compliance with the Rules development takes place in a leaner and more targeted manner. There are only a few rules that

  • five activities,
  • three artifacts and
  • three rollers

of the SCRUM core. There is a guide and its abridged version, the Agile Atlas. The rules are described there. However, these only concern the basics. Each company concretizes a SCRUM framework by developing techniques to implement the defined rules. SCRUM is thus considered a meta-idea that gives users freedom in its implementation.

This idea is based on the incorporation of experience (empirical), continuous further development during the development process (incremental) and the repetition of proven strategies (iterative). Behind this is the experience that very complex development projects - typical of software development, for example - cannot be fully planned from the outset. At the beginning of the project, both essential requirements and the appropriate solution approaches are initially unclear.


By creating intermediate results, the ambiguities are gradually eliminated. In this way, the final result emerges more quickly. If, on the other hand, a "finished" plan were created from the beginning, those involved would probably have to constantly refine it during development. This not only slows down the team, it can and will also lead to the need to revise earlier steps.

Typical application of SCRUM in software development

Should a client commission a project such as an online store, there are a wide variety of requirements to consider. For example, the project development team will propose a layout and a technical design for the placement of products. Already these two components can compete with each other, but this may not be the biggest problem. After all, there is also the following Online Marketing for the store, which the contractor as a web design and marketing company typically does as well.


Online marketing is tied to, among other things, onpage SEO, which is an aspect of optimization on the website itself, which in turn can compete with technical design. The technical designer might suggest certain frames for product categories that only more or less fit the requirements of onpage SEO (because search engines can crawl keywords poorly in some frames).

Through SCRUM development, the two developers for technical design and online marketing already compete, cooperate and interact at the point where it is initially only about creating the product categories. This indeed seems "pushed" (= scrum), but saves the team from either having to change the technical design again at the end of the process or only being able to design the onpage SEO suboptimally.

What should clients know about SCRUM?

Client, unless they themselves Project developer are not initially very familiar with the complex set of SCRUM rules and the work under the aegis of a "meta-idea". Therefore, it would possibly lead too far to describe all roles, artifacts and activities in detail. However, it would be important to know that a client - in the case described, the later store operator - knows that he is continuously involved in the development process due to the SCRUM strategy.

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