One of the Scrum gurus – Jeff Sutherland – once said: “Greatness can’t be imposed; it has to come from within. But it does live within all of us.”
Let us absorb the wisdom coming out of this quote. It acknowledges the fact that we all possess a capacity for doing amazing things. Most of us just need some help, guidance, a framework to operate within and define the stepping stones we can use to fly. Easy to say, harder to do but worth searching for, right?Undoubtedly, one of such stepping stones in your professional development might be Scrum, a part of a bigger concept of Agile (we wrote about it here.)
The very word “Scrum” refers to an American sport – Rugby – and a tactic in which the team packs around the ball conceiving a plan on how to get it on the field together and score a point. Makes perfect sense if you think about your projects and products from such a perspective: you and your people (both inside your company and outsourcers) are one team together, your competitors are another team, the ball is your competitive advantage on a market and Scrum… Scrum is your playfield – a framework you can use to allow your team to excel.
So now, let us try to answer the question you must be asking yourself by now: How would using Scrum help you in embracing your and your team’s greatness, make your product kick-ass and win the game?
Scrum Outside of Rugby: What is that?
It is a fundamentally simple way of managing complex software development more effectively, a framework for whole teams with a rather low entry level. Totally not useful if you are doing exactly the same project again and again and you can accurately predict the future (but hey, if you do so, please ping me!).
You can – and should – use the whole package: names, meetings, and strategies for it to be fully effective, but let us not be so rigid! I personally believe that even without the thorough knowledge of the Scrum rules, you can experience a lot of benefits in planning, team-work, and managing expectations, especially in software production and mobile apps development.
A few keywords might be useful, though: incremental (you cut big chunks of a process into smaller, manageable pieces), transparent (everyone knows what is going on), inspectable (you can check how things are), adaptable (you can change the process on the way).
You can find a more exhaustive Scrum glossary here and a knowledge repo to read more about Scrum, here.
Scrum in My Company/Project: Why would it make it great?
Imagine you want to produce a new and original product: an app for communication and information sharing inside a hospital. A combination of iMessage, Skype, wayfinding, medication tracking, and patient-files’ management. Cool, huh? And huge.
Incremental and Adaptable
First, we need to understand your business needs and define a basic scope of works. So we cut the idea into smaller pieces and choose the most important ones for you: a chat. We make a backlog of tasks and start working on the first shippable increment for two weeks. After that, on a review and demo, you see the MVP of a chat app with log-in. You see the MVP and say: Ok, cool. I like this idea but you know what? Actually, doctors and patients use Whatsapp, there is no point in selling them a chat app. How about we resign from this feature and develop a mobile app only for patients with wayfinding and medication tracking functionalities?
No problem! We adapt, redefine the scope for another Sprint and at the end of it deliver a version you felt you wanted. And there we go again.
Because the process is cut into smaller steps that end with potentially releasable software, you can touch what you wanted… And tell us what you do not want more easily.
Transparent and Inspectable
When we are supporting your mobile and/or web app development, we are open about it – we share our knowledge, experience, and workspace with you.
Our clients, stakeholders, and teams participate actively, see the tasks and demos of done increments, know who is doing what and why, as well as how it is going. No wandering in the dark, unanswered questions, doubts or unfulfilled expectations. You are on our team and we are on yours.
Scrum projects foster communication inside and outside teams. They minimize waste because every small step shows what is more and what is less viable to work on. They maximize responsibility for the product – you know exactly who is working on what and how it is going. They give you a lot of space for feedback and adaptation in the world of ever-changing needs and requirements.
Scrum fosters greatness that we all have inside us; let us embrace it together!
Scrum in the Outside World: Where to learn more?
Read Agile manifesto