Scrum is an approach to agile project management.
Contrary to the classic waterfall method it uses statistical process control to guide the development of complex projects, such as in software development.
What this means is replacing the large master project plan with an ongoing series of small development cycles planned on a small scale.
For each cycle, called sprint, a small piece of product functionality is selected from the backlog of pending work in a planning meeting and is completed so that it could be released.
At the end of the sprint, the results are reviewed, experiences are analyzed in a Retrospective and the direction for the next cycle is adjusted. With Scrum we therefore try things out and derive changes to the direction from that. This the core principle of statistical control and is also what makes Scrum so useful for complex, hard to predict processes such as software development.
Scrum puts a strong emphasis on teamwork and close collaboration. It is largely antithetical to functional waterfalls.
Scrum does not require any sophisticated planning tools, but it is critical to maintain transparency at all times. The current status, including progress information in a Burndown or Burnup chart is displayed to everybody involved, e.g. on paper. At Openbravo we use a Google Spreadsheets template to make things easy also for colleagues who are traveling or remote.
Since 2008 all product development teams at Openbravo have adopted Scrum to control their work.
If you are working in or with a Scrum team at Openbravo, please see the followings How-tos for more information: