There are many reasons for using the Scrum framework for your work. Some of the reasons may be the popular Scrum facilities to handle complex problems in the face of dynamically changing requirements. However, other reasons for using Scrum may be quite subjective and commercial. The article also examines the reasons why an organization will not intentionally use the Scrum framework in its work, even when circumstances warrant it.
Over the last twenty years, we have seen an intense development of technology and rapidly changing and growing needs on the part of businesses and end-users in many areas, such as consumer goods, media, marketing and more.
We can undoubtedly be defined as the most dynamically developing telecommunications and information technologies. For these areas, classical project management theory is unproductive because of its very static nature. It does not allow efficient and economical management of the constant changes in the requirements and scope of projects caused by the continuous flow of innovations.
In order to respond to these rapidly changing changes and the emerging need for a more flexible and adaptable system in software production, a fundamentally new direction in project management, called Agile Software Development, is being developed, with its core values being:
- People and relationships are more important than processes and tools.
- Running software is more important than complex documentation.
- Constant interaction with the client, not adherence to contracts.
- Responding to change, not inseparably following a pre-built plan.
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The Rebellion of the Scrum and Agile methodology
The hefty procedures that generate a huge amount of documentation – perhaps useful for the purpose of the project, but absolutely pointless to the end client
focusing on processes, plans, and contracts, leading to great bureaucracy, difficult reorientation of priorities and waste of energy and energy
Instead, lightweight procedures are offered that are geared towards generating a quality product for the benefit of the customer, building on the interaction between participants (customers and developers) and integrating the ability to constantly change goals and requirements.
When you adopt a set of principles related to the Agile methodology and put them into practice in the right framework, using the necessary collaboration tools, you usually get better quality and faster-developed applications that enjoy better technical specifications. By far the most popular Agile framework, with many prerequisites, to be defined as Scrum is the most effective.
Scrum’s immense popularity (not just in the software industry) is due to its simplicity and ease of implementation. The methodology defines only organizational and social practices, leaving the choice of managerial and technological. We will now briefly review its structure so that we can understand to the fullest extent how it works and why it is so effective.
The Sprints in Scrum
The Scrum process consists of separate iterations called sprints. Usually the length of the sprint is one month. A system version is installed at the end of each sprint. A client meeting is held and an acceptance test is passed.
Subsequent discussions with the client evaluate the outcome of the development and identify goals for the next sprint. At a separate meeting of the development team goals are broken down into tasks, each task is evaluated as time and allocated to one of the developers. The tasks are saved in a special table called backlog, which is updated daily and shows the amount of work remaining until the end of the sprint.
During the sprint, the so-called standing meetings. These meetings last from 5 to 15 minutes and are held daily at a specific hour. At the meeting, each team member informally talks about three things:
- What did the previous day do?
- What are you planning for the day ahead?
- What problems did he encounter that prevent him from working?
The meeting also updates the backlog, noting the work done. If any problems are identified, they are solved collectively. It is important to note that these are not meetings for reporting to the management, but for synchronization (self-organization) of the team and revealing potential obstacles in the work. Scrum’s specific practices are:
- Standing meetings daily.
- Product backlog: A list of current sprint tasks and their status.
- Burndown chart: A graphical equivalent of a backlog showing the work remaining in percentages or hours.
- Self-organizing team: The team does not follow pre-assigned tasks, and each member strives to contribute to the sprint goals – each day he or she takes on the tasks for which he or she is responsible.
Work meetings and discussions with the client and the team after each sprint.
After sketching the structure of Scrum, we can now go into detail about the reasons for its effectiveness.
The main reason for the organization to include Scrum in its production processes is that it is originally designed to bring more flexibility and adaptability to the software development process. There is no need to define all the possible answers to the questions that may arise in the overall development process, as is the case with a consistent approach. Instead, the problems are broken down into small components that are subsequently developed and tested with consumer involvement. If something does not work well or does not meet the original requirements, this approach allows for quick adaptation of effort, fixing inaccuracies, or even changing the overall strategy. In short, this means:
- A continuous process of inspection and adaptation of progress.
- Continuous improvement cycle.
- Identify problems in a timely manner and solve them quickly and effectively.
- High quality of the work process – allows unique and autonomous thinking and stimulates communication within the team.
- Provides adequate and continuous feedback from the business, the market, and the end-user.
By defining specific time intervals for work and meetings, maximum workflow efficiency is ensured.
So far, we have fixed the main strengths of the Scrum methodology. For maximum clarity on what makes Scrum so effective in managing workflows, we will delve into them in more detail and detail.
Scrum and Transparency of the workflow
The first thing I will emphasize is the Transparency of the workflow. This concept contains the main positives of Scrum. Its achievement is broadly based on the consistent use of inspection and adaptation of events (daily Scrum Meetings for Review and Retrospectives) that encourage communication of team members about the obstacles they face.
It is transparency that enables the team to inspect their work and progress and adapt when they see opportunities for improvement, which results in them and the organization as a whole going into a continuous cycle of improvement.
Another positive that comes from the transparency of Scrum’s processes is the facilitation of communication within and outside the team. In everyday work, the main form of communication is personal contact. This increases the efficiency of information exchange and reduces the possibility of errors. A high level of cooperation is achieved through open discussion and probing of ideas, constant analysis of problems and mistakes, which leads to new more creative practical models for their solution.
As I mentioned in the beginning, Scrum allows for unique and autonomous thinking. What does this mean in practice and what is the benefit?
First of all, it means that Scrum is always open to communication, in which the personal qualities, experience, knowledge, and skills of the people involved in it are fundamental to its success. As a result, different thinking, ideas, and approaches give all perspectives and perspectives.
In this way, the team comes up with more effective and unique methods for dealing with problems and improving the quality of work processes and products. These processes increase people’s motivation to think and express themselves, as well as to constantly improve themselves.
People who participate in Scrum are more productive and happy because they have the ability to control their work and time themselves. For example, engineers have a say in how much work they will take, how long they will take, and they feel good about demonstrating the results of their efforts at certain intervals.
Scrum and the Product Backlog
Another very important benefit of Scrum is that the tasks in the so-called Product backlog are defined clearly and understandably and must be visible and easily accessible to all. This way the team can focus on ongoing activities related to the specific Sprint. Tasks are done in stages without people spilling into side things or doing several at once. This allows the weaknesses of the product to be defined and remedied and refined at the current stage of the project and then the team moves on to the next Sprint.
Integrating an entire application with Scrum
Integrating an entire application under development can take a long time, during which the needs and requirements of the business and end-user change. The negative effect of these processes has become an advantage in Scrum as it enables the team to gradually demonstrate their work, and thus receive constant feedback for it. This provides for predictability of events and risk control, through focused and careful monitoring of changes and patterns of change.
Product managers have the opportunity to monitor on a regular basis, their vision transformed from developers into a real product, and together they can make constant changes to optimize the project. They see how the app works and what needs to be improved in real-time. In practice, this means a continuous improvement of its technical characteristics and design, which leads to increased flexibility and competitiveness, ie. its value.
Generally speaking, the two pillars of Scrum process efficiency are the working product, as a major measure of progress, and the continuous improvement of work processes. On a regular basis, it is checked, updated, developed and adapted to the needs of the market and the customer. The timeframes for reaching a work product are significantly shortened due to its adaptability and constantly adjusting, correcting and improving the nature of work processes. On this basis, we can safely conclude that Scrum can meet the needs of the organization that decided to implement it to a satisfactory degree, as long as its principles are well known and respected.