In this Scrum review, we’ll go over some of the best benefits of Scrum as a methodology. Specifically, we’re going to look at the reasons people love it, how to use Scrum in business, and where to find the best resources for coaching Scrum. After reading this article, you should be well on your way to choosing the Scrum development method that’s right for you.
Focus on cost-to-market and cost-to-users
The first benefit of Scrum is its focus on cost-to-market and cost-to-users. This may sound obvious, but many software development methodologies are too focused on cost to deliver value to their users. For instance, in today’s Scrum Alliance report, 87 percent of survey participants identified only one of the three issues as the primary driver of poor project management. Poor scope/scalability, schedule, or budget management directly affects both stakeholders and users. Thus, by emphasizing cost-to-consumer, Scrum seeks to address two of the three biggest problems in today’s marketplace.
Emphasis on user happiness
Another great benefit of Scrum is its emphasis on user happiness. Many software development methodologies fail to take into consideration the needs of the people who will be using the application. By listening carefully to every employee from the first day until the end of the project, scrum project management methodology addresses this issue head-on. The result is a better working environment where employees feel valued and are well informed about what is happening in their department. For many companies, this alone can translate into higher productivity, increased profitability, and better engagement from customers and clients.
Focus on short sprints
Finally, one of the main benefits of Scrum is its focus on short sprints. Small increments within large projects can provide a lot of benefits, especially when the smaller tasks are paired with proper feedback and reviews from the Scrum team. In this manner, smaller, more focused sprints provide greater value to the Scrum methodology. As such, Scrum should be used as a principal agile resource for reducing risk in software development.
Provides an agile environment
One of the largest benefits of Scrum is that it provides an agile environment where everything is tested during the entire life cycle. The test suites conducted by the Scrum team include a combination of traditional black-box and white-box testing. White-box testing, also known as “unit testing,” involves the examination of an application from a customer’s point of view. Black-box testing, on the other hand, examines software applications from the standpoint of a software engineer. While these two types of testing yield very different results, both ensure that better product quality is achieved.
Incorporate new product development ideas
Because Scrum encourages fast innovation, its sprint plans often incorporate new product development ideas early in the iteration. Because of this, Agile processes typically run at a much earlier stage in a project than waterfall projects. Because the testing phase is much earlier in Agile, there is a decreased likelihood of bugs being introduced into the product before its complete completion. Along with this, the developers can use this testing time to implement any ideas that came from the user feedback. In addition, because the iterations are smaller, the possibility of meeting the defined requirements of a client is greatly increased.
Finally, there are the increased Agile scrum cycle times and the resulting customer satisfaction. Because there is a direct correlation between the time it takes to develop a deliverable and its value to the organization, Agile processes typically deliver better product quality at a faster rate. Furthermore, the speed at which Agile delivers new products means that they can meet the deadline much earlier in comparison to waterfall projects. In effect, Agile has the ability to increase the overall organization’s revenue.
Scrum is not a perfect match for waterfall projects, but its advantages certainly outweigh its disadvantages. While Scrum may not be able to completely remove all of the drawbacks associated with the waterfall project management method, it certainly does help make the process more efficient and effective. Given the increased productivity that can be derived from adopting Scrum, organizations that have not yet adopted this methodology should really consider speeding up their processes in order to reap the benefits of Scrum’s potential ROI.