3 Pillars of Scrum Methodology for Software Development

Do you face challenges in managing complex projects and providing quality software products?

If yes, that’s where scrum helps you to meet your expectations.

However, before implementing scrum development methodology, you must have clear the fundamentals of the scrum to avoid common hurdles like quality issues, unclear goals, resource mismanagement, and inefficient processes.

So, how do you ensure to follow scrum properly?

In this article, learn about the three fundamental principles of scrum on which it is built or works. As you develop a clear understanding of all three pillars of scrum, it helps you to accomplish complex projects smoothly and efficiently. So, let’s dive into the post.

What is Empiricism in Scrum Method?

Empiricism means in scrum is an ideology that knowledge comes from experience and making decisions based on your observations and work being done. Empiricism is the foundational principle on which the scrum method operates.

The scrum method is influenced by the empiricism process which means it depends on three pillars of underlying agile principles that are ideally known as scrum pillars. Let’s understand the scrum three pillars in detail. If you want to properly understand these three pillars, you must be clear with the basics or meaning of scrum framework. By having a clear understanding, you would be properly understand these very important parts of scrum when implementing.

Which are the Three Pillars of Scrum?

The core 3 pillars of scrum methods are as follows.

  • Transparency
  • Inspection
  • Adaptation

Let’s know each of the pillars in detail.

  1. Transparency

    The first scrum pillar is transparency which requires you to make every part of your project readily visible and understandable to all your team members. In other words, transparency refers to having information about the status of work done, the work which is in progress, the results of work, and problems that may arise during development.

    By maintaining transparency, you ensure everyone has equal access to information and is on the same page, enabling every team member to take well-informed decisions. Transparency plays an important role in the successful execution of scrum projects. The reason is that the scrum method helps to create an environment of trust, and open communication, develop proper understanding, and enable better decision-made due to the excellent co-working process.

    How Does Transparency Contribute to the Success of Scrum Projects?

    In the next section, you learn how transparency helps you to build a proper and reliable team for successful scrum project development.

    • Daily scrum meeting: By conducting a daily meeting, your development team discusses project progress and tasks, and sets priorities and obstacles, if any. With this daily scrum, you develop transparency within your development team to make aware everyone of what is being worked on and why. As you make the work items, progress, and dependencies visible, everyone on the team develops a clear understanding of the status of the project, which helps to reduce confusion and mismanagement.
    • Building trust: Transparency results in enabling trust between your team members, stakeholders, and the broader organization. As you make your work visible and open for review and feedback, you ensure there is nothing to hide. Therefore, you can build trust and encourage team member morale, enhance cooperation, and encourage the development team to a better productive work environment. Also, discussing the challenges or problems helps you find the solutions faster, and your overall development progress doesn’t get hindered.
    • Improves decision-making: When the state of the project and its progress is transparent, you and your team can make more informed decisions. Moreover, you also need to ensure that every team member is free to share their thoughts and ask questions, if any. This way, you can identify potential issues at an early stage of development and avoid slow development or minimize the impact of problems.

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    How Do You Encourage Transparency in a Scrum Environment?

    Let’s know the best practices for building complete transparency during your software development.

    • Create product backlog: As a scrum team member, your product backlog should be well-organized, understandable, and visible to all stakeholders. A product backlog includes the list of tasks, priorities of within tasks, estimates of time, and progress on each.
    • Sprint burndown chart: This tool visualizes the amount of work remaining in a sprint, offering transparency into the team’s progress and how much work remains.
    • Daily scrum meetings: These daily meetings provide an opportunity for the team to synchronize their activities, discuss progress, and plan for the next 24 hours. It ensures that everyone is on the same page and any obstacles are shared and dealt with promptly.
    • Regular reviews and retrospectives: Sprint reviews allow the team to demonstrate the work done during the sprint to stakeholders, facilitating transparency about the product’s current state. Retrospectives encourage transparency about the process, allowing the team to discuss what went well and what did not, and make plans for improvements.
  2. Inspection

    As its name suggests, inspection means regularly checking the progress of your development work to find potential risks and areas of improvement. When you regularly check your work, it helps you to track your progress goals. Mainly, the key opportunities come into highlight during scrum events such as the daily scrum, sprint review, and sprint planning meetings.

    That means you and your agile team should review the work done during short time intervals called Sprints. And assess if your work aligns with the project goals or not. This way, you fulfil the purpose of inspection in scrum and ensure that the product is developing in the right direction and is adapted as necessary to new information or changes in circumstance.

    What Do You Need to Inspect When Implementing Scrum Practice?

    When practicing scrum, here are the necessary aspects to inspect.

    • Product increment: The product increment—the usable outcome produced at the end of each sprint—is the main artifact you and your team should inspect. The product increment should be in a usable condition and meet the team’s definition of “done.”
    • Sprint progress: You also need to frequently inspect the progress towards the sprint goal. This will allow you to identify whether the team is on track or if any adjustments are needed to achieve the sprint’s objective.
    • Product backlog: The product backlog, which contains the list of tasks to be done, should be inspected and updated regularly. This ensures that the backlog reflects the most current understanding of the project.
    • Scrum artifacts: In addition to the product increment and the product backlog, other scrum artifacts such as the sprint backlog should also be inspected regularly.
    • Scrum process: The scrum process itself should be inspected, especially during the sprint retrospective. This allows the team to reflect on the process and identify areas for improvement. To learn more about the process, read our detailed guide on scrum software development.

    How Does Inspection Help to Improve Processes and Deliverables?

    Here are the important points where inspection in scrum helps.

    • Detecting deviations: Regular inspections help you to detect deviations from the plan early. As you identify the deviations, you take proper actions and minimize potential damage and keep your project on track before any significant issues arise.
    • Learning and improvement: Through inspection, you and your scrum team can identify what is working well and what is not. When you know which aspects are working properly for your project, you can continuously learn and improve the product development process for improved and expected results.
    • Adaptation to change: Inspection allows you to respond to changes more effectively. By regularly reviewing the project status and external factors, you can adapt your plans to accommodate changes, whether they’re from stakeholders, users, or the market.
    • Quality assurance: By inspecting the product increment, you ensure it meets the definition of “done” and is of high quality. This helps to maintain the product’s value to the customer and avoid problems down the line.
  3. Adaptation

    Adaptation refers to the process of adjusting your work to the feedback that arises after inspecting your entire project development work. Adjusting your work as per stakeholders’ or customer feedback is one of the core or fundamental parts of using scrum methodology.

    At this stage, you need to make changes or improvements in real-time as quickly as possible to maximize the value of your work and reduce the risks, if any. Adaptation results into course correction based on inspection results. Also, you need to ensure that as part of the scrum team, you must be ready to adapt to significant problems.

    Certainly, adaptation is not possible without the above two pillars of scrum because for adaptation, first of all, transparency and then inspection plays important roles. Therefore, you have to make while following scrum, you follow it as your bible. This way, you ensure to create that provides value to the end-users.

    Which Approaches Can Development Team Adopt to Facilitate Adaptation?

    Here are the important points where inspection in scrum helps.

    • Feedback loops: In scrum, feedback loops are built into each sprint through daily scrum meetings, sprint reviews, and sprint retrospectives. By firmly following these aspects of scrum, you ensure to check your work frequently and adapt the feedback to get the expected results.
    • Incremental delivery: By delivering work in small increments, you can adapt more easily based on stakeholder or customer feedback. If there’s something wrong, or something could be done better, you’ve only built a small portion, and it’s easier to change.
    • Empirical process control: Scrum is based on the principle of empiricism, which means knowledge comes from experience and making decisions based on what is known. By regularly inspecting and then adapting, you are employing empirical process control.
    • Frequent reviews: Through a sprint review meeting, you and your team get to review what has been achieved in the sprint and adapt the product backlog if necessary. It’s an opportunity to inspect the outcome and adjust the plan.
    • Daily scrum meeting: The daily scrum meeting allows you and your entire team to inspect the work since the last meeting and adjust the plan for the upcoming work period. This allows for frequent and minor adjustments, keeping the team on track toward the sprint goal.

This is all about the three pillars of the scrum framework. We have discussed in detail the transparency, inspection, and adaptation.

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Remember, all three scrum pillars are interconnected and interdependent. So to get maximum results from scrum, you need to ensure these principles are followed in the proper direction. Next, let’s check the FAQ related to scrum pillars and values.

FAQ About Scrum Pillars

  1. What challenges can arise when implementing the three pillars?

  2. Here are the common challenges that are faced while implementing three pillars.

    • Lack of transparency due to poor communication
    • Fear of criticism
    • Lack of trust
    • Insufficient inspection due to heavy workload
    • Overlooking the importance of regular reviews
    • Resistance to adaptation
    • No continuous improvement
  3. Who is responsible for implementing the three pillars of scrum?

  4. Everyone in the scrum team, including the product owner, the scrum master, and the development team, is responsible for implementing the three pillars. The scrum master, in particular, plays a crucial role in ensuring that the team understands and follows scrum values and principles.

  5. Which are real-world examples where the three pillars play a crucial role in the success of scrum projects?

  6. In 2009, Salesforce started using scrum and its three pillars for its projects. By being transparent about progress, regularly inspecting their work, and adapting their process, they reduced the average release cycle from 9-12 months to just a month. This increased productivity and reduced time-to-market significantly.

Choose Scrum for Your Next Project Development

In conclusion, the three pillars of scrum – Transparency, Inspection, and Adaptation – are the foundation for successful project management, promoting better teamwork, constant improvement, and flexibility. The scrum values and principles enable an entire agile team to consistently deliver high-quality work that meets the needs of the ever-changing business environment.

If you want to learn about scrum or are looking to hire a scrum master for your project, let’s talk. We are one of the most reliable software development services providers in Canada, having experience in developing 300+ custom solutions.

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Rakesh Patel

Written by

Rakesh Patel is the Founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies (Canada). He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books – Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311

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