SCRUM. What's in it for you?
24.02.2016

Software development and deliver it to the client is a very complex process consisting of several stages and depending on many different factors both internal and external. In our work we went through a lot of different paths and based on acquired experience, we can present the best possible way to manage projects.

Biggest Problems of Modern IT Client

In order to understand the approach presented in this post, it is worth to look closer at the problems of modern IT clients. The most important of them can be summarized in five main points:

1. Unpredictable future.

2. Rapidly changing market conditions and business requirements.

3. The most important decisions are made at the beginning of the project, when the level of knowledge is the lowest.

4. Difficulties in making changes during the project.

5. No contact with the developers responsible for the project.

 

 

Agile Development & Project Management

Agile methodology is part of a Lean Management philosophy, which is based, saying very simply, on a more efficient managing enterprise resources by providing business value to the customer at the lowest possible cost and with the minimum amount of resources. To improve the process of implementing our projects, we decided to manage projects according to the SCRUM methodology and model manufacture process in accordance with the Lean Startup.

Client - Business Partner Cooperation

Key values that guide us in cooperation with our clients are:

1. Transparency

2. Responsibility

3. Sincerity

4. Internal and External Communication

5. Innovation

6. Proper assessment of the situation

Process

Our scrum process looks like this:

 

1. Introduction to Scrum - meeting with the client organised to analyze all aspects of the project, which are possible to analyze at this stage.

2. Team Meeting - meeting held to introduce team members, presentation of the roles and responsibilities in the project and educate the customer (if he has never worked in the SCRUM).

3. Sprint Planning - during the sprint planning meeting, the product owner describes the highest priority features to the team. The team asks enough questions that they can turn a high-level user story of the product backlog into the more detailed tasks of the sprint backlog.

4. Backlog Grooming  - is a meeting that is held near the end of one sprint to ensure the backlog is ready for the next sprint.

5. Sprint Demo/Review - a summary of each sprint; presenting its results.

6. Retrospective - is the last point of the sprint summary, in which the team identifies the good things, but also bad ones that interfere with work and try to resolve/eliminate problems.

7. Testing by the Client - the time in which the client can try out the implemented functionalities and report any bugs/comments.

Concepts and Roles

1. Product Backlog - in the simplest definition it is a list of all things that needs to be done within the project. 

2. Sprint - iteration time (2-6 weeks).

3. Sprint backlog - list of tasks identified by the Scrum team to be completed during the Scrum sprint. During the sprint planning meeting, the team selects some number of product backlog items, usually in the form of user stories, and identifies the tasks necessary to complete each user story.

4. Daily Scrum Meeting - a short everyday meeting, ideally during start of the working day. Each team member who works towards the completion of a given sprint needs to participate.

5. Sprint Review Meeting - presentation results of work performed within the sprint.

6. Sprint Retrospective Meeting - meeting facilitated by the Scrum Master at which the team discusses the just-concluded sprint and determines what could be changed that might make the next sprint more productive.

7. Scrum Master - the Scrum Master acts as a facilitator for the Product Owner and the team. The Scrum Master does not manage the team, he only works to remove any impediments that are obstructing the team from achieving its sprint goals.

8. Product Owner - a person with vision, authority and availability. The Product Owner is responsible for continuously communicating the vision and priorities to the development team.

9. The Team - according to Scrum’s founder, “the team is utterly self managing.” The development team is responsible for self organizing to complete the work.

Advantages of Project Implementation in SCRUM

Software development is a complex process that rarely ends in a way that was planned at the beginning. That is why the methods used, must be very flexible and easily adapting to the dynamic changes. We offer our clients this agile approach, because we want to provide them high business value solutions.

What's in it for the Client?

  • The ability to make changes to the project during its implementation - the scope of the project is open during the entire period of its implementation. The client can apply the changes both in the existing and future functionalities.
  • The possibility of adjusting the current scope of the project and close it at any time. It is the client who decides which sprint finishes the project.
  • Ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the results - after each sprint client receives a new version of the product. He can test it and apply his adjustments. The priority here is a quality of the created product.
  • Formalities reduced to a minimum - documentation is not necessary, we do not have to bear the cost of its production (customer requirements and contact with him is enough).
  • Bearing the costs only for the work done - the actual time execution for tasks may vary from the estimated. The customer bears the costs for actual execution time. This approach seems to be fair for both parties involved to the project.
  • Faster and more effective implementation of the project - thanks to the current adjustments the product is better tailored to the market needs.
  • Prioritization based on business value.
  • A strong emphasis on communication and teamwork.
  • Clearly defined best development practices.
  • Active client's participation in setting priorities for all functionalities.
  • The possibility of often providing a feedback.

Business values

At the end it is worth to mention the issue important from a business point of view. What's the real profits for client's company gained by using the method discussed above?

  1. Increasing the speed of the implementation.
  2. Increasing the efficiency of the implementation team.
  3. Implementation of tasks according to their importance - the client decides which task should be completed in a given iteration.
  4. Reduced to a minimum the risk of obtaining inadequate solution.
  5. Quick response to a dynamic changes in the business environment.
  6. High flexibility during the project.
  7. Low risk of bad relations between the Client and the Contractor.
  8. Saving time and money by not implementing unnecessary tasks.
  9. Permanent control over the progress of the implementation work.
  10. Reducing the costs allocated to the investment of 20-50%.
  11. Professional premium product with a guarantee of satisfaction.

Are you persuaded by this system of cooperation? Do you have additional questions or concerns? Do you want to start a debate? Need an expert's advice on the implementation you plan to do?

Contact us!