Scrum is defined and described in The Scrum Guide, which was published by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland in 1995 and is continuously updated. Schwaber and Sutherland define Scrum as follows:
"A framework within which people can tackle complex adaptive tasks and through which they are enabled to productively and creatively deliver products with the highest possible value. (Schwaber, Ken; Sutherland Jeff: The Scrum Guide. Definition of Scrum, July 2013, www.scrumguides.org)
The scrum method is a type of agile project management and it was developed for teams to work more effectively together in order to develop a product. Its main feature is that it is a simple framework that helps teams to collaborate better on complex projects. The emphasis of this method is on collaboration, self-management and –organization, flexibility and adaption. Scrum employs the idea of empirical process control, i.e. it observes the real progress and not just a forecast to plan and schedule a project. Schedules are divided into short events, also called “sprints”, and after each one is finished the completed work is assessed and necessary changes to the project objectives can be made by the Scrum team. This helps control risks and optimize their predictability.
The scrum method is popular with managers and developers because it is a framework with a simple set of rules, defining the roles and responsibilities of the Scrum team. It is very effective because instead of giving the teams specific tasks, they are given a set of objectives, so they can decide on and develop their own tactics of how to achieve the objectives most effectively. The constant progress assessment in short time intervals allows for quick reactions to necessary change and it also helps the team see what they have already accomplished in that time.
The scrum method was developed for teams to deal with complex product development tasks and offers them a simple set of rules to deal with the complexity of the process: the three Scrum artifacts, three Scrum roles and five Scrum events.