Agile Scrum methodology as most software developers know it today began with the need for more flexibility in the options for software design. Agile refers to a movement that offers alternatives from traditional project management. It is recognized by most developers in the software industry today and valued for the flexibility it offers businesses today.
Extensive Agile Scrum Methodology Guide
Many developers recognize that the introduction of Agile methodology was due to Waterfall, the paradigm in project management which left a lot to be desired. The popularity of the agile movement began to grow during 2001, leading to its formalization when 17 pioneers met at a ski resort in Utah to create the Agile Manifesto. The purpose of the manifest was to create a more philosophical approach to developing software. Their efforts resulted in what is now considered the foundational text for practices and principles related to the development of agile software.
Scrum is a project management concept that was co-created by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland in 1995, before the agile methodology was introduced. The agile Scrum methodology developed from the idea that something better could be created than Waterfall, which developers recognized as having many shortcomings. Scrum was determined to be the simplest, most flexible way to introduce Agility, leading to the recognition and popularity of Scrub as an agile software.
Shortcomings of the Agile Methodology
Many feel that the process framework still lacks the concrete processes needed to meet the demand in stressful situations. As a result, teams that rely on agile daily, they may turn to the subsets of the methodology including:
- Crystal Clear
- Feature Driven Development
- Extreme Programming
- Dynamic Systems Development Method
Many organizations continue to choose Scrum to manage their development teams and appease stockholders at the same time. By definition, Scrum operates on the principal of empirical process control, meaning it relies on real-world progress, not a best-guess scenario. It divides project into work cadences, or sprints, that are measured in one, two, or three-week durations. Team members and stakeholders meet at the end of a sprint and asses the progress of the current project. They then plan the next steps, providing the option to adjust the direction of the project according to work that has been completed and not on estimates or predictions on what might occur. This stability is one reason that teams rely on it for when their development efforts become chaotic.
Differences in Scrum and Agile Scrum Methodology
Scrum has 3 Roles:
1. Product Owners – They determine what needs to be built over a period of 30 days or less
2. Teams – They build the product according to the specifications of the product owners and the time specified. At the end of this period, they demonstrate what they have developed. The Product owner then makes the decision about what to build for the next project.
3. Scrum Masters – Make sure the process flows smoothly while continually enhancing the process.
The responsibilities of the project manager are often split between these three roles. There are also five meetings in Scrum:
- Backlog Grooming/Backlog Refinement
- Daily Scrum/15 Minute Standup
- Sprint Planning
- Sprint Retrospective Meeting
- Sprint Review Meeting
Traditional approaches to project management lack the communication between different groups or teams that participate in completing any project. One of the most significant shortcomings of the Waterfall method was that it assumed every requirement of every project could be identified prior to the design or coding. One reason that this is not the most effective way to develop and build software is that the time investment required could be all that is needed to change business realities and make the product obsolete. Project management software that lacks the flexibility of agile Scrum methodology could cost a company a lot of valuable time and money.
How Agile Makes a Difference
Agile development differs from traditional project management by allowing project managers to assess the direction the project is taking throughout every phase of development. At the end of every sprint, potentially measurable increments must be presented by the teams. This is possible through the combination of focusing on repetition of shortened work cycles and the functional product the teams have yielded. Therefore, the agile Scrum methodology increases the number of opportunities the development teams have to get each aspect of a product’s development right while there is still time to stop and change directions when progress isn’t being made.
Benefits to the Project Development Teams
The ability to stop, inspect, and adapt projects over weekly periods saves time and money, both of which are valuable to every member of the process. The time it takes to develop a better product and get it to market are shortened. Getting stuck with a product that is ineffective or outdated by the time it reaches the analysis phase enhances progress and makes it more likely that they will have results that meet the demands of their stockholders. Agile Scrum methodology has helped many project management teams build the right products and deliver them on time.
Agility also gives teams more flexibility to optimize their product as they go instead of committing to a design that requires further development. When comparing agile scrum methodology to traditional methods of software development, agile scrum offers improvements related to:
- Large time investments and efforts that go into the planning phase
- Inefficient conversions in the requirements in an area where change is constant and flexibility is demanded
- Impact of poor treatment of team members in relation to production
Proponents of Agile Scrum methodology believe that traditional software development is too cumbersome, time-consuming and lacks the flexibility needed to adapt to an ever-evolving market. Other methods of project management require too many efforts to be made that are not directly related to creating and perfecting each project. These systems also lack the communication among various team members that is required for effective development in every phase of the project. Overall, more organizations prefer the agile Scrum methodology that gives them more options for making improvements and changing directions whenever things go wrong.