Scrum Management
Project Management

4 min read

Scrum Management: Empowering Gig Workers in the Project Hustle


Dec 2023


Are you hustling with projects in the fast-paced gig economy?

Have you ever been involved in a project that always threw you into a spin of changing deadlines, changing client needs, and always having to juggle?

Well, as a freelancer or small-scale entrepreneur, it’s implied that you’re dealing with multiple roles and projects each with a unique set of demands and requirements. And that’s where Scrum Management wins the spotlight.

Scrum is an agile framework that’s not just for big corporations or software development teams but also a great choice for you- freelancers and gig workers. Hold on tight as we reveal how scrum can revolutionize the way you manage your freelancing projects and tasks.

Are you ready to see how you can use Scrum as your trick to win in a gig economy project?

Let's dive in detail -:


What is Scrum in Project Management?

Scrum is a flexible project management approach that focuses on teamwork, iterative progress, and adaptability in software engineering. Scrum divides work into sprints of typically two to four weeks in which teams address top priorities.

In scrum management, stand-up meetings occur daily and address issues of progress, problems, and adjustments. It applies self-organizing, cross-functional teams as well as product owners to define and prioritize tasks for flexibility and evolution within the project span.

Typically, it helps people and teams in delivering value incrementally with a collaborative and cohesive approach.

flexible project management approach - kroolo

What Does a Scrum Board Look Like?

The Scrum Guide was first introduced in 1995 as a better way of team collaboration for solving complex problems. A Scrum board typically consists of 3 main columns:

1. To-Do/Backlog: Mark your tasks addressed or completed in this column. The product owner often ranks these tasks.

2. In Progress: This column lists tasks that team members are currently doing. It illustrates the activities going on in a sprint.

3. Done: This is where completed tasks are moved to. It lets you track your progress made and what has been done in the sprint.

4In Review: Involves verifications and testing of the done activities.

5. On Hold: Includes tasks you should not do in this Scum sprint, but they can be included during subsequent sprint planning sessions.



Scrum Master vs. Project Manager:  Contrasting Roles

Scrum Master

The role of the Scrum Master is to facilitate and advocate for the Scrum process in a way that the team understands and uses Scrum principles correctly. It involves leading the teams through sprint planning, daily standups, sprint reviews, and retrospectives.

Additionally, they aid in handling the Scrum artifacts like product backlog, sprint backlog, and increment. The roles of the scrum master are -:

  • Facilitator of scrum process: Leads the team through scrum meetings and ensures that scrum is applied appropriately.
  • Coach and mentor: The facilitator also guides, coaches, and mentors the team to create a cooperative environment that is also self-organizing.
  • Impediment remover: Removes obstacles that obstruct the team’s path toward their objectives.
  • Servant-leader: Works as a team leader, allowing the team to be involved in decision-making processes and self-directed work.


Project Manager (in a Traditional Setting)

In contrast, the Project Manager in the conventional project control system manages the whole project by planning, executing, or controlling it.

The work of project managers entails resource allocation, budgeting, mitigation of risks, and making sure the project is successful within specific constraints. Team members are usually subordinates to project managers who direct them in making decisions.

  • Holistic Project Oversight: Overall control of the project’s lifecycle includes planning, implementation, and control.
  • Resource and Budget Management: Provide leadership, allocate resources, manage budgets, and maintain compliance with project constraints.
  • Directive Leadership: Adopts a directive leadership approach, wherein the leader makes critical decisions to supervise subordinates directly.
  • Risk Mitigation: Analyze and manage risks associated with the project towards completion.

Essentially, the scrum master leads the scrum process by empowering the team to self-organize, whereas the project manager takes the lead in orchestrating the project’s execution. These differentiations are made in ways they address issues, the subjects they consider, and the way they relate among the team.


Does Scrum Work for Any Team?

However, scrum is not universal but it exceeds product development or engineering teams. With continuous improvement, the scrum framework allows any team to attain excellent outcomes. Evaluating the advantages and drawbacks of using Scrum can help you in decision-making -:

Pros of the scrum methodology

Scrum works great with any team that needs a quick turnaround time for continuous product delivery, from software to non-traditional “products” such as marketing campaigns and creative ventures. Notable benefits include:

  • Adaptability: Scrum adapts to previous sprint cycles’ lessons and the market environment.
  • Clear Roles: Roles in sprints are well-defined so that every member remains focused.
  • ROI Focus: Releases in increments that prioritize tasks with a high return on investment.
  • Risk Mitigation: The process becomes more robust as feedback is built in within sprints, reducing major errors.


Cons and solutions of the scrum methodology

It is worth noting that because of the adaptable nature of scrum, scope creep is a common issue among some projects. This is mitigated by setting clear sprint objectives and defining ‘Done’ criteria. An effective way of handling unforeseen changes is implementing a change control process.

Meetings can be frequent. For example, modifying the daily stand-up format or rotating leadership roles during meetings inject new perspectives into the process and optimize it.

However, implementing scrum outside the product or engineering context could cause difficulties. Overcome this by aligning scrum processes to the existing pain points, undertaking intensive training, and highlighting how scrum principles address team-specific needs.


What is the Difference Between a Scrum Board and a Kanban Board?

1. Time-boxed vs. Continuous flow

Scrum board (Time-boxed): Scrum divides work into time-limited iterations referred to as sprints (2 – 4 weeks). The sprint backlog is depicted by the Scrum board, where columns stand for the stages of work relevant to that particular sprint (To-do, In progress, and Done). Attention is centered on finishing several agreed activities before the end of the sprint time.

Kanban board (Continuous flow): Kanban works on continuous delivery, with no fixed iterations. The board shows the whole production process step-by-step where one column is for one stage (e.g. backlog, analysis, development, testing, done). These stages are constant in the process of work, depending on the capacity and priority, which enable a flexible time frame for task accomplishment and completion.

2. Work capacity and commitment

Scrum Board: In sprint planning the scrum team agrees to accomplish a certain number of backlog items in the sprint. This commitment is also reflected in the board where the board focuses on accomplishing the desired tasks before the sprint ends.

Kanban Board: The work is pulled from capacity as allowed without assigning specific targets to each stage. Visualization of the flow of work is the focus, and the board usually bears indicators (for example, WIP limits) to keep the workload manageable at each phase.

3. Flexibility and adaptability

• Scrum Board: Changes to the committed work items during the sprint hinder focus and undermine the sprint goal. Most of the time, changes are dealt with in the next sprint planning.

• Kanban Board: With Kanban, there is more flexibility as changes in priority or tasks can be made almost immediately due to demand, available capacity, or changing needs. It does not have rigid time periods, and this makes it easy to accommodate different priorities.


Frequently Asked Questions 

1. Is scrum applicable in freelancing operations or gig work?

Absolutely! Freelancers and gig workers can be flexible by using scrum principles like iterative planning, client collaboration, and incremental delivery of projects that result in increased productivity and satisfied clients.

2. What is the core function of scrum and how relates it to freelancing?

Freelancers need not have the specific roles of the Scrum Master or the Product Owner, but they may simply take on these roles for themselves. They function as both product owner (defining needs of the project), and development teams in task performance, client alignment, and going ahead with a particular project.

3. Can short-term projects with tight deadlines be managed by scrum?

Yes, Scrum can work for jobs that do not go beyond a fixed duration. Breaking work into pieces, prioritizing it, and delivering iteratively are effective ways of managing the time of freelancers so they do not fail to meet deadlines while maintaining quality.

4. What are the common challenges faced when implementing scrum?

Challenges may include:

  • Resistance to change in established processes
  • Estimating and prioritizing tasks
  • Ensuring a constant level of dedication from the team
  • Applying scrum outside of software development settings

5. Can all projects be managed with Scrum?

Scrum is flexible and depends on the project’s type. It is suitable for highly flexible projects, frequent deliveries, and adjustable planning. Nevertheless, other methodologies like the waterfall may suit projects with tight requirements or that do not allow iteration.

6. How long is a sprint in Scrum?

Sprints usually span from a period of two to four weeks. The duration of the project is fixed upon mutual agreement between the scrum team and is constant throughout the project.


Elevate Project Management with Scrum Management

Gig workers, this is how scrum fits into your freelancer’s toolkit. Scrum management is a flexible approach that works in the environment of uncertain projects, and conquers the gig economy! As you wrap this journey through the scrum universe, imagine what impact the agile framework could have in your freelance gig game!

Adopting an open attitude, being adaptable, and constantly providing value in increments, in short cycles, is not about managing gigs but organizing an orchestra for project success. Apply these Scrum-based tips to your freelance setting and transform into a new-age superhero when it comes to conquering your projects with style.

Cheers to scrum, your ace up your sleeve for project victory in our dynamic gig economy!

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Project Management