For those who are new to the world of software development, you may find yourselves wondering “What is Scrum?” when it is brought up in conversation. After all, the more common use of the word scrum refers to a rugby play where teams bunch up together in groups to fight for the ball, which hardly sounds relatable to software development.

As a software development company, we are doing our job to set the record straight and answer the question “What is Scrum?” We do this not only because we believe in educating our audience, but because we believe in the power of Scrum and Agile methodologies for increased efficiency in development projects. Without further ado, let’s answer the question: “What is Scrum development?”

what is scrum

What is Scrum development?

In simple terms, Scrum is an iterative and incremental agile software development framework for managing product development. However, unless you have gone through the Scrum development process before, this definition might not clarify your question of “What is Scrum?” So let’s break it down.

Scrum is both iterative and incremental, meaning that teams developing with Scrum perform similar actions over and over (known as Sprints) until the software is complete, whittling away the list of things (known as the backlog) that need to be completed before it is done. As for the Agile part of the equation, we need to understand the goal of Agile development and the mindset with which Agile was created.

The Agile mindset

The original idea behind Agile development was to create a framework for development projects that sought to do two things.

  1.     Create a product that perfectly fits the needs of the end-user (similar to UX design).
  2.     And to do so as efficiently as possible.

Ever since the original Agile manifesto, various frameworks like Scrum have emerged as solutions to this challenge. While there are other Agile development processes, Scrum has become one of the most popular and powerful methodologies out there. This is why software development teams have accepted Scrum and structure their projects to follow the Scrum framework.

Despite the fact that Agile development has been around for years, many are still wary of using these methodologies. Some are uncomfortable with the fact that you don’t have a clear idea of the end-product until it is completed, while others doubt the potency of Agile methods. In order to have a successful Scrum development, it will be important for you to educate your team on the process. Without full support, the project is doomed to fail.

Components of a Scrum project

Thankfully, we are here to walk you through the different components of a Scrum project and can help you to better answer questions like “What is Scrum?” when they inevitably come up. Let’s start by laying out the format for creating your Scrum team.

The Scrum team

Scrum begins with the product owner whose job it is to represent the final user’s best interest. It is the product owners job to help sort the backlog (more on that in a minute) and decide what does and doesn’t go into the final product.

The Scrum Master is the servant-leader of the Scrum development process. While they have no authority over decisions, they do have authority over the process and making sure things like the Scrum planning meeting go according to plan.

It is the job of the Scrum team to bring various specialties to the table and work together toward a common goal. Typically, these teams need to be smaller in size for maximized efficiency, so if you have a larger project, work with multiple teams instead of creating too large of a team.

software development project

The backlog

Now, you may be wondering what the Scrum team works on throughout the project. Known as “the backlog,” Scrum teams come together at the beginning of each sprint to pick parts of the backlog that they will work on over the length of the sprint (typically 1-2 weeks). It is the job of the product owner to supply the team with user stories which they turn into actionable goals.

The beauty of allowing the team to choose what they would like to work on means that everyone is excited about their part in the development. In fact, it’s actually been shown that Scrum development teams are happier than others due to the amount of autonomy and growth that is encouraged within the Agile framework.


Another aspect of Scrum that you might be wondering about are sprints. Sprints are the incremental and iterative part of Scrum we mentioned earlier, where teams try to complete as many items in a short period of 1-2 weeks as possible. Typically, projects will last for as many sprints as it takes to complete the development.

While some teams have trouble adapting to the fast-paced style of sprints, after seeing how efficient it can make a development, they often change their tone. The important part to remember here is that 100% transparency is necessary to get the most out of the Agile development process. Whether or not you feel proud of your work, giving an honest update on where you are allows the team to adapt and work through problems together.

The retrospective

The final component of the Scrum development process is the retrospective. This is a time to reflect on the project, how it could be improved, and what should be done differently in future developments. These meetings are important and again should be approached with 100% transparency and honesty for best results.

This will also be a time to measure how well your team did at creating a product that best fits the needs of end-users. Until the end, it may be hard to tell how well the development is working, but ultimately you will see just how important sticking to the Scrum methodology is to creating an exceptional product.

what is scrum development

Ultimate goal: maximized efficiency

As you reflect on the question of “What is Scrum?” and review this short Scrum guide, we want to leave you with a closing thought on the ultimate goal of Scrum development: maximized efficiency. As our world becomes more technologically advanced, Agile methodologies will continue to be necessary if businesses hope to keep up with the evolution of software and technology.

If you are planning on getting started with Scrum, there has never been a better time than now. So get out there and get your sprint on!