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What is Scrum and Why You Should Use it for Your Agile Development

If you have been struggling to get your projects completed on time, efficiently and with fewer headaches, you will want to look seriously at the Scrum Agile development process.

SearchSoftwareQuality, an online tech publication, describes scrum as a project management concept for software development. The concept of scrum is that it is designed for use with multiple small teams working tightly together in almost a rigid format but all moving in same direction.

For software application development, Agile software development (ASD) is a technique on the creative side of the process that can foresee the need for flexibility allowing the finished product to be accomplished more quickly.

Put them together and you have the best of both applications to get a project off the ground quickly and efficiently: Scrum in Agile Development.

Break it Down

Scrum involves not just the adoption of a new business process or a framework for managing software development. It is a new way of transforming the way work has traditionally been managed before.

Steve Denning writes in Forbes that "Scrum is a solution to the problem of combining disciplined execution of high-level intellectual work with continuous innovation."

The practices of Scrum for software developers using terms such as “sprints”, “burn down charts”, “product owner”, “scrum-masters” basically comprise specific core practices that organize a team to breakdown exactly how a project will lay out and get completed in a much shorter and more organized amount of time. The teams allow a project to proceed in what are called "short cycles:"

  • The management doesn’t interrupt the team.
  • Define work goals through customer stories:
  • The team calculates how much time work will take:
  • The team decides how much work it can do in an iteration:
  • The team reports to the client.
  • The team measures its own performance:
  • Define work goals before each cycle starts:
  • Systematically remove impediments:
  • The team decides how to do the work in the iteration:

In an article written by Michael James about Scrum, James says that when the practices are organized in this way, beyond the realm of software development, they can be dynamic and link break from the traditional practices of ranked bureaucracy, where individuals reports to bosses to produce outputs.

Teams using the practices have been enormously productive. These were not just improvements that just slightly better than the norm. The most product teams usually obtain productivity gains of up to 400 percent, changes that are industry-changing improvements.

Some mixed implementation results of Scrum

Sometimes the results are mixed. The term assigned to this is “Scrum-butt.” These are examples of a failure to implement the full practices of Scrum. It's important to be sure to implement all the practices for it to work. Doing the work in short cycles but interrupting the team during the cycle, the potential gains in productivity don’t occur.

In part these problems of implementation have flowed from the way Scrum is sometimes viewed and introduced.

When you try to insert Scrum as a project management structure in a setting of a conventional management of ranked bureaucracy, there are unavoidable conflicts. Usually the existing culture will be triumphant.

This experience sometimes leads people to believe that Scrum is just another management fad that didn’t work.

What the experience really shows is the opposite: that ranked bureaucracy is a work culture that no longer fits the marketplace of today. Scrum works. It’s the conventional management culture that doesn’t work.

As a result, Scrum projects achieve higher customer satisfaction rates.

If you are ready to put Scrum and Agile technology and methods together, be sure to contact us and we can get you to a more efficient level of project management. 

Posted By Dwayne McGowan | 8/13/2015 6:22:42 PM