Scrum is a tool originally used in software development as a creative way to get products or results both effectively and efficiently. It emphasizes creative and adaptive teamwork to solve complex problems and reveals where a team performs well and where more coordination is needed. The method is designed for teams of three to nine members. Work packages are created that can be completed within timeboxed iterations, called sprints (30 days or less, most commonly two weeks). The daily progress is tracked and re-planned in daily 15-minute stand-up meetings, called scrums.


There are always two pre-defined roles in the team:

  • The Product Owner prepares a prioritized list of tasks – the product or sprint backlog – and is responsible for the success of the project. A team takes over the tasks from the backlog during the sprint planning and completes them in a pre-defined period (sprint). In the end, the results are presented to the customer in a sprint review. Within a sprint, a team creates real results rather than rough sketches. In the process the team is completely free and decides on its own how to proceed.
  • The Scrum Master makes sure that the team can work without interruption. He/she ensures that everyone understands and follows the process.


Further readings

  • Maximini, D. (2015). The scrum culture. Introducing agile methods in organizations. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
  • Schwaber, K., & Sutherland, J. (2017). The scrum guide: Rules of the game.
  • Van Ruler, B. (2014). Reflective communication scrum. Recipe for accountability. The Hague, Netherlands: Eleven International.