The Benefits of Using the Scrum Framework
The Scrum framework for managing work in projects has become ever more popular. Contrary to many myths and legend, it is not a project management methodology for delivering projects. But it can be used to manage work within the project space to deliver software. Scrum has few strict rules, these mostly relate to the team structure and its behaviours.
Scrum is a popular way to manage work in projects and brings with it many advantages and benefits to a project. The framework is very light and closer to the concept than the method.
Scrum myths and clarifications
- Scrum is a way of working
- Scrum is not a project management methodology
- Scrum is a framework for delivering software
- Scrum can form part of a project
- There are no project managers in a scrum team
- There are no management levels or leaders in Scrum
- There can be many scrum teams working in a project
- Scrum focuses on quality, not time and cost
When should You use Scrum?
Scrum works great for certain types of projects. Considering that Scrum has few rules and processes and focuses on the team and its work, your project is suitable for Scrum when:
- All of the team works from the same location
- Your team is made up of skilled and motivated people
- The project requirements are vague and can only be developed as work is done
- The work is very changeable
- The work is done in a fast-paced environment (ITC)
It is also important to have the right people for the key roles of product owner and Scrum Master. Without experienced people to fill these roles, the Scrum project is unlikely to deliver the benefits.
Why is Scrum Valuable to Organisations?
In a Scrum project, work get delivered fast. Sprints, where the deliverables are developed, are short and last between two to four weeks. Items in the Sprint backlog are cleared simultaneously, and new learning is done on the job. Developments are also tested as they are made, rather than in one batch at the end of the project.
The fifteen-minute Daily Scrum meeting allows for regular updates in requirements. Scrum projects are responsive to changing market conditions or requirements. New challenges can be fed into the existing backlog without having to review and change large plans.
Efficiency and ROI
It is the product owners (business rep) job to prioritise the backlog (plan). Because there is a clear priority assigned to tasks, the ones that add the most value are dealt with first. This feeds into return on investment for the organisation and is particularly important in ICT. Advancements in the product can also be put on the market as they come rather than having to wait for the project to be fully completed. This is the most important benefit of using Scrum and Agile.
Collaboration and Cooperation
The Sprint team (Scrum) needs to come together to deliver the project. The framework identifies collaboration as important and promotes collective responsibility for all tasks, empowering your team. Team members choose their own work and work at a comfortable pace.
In a Sprint (stage of the work) there is no manager or leader. The team are self-organising and work through the Sprint backlog in a defined timeframe (timeboxed). Although there is the role of the Scrum Master, this person acts as a mentor and facilitates the Daily Scrum, ensuring the Scrum meeting is observing the rules of Scrum. The Scrum Master does not manage the daily Scrum meeting.
Customer (User) Satisfaction
A principle of Scrum is to deliver working software quickly. This offers benefits to the Users who can get their hands on the software early on and offer feedback. Even during the process, the Users working with the Product Owner, have the chance to provide updates that can be raised in the Daily Scrum. These changes feed into the backlog (plan) before every sprint enabling the product to be developed iteratively and released frequently with updates.
Some Scrum Challenges
Remember Scrum is a loose framework for developing software. There are challenges organisations will face when using the Scrum Framework at first these are:
Changes in the team makeup
- Remote teams may find collaboration difficult
- For teams of more than nine, it can become unwieldy
- Dynamic nature of the work with much perceived wasted effort due to rework
It is said that Scrum is easy to understand but difficult to master. Your organisation needs to build its capability with Scum to realise its benefits.