As a part of agile software development, Scrum is an iterative, incremental process that allows the customer to change requirements and specifications at any point in the development process. While it’s true that there are a wide variety of approaches, principles and methods involved in agile development, Scrum is a simple, effective way to manage the process within the modern tech landscape. Scrum was introduced in the 1980s, but it didn’t begin to really grow in popularity until the 1990s, when software development began trending toward smaller projects like apps and mobile technology. It is a straightforward approach, which makes it attractive to many project managers and tech teams. Especially for mobile projects, which can change rapidly due to the pace of innovation, Scrum is the best solution when flexibility is required. In general, Scrum aims to do the following:
- Improve customer service
- Deliver working software at a rapid pace
- Foster teamwork between stakeholders and developers
- Measure results based on completed work
- Allow teams to self-organize
- Audit regularly
Projects that can be separated into distinct sections of functionality are particularly well-suited to Scrum. It is important that such projects be able to be delivered within a fixed timeframe, or sprint, usually spanning one or two weeks. Unlike traditional waterfall approaches, Scrum doesn’t require the team to craft detailed requirements before work can start. It is flexible enough to shorten prep time. And if the team receives new feedback or the market changes, new sprints can be introduced with relative ease. Scrum requires face-to-face communication on a regular basis as well, and roles are clearly defined so that each team member knows their responsibilities.
Why Choose Scrum?
Teams may adopt Scrum because it allows them to better estimate the amount of work involved in a project. It can easily adapt to client changes and the fast-paced app market, for example. It also provides the flexibility required for modern marketplaces. Scrum can increase transparency as well, through daily standups and constant communication. In general, Scrum is known for creating an environment that values teamwork and skill development. It can also expose problems like inadequate resources and slacking because everyone is expected to pull their own weight. As Site Point puts it, “Scrum’s focus on flexibility, transparency, sustainability, reflection and the ability to estimate resources is perfectly matched to the expectation that companies with products in the web and mobile space can only survive if they are, well, agile.”
How to Implement Scrum
While the processes involved in Scrum are streamlined, the transition from waterfall to agile-based methods can be complex. It requires buy-in from stakeholders, as well as training and practice. We recommend the following general steps when beginning the process for your team:
- Identify roles (Scrum master, product owner, development team)
- Produce the product backlog
- Plan sprints
- Implement the first sprint
- Review the results of the sprint
- Release the product
- Audit the process and identify areas for improvement
For more information on how to implement the Scrum methodology successfully, as well as gain insight into best practices, check out our post on the topic here.