The increasingly dynamic world and growing mountain of data impacts the way in which intelligent organizations develop their products, services, and IT. They have to be agile by working and thinking in short cycles: agile working through scrum.
Traditional project management and product development according to the waterfall method has had its day. In many cases, it’s too sluggish and unresponsive. The difference is not unlike repairing clothes with needle and thread instead of a sewing machine.
When to apply scrum
- The gap between your customers’ needs and what the organization has to offer isn’t shrinking. Organizations are getting worse over time at satisfying customer needs. There’s a lack of customer-focus, and naturally, customer value decreases.
- Product life cycles last longer than those of your best performing or most profitable competitor.
- Company processes can’t be adapted to the needs of your customers quickly enough, especially compared to competitors.
In short: the organization isn’t agile enough. And, really, no one is going to want to work in a slow, old-fashioned organization where the work isn’t challenging in the slightest. Our scrum specialists are eager to help you face these challenges.
What is the scrum approach exactly?
The scrum approach is based on dynamism, short lines, sharp prioritization, and iterating together with the (internal) client. Within just a few weeks (the sprint), this approach should result in a product in a shippable state that conforms to the requirements, the backlog, the Definition of Done, and the quality demands. This approach originated in the IT domain but is more frequently deployed in the business domain, too. The trend took hold because more and more products contain increasingly large IT components. Scrum projects typically feature a standup meeting almost every day. In these standups, the scrum team discusses three aspects:
- What have people worked on since the last meeting?
- What are people working on until the next meeting?
- What issues is the team running into, and what kind of help do they need?
Team members will also indicate how happy and satisfied they are (happiness KPI) and what can be done to lift their spirits.
The scrum master: from roadmap to sprint
Our scrum masters coach the team through the complete development process. The product owners represent the interests of the client, give direction, and set priorities, all while involving the client. The scrum approach makes companies more agile. First, it’s important to define the main pillars of scrum: the roadmap, the corporate backlog that describes the desired functionality, and the project start architecture. The next step is translating that into portfolio, product, and sprint backlogs. Our scrum masters pass their knowledge and experience on to your colleagues, so that they can become scrum masters, too.
What determines the success of this approach?
The scrum approach simplifies everything, allowing complex projects to be completed successfully. The key is continuously communicating with the client and the product owner. Also, iterative development of products, plans, and project results works much better than the traditional method. It’s a perfect fit for the adage of the smart, lean organization: think big, start small, and improve.
What does the scrum process look like?
The organization has to innovate and change. Corporate backlogs specify which changes the organization has to implement in their product portfolio so that the new functionality adds more value for customers. This can be documented in a roadmap and divided over a period of time. Divide it into smaller segments over the product backlogs that the various scrum teams are going to work on.
Image: the scrum process with the various backlogs
The various scrum teams start working and make a so-called poker planning. It’s followed by a sprint: within a steady rhythm of 2 to 4 weeks, the team will deliver a piece of working functionality. Again and again, the product owners prioritize the backlogs: from corporate backlogs to sprint backlogs. This is a continuous process of synchronization between management, customers, and the scrum team.
Standard scrum ceremonies
The scrum process contains a few set components, or “ceremonies”:
- Intake with the product owner (PO).
- Project start.
- Sprint planning.
- Review by Product Owner (PO).
What are the benefits of scrum?
- Faster, more controlled development of products, product results, and services.
- Employees in teams enjoy their work more and are more invested.
- Lower chance of failure than traditional project management approach.
- Applicable to everything: from Balanced Scorecards to Data Science and dashboards.
Also want to work with the scrum approach?
Do you also see the upside of working with scrum in your organization? Contact us for more information or an intake with one of our scrum specialists.