6 benefits of Scrum that your software project should take advantage of

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January 14, 2019

Scrum is a process that seeks to achieve the best possible result for a project. Here we show you some of the benefits of Scrum, especially in software projects.

Scrum is a well-known framework in which a set of good practices is regularly applied in order to work collaboratively as a team and obtain the best possible result for a project. Therefore, it is not surprising that two of the great benefits of Scrum are improvement of communication and coordination within the team.

I have personally experienced the advantages of Scrum on a daily basis. For example, due to the fact that Scrum makes regular and partial deliveries of the product, I have seen that it is better suited to projects with complex environments where it is necessary to get results in the short term, where the requirements are constantly changing or poorly defined, or where innovation, competitiveness, flexibility, and productivity are essential.

I’ve also seen that Scrum is useful when the client is not getting what he/she asked for, when the times are extended, the quality of the product is getting lost or is very low, the costs are higher than expected, when for multiple reasons there are changes in the team’s resources, or when the team spirit dissipates.

Since we already know when to use Scrum in our projects, I thought that it would be helpful to mention some of the benefits that Scrum has, especially in software projects.

1. Periodic deliveries for continuous improvement

It is well known that obtaining early feedback is crucial for the project to adapt to the client’s needs. However, many times the requirements are scarce, or the client only gives a sketch of what he/she wants. Therefore, it is important to make periodic deliveries to have the possibility of adding functionalities to the product in an incremental way.

Periodic deliveries provide space for continuous improvement while allowing us to manage customer expectations better and to adapt to his/her needs.

2. Motivated teams for better results

It is extremely important to be able to give the team members an overview of the project. In this sense, periodic deliveries allow them to see results in the short term and therefore transmit a sense of progress. After several iterations, the team finally realizes the true impact of each change made throughout the process. Each little detail is part of a great functionality, and seeing the effort reflected in results undoubtedly encourages the team to work.

3. Autonomy and empowerment

Another aspect to highlight about this Agile methodology is the freedom it gives to each team member to perform tasks, as long as they feel able to develop them. One of the great benefits of Scrum is the high degree of autonomy the team members acquire, encouraging and empowering them to perform increasingly complex tasks, thus distributing knowledge knowing that, if necessary, there is another member who is able to perform a certain task.

4. Team communication

One of the objectives of adopting Scrum as a working methodology is to form a work team where there is great collaboration among its members.

How do we get Scrum to enhance communication among the team? To achieve this, the following ceremonies are established:

  1. Planning: It is the meeting where the tasks that are going to be part of the Sprint are analyzed and estimated. The planning enables the team to become aware of the objectives of the Sprint, as well as its critical tasks.
  2. Daily: It facilitates the transfer of information and encourages collaboration between the team members to increase productivity, given that it highlights the tasks in which they can help each other.
  3. Demo: It is the meeting with the client in which the details are reviewed and the advances of the last iteration are shown.
  4. Retrospective: It is the last review of each iteration, where the team identifies what was done well and what can be improved. The results allow feedback for the process.

5. Product quality to have happy clients

When it comes to the benefits of Scrum, the product quality is at the top of the list. However, how do we get the product to have high quality standards with partial deliveries every two weeks?

The answer is metrics. These are calculated each time an iteration ends and offer us a thermometer of how we are progressing in the development of the product, allowing us to concentrate on those things to improve in order to deliver the best result.

Then, it is key that all the members of the team take the metrics into account to plan the next iteration, where the team will work to eliminate any problem detected.

6. Incremental development

The success of a project depends largely on how the client specifies and prioritizes the requirements.

In the Planning meeting, the requirements are prioritized and analyzed, and after the team members have cleared up their uncertainties, the estimation is carried out so that they can be developed in the next iteration. If there is still time available in the Sprint, the following requirement is analyzed in order of priority.

As the Sprint progresses, the tasks that were planned during the Planning meeting are taken over. Once the Sprint ends, the team’s progress is shown during the Demo.

The incremental development is a fundamental pillar in Agile development, so it is one of its great benefits, as it allows the team to adapt and learn to change quickly according to the market conditions.

To Sum Up

Following the Scrum methodology enables the client to adapt to the constant changes in the market, identify problems and their causes, and help to adopt different practices that allow to counteract them.

In order to take advantage of all the benefits of Scrum for your software project, it is essential to build a good team and work environment, not only from the technical side but also from the human side. The role of the Scrum Master must be taken with a lot of responsibility, since it is the person who must promote the good working environment, keep the team motivated, and provide challenging tasks to make everyone feel like the project is their own.