Agile businesses are successful businesses. This is especially true in a world that is growing increasingly more competitive in every sector and marketplace. But getting to agile isn’t always easy and it must be considered at every level of your business. However, nowhere is being agile more important than in the realm of software development.
An agile development team not only means your applications and services are able to get to market faster, but it also means those developers are able to more quickly pivot and shift according to market changes and demand.
That’s crucial in today’s world of business. Being able to shift to the tide of trends and business information can make the difference between success and failure.
But how do you level up your development teams to meet the demands of an agile pipeline? One of the first things you can do is employ scrum.
What is Scrum?
Scrum is an agile methodology that is adaptable, flexible, incremental, and iterative. Scrum divides projects into smaller chunks to make it possible to not only deliver individual features during the development lifecycle but also not be forced to wait until the whole project is complete before it can be debugged. This makes for a much more efficient software lifecycle. As well, scrum makes it easy to maintain a very high level of observability and transparency, so all stakeholders know how well a project is progressing.
But more importantly, scrum reinforces the need for open and constant communication with Sprints, Sprint Planning, Sprint Reviews (aka Stand Up Meetings), Sprint Retrospectives, and Daily Scrums. With these in place, all stakeholders will be fully aware of how everything progresses, what’s planned, and who’s doing what within the realm of the project.
Outside of that, why should your business employ scrum for project management? Let’s find out.
More Responsive Development
One of the best things about scrum is that it’s all about breaking a large project into smaller, more achievable pieces. By doing this (and being consistent at it), if something happens along the way, the entire project won’t get derailed.
For example, you might have broken down a web application into hundreds of tasks. One of those tasks is adding an animation to a menu. As the team (or developer) works on that task, they might have run into trouble and their progress slows down. Because you’re managing this project with scrum, that problem won’t cause a bottleneck for the project as a whole. All other developers can continue on as if nothing was wrong.
The team dealing with the problem, however, can focus only on that problem and get it resolved quickly. And because at the heart of scrum is constant progress review and adaptation, your teams won’t get stuck on that one issue for long.
One of the core tenets of scrum is responding to change over following a plan. So maybe the animation you were hoping for won’t work and the team in charge of the task can quickly adapt and find something better.
Better Control of the Project
The level of control you’ll find with scrum isn’t what you think. This isn’t about middle management coming down on developers to make them work faster. Instead, it’s about communication on a large scale. Every stakeholder has a voice and knows exactly what’s going on at all times.
Because of this, you will find a project is capable of self-control and self-correction. That’s crucial functionality for agile business. And with the constant flow of communication required by scum, you’ll find it’s not necessary to micromanage your developers. In the end, you’ll enjoy a very controlled development process, without having to enforce control.
More Accurate Planning and Project Tracking
By design, scrum lends itself to incredibly accurate planning and project tracking. However, you shouldn’t mistake this kind of planning with creating an overarching plan and sticking to it. Scrum is all about adaptability and constant change.
What this means, however, is that (because of how scum functions) you will always know what’s happening with every aspect of the project, which makes it easier for you to plan around the project.
As far as tracking the project, one only needs to look at the scrum board to find out how everything is progressing. It’s an at-a-glance update on where every task stands.
Stakeholders in Sync
Because scrum places constant communication at the center, every stakeholder is always in sync with one another. This means you won’t have to deal with developers, designers, marketing, management, admins, or operations being out of the loop.
And with the help of the daily Stand Up Meeting, not only will everyone know where the project stands but will be able to clearly see where it’s heading.
Better and Evolving Prioritization
At the heart of scrum are ever-changing priorities. When something happens to derail the process, adjustments can be made very quickly to not only resolve an issue but to re-prioritize tasks so a project doesn’t fall behind.
This has the added benefit of helping your business fine-tune a release cycle and know specifically when something will be ready for release. It also means your projects are focused more on getting things done than planning. Your developers will be able to spend more time doing what they do best, and less time in a meeting room.
If your business isn’t already making use of scrum, consider yourself behind the curve. To become truly agile, you need tools geared specifically toward empowering every team in your company toward that goal. Scrum should be at the top of your list of tools to use as you continue your digital transformation toward the realm of agile.