Scrum is a simple and flexible software development methodology or framework. Scrum framework introduces alternatives to traditional project management systems such as Waterfall or Sequential development. In scrum we only have three roles; product owner who represents the clients or users, the scrum master who is the silent leader and the team.
From my experience, additional roles are not needed since they don’t usually bring extra benefits. The Scrum framework covers all the necessary aspects for successful software and product development. Instead of additional roles it is possible to have a product owner team, where the different product owners cover different areas of the product. Depending on the degree of innovation and uncertainty in your project, this might be even necessary since one product owner alone might be overloaded with covering product backlog, user test or constraints for example.
Unlike the other methodologies, Scrum is an agile framework which is highly optimised to react to any changes within the development process to suit the vision of the product owners. In scrum, there are numerous opportunities for the product owners and the team to access the direction the project is taking within the development cycle. This is one of the major benefits of this methodology.
Contrast this to the other methodologies where the product owner who has the vision for the product isn’t in constant communication with the team thus leading to the possibility of a mismatch between the vision and the product. This can be quite expensive in terms of time and money. In Scrum, the team is in constant communication, any impediment, weakness, and risks are easily spotted and remedial actions taken.
Another major benefit of working with Scrum for software development is the competitiveness it affords. The market today changes much faster than it used to several years ago. This means that relevancy of a particular product could easily change within a very short period. The flexibility that Scrum offers helps deal with this situation. Teams can react in a faster manner this affords the development team the confidence that whatever they are working on is what the client and market needs.
Scrum encourages efficient collaboration and teamwork between all the participants. The product owner, scrum master, and the team hold regular meetings to communicate progress, changes, new ideas, feedback or problems arising. This is a basis for a successful project and ensures customer satisfaction. There is transparency all along the project. Agreed timeline are observed. There is high visibility of progress and predictable rhythm. In the end, there is mutual respect not to mention the fun that comes with collaborative functioning. However, one thing I often see going wrong is that people actually respect the Scrum framework and rules but they fail to respect the principles of the Agile Manifesto, which is the underlying core for an Agile software development project. Ensure that you and your team are familiar with the Agile Manifesto instead of applying Scrum without it. As long as Agile principles are respected, Scrum works very well.
Scrum is a flexible software development methodology and will be easily adopted for any project. It is especially good for new product development, small growing organisations, and teams willing to adopt a new culture that enhances teamwork, collaboration, and enhanced performance. On the other hand, Scrum might be the best for large organisations that are already well established with little need for change. Such organisations tend to have rigid organisational structures and operational commitments which make decision making slow.
Scrum is a transformative agile product development methodology that helps teams work in a better way. It has become popular among development teams due to the many benefits it offers.
About the author
The author, Maik Seyfert, is an Agile practitioner and coach with 10 years real project experience, which he offers to everyone with his book “The Agile Manifesto Unfolds” and on his blog http://www.lostconsultants.com
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