Imagine that you have been creating a product for many months or years, but it ends up in the bin. Sense of the time lost, all the pretences within the team, frustration, and dissatisfaction – these are just some of the feelings that come to mind in this situation. Well then… How about creating a product in stages and regularly verifying whether the chosen line of action was correct? How about gaining the freedom to make mistakes, minimising the loss of your work, communicating without any barriers, and clearly defining the goals? We present eight reasons why you should apply Scrum methodology for the benefit of your product and the maximisation of the potential that will allow you to succeed in your industry.
1. Roles in the team are clearly defined
There are three clearly defined roles in a Scrum Team. A Product Owner is a person who has the full knowledge of the product, knows what goal is to be achieved, and – because they have clear vision of the final product – they know how to answer the team questions, and accept all development work; plus – they set priorities. The Development Team consists of the specialists who create the final product – from designers and developers to testers. There is no division into roles – whether junior or senior, everyone is equal and works together to create a product for the client. A Scrum Master ensures that Scrum is implemented correctly and that the whole team operates following its principles. They help to remove obstacles in the group, and work both for the Development Team and the Product Owner. In addition to being the part of the team’s support, they also set directions to provide additional „on call” support when needed. The team must be able to organize themselves once they develop work habits, which significantly speeds up the product creation process.
2. Delivering the product in packages
Let’s imagine that a customer has an idea to create a product that will support their business. This can be, for example, a connected car application, which will be developed over time with new functionalities. By creating a product in Scrum methodology, the customer will not receive the entire product immediately, but they will receive complete parts that will later become the integral part of the final product. The advantage of this solution is that the team can focus on creating a smaller, but refined functionality, and the client feels that the implementation is moving forward. Moreover, the designed product grows with their participation. Remember that the customer can implement the received work at any stage, i.e., for example, launch the application in the minimum version at an early stage of works – if they consider that as valuable. Over time, it will be expanded with new functionalities.
3. Customer involvement in the product creation process – bringing outstanding result
In IT, everything is changing very dynamically, and immediate response to, for example, trends or competition actions, is essential. For example, competition introduces similar solution to ours onto the market – if we know it early enough, we can modify our product and offer something better. Therefore, the ongoing and open communication with the client is essential. The client needs to see the direction in which the project team is going and give direct feedback. This facilitates the work of the team that strives for the designated result. Thanks to effective communication, we can react quickly and in agile way. Besides, close and communication-based collaboration requires discipline from both the team and the customer. The team must be disciplined and focused on delivering the product in cycles. The customer must be available to receive product stages and prioritise on an ongoing basis.
4. MVP – Your product has value
MVP (Minimum Viable Product) – this is the minimum version of the product that is already available on the market. It is a product defined enough to show the customer its value and allow us to check the client’s interest in the solution we propose. For example, we are creating an e-shop and want to implement a login module. In the beginning, we only show a simple Facebook login feature, then we add other social accounts, ratings, and expand it with additional functionalities that the client indicates. This way, we provide a minimum that already presents some value – allows to log into the online shop. Similarly, in case of creating PoCs (Proof of Concept) – PoC shows the outline of the product, sets the direction of work. We do all these things not to waste a lot of time on something that can ultimately go into the bin. The exemplary cases indicate, e.g. that the market has changed, or the competition has already introduced a similar solution.
5. In Scrum, everything we do makes sense
In a waterfall project, hardly anyone consults ideas and possible solutions. The project is made from the beginning to an end. Scrum has time and place for the analysis, development, testing, documentation, delivery; everything is done at one time – in one cycle, i.e., Sprint. Thanks to this, it turns out that something that has been designed, has not been thrown into the bin. The lack of communication and conversation causes frustration and unnecessary tension. There is no silos structure in Scrum works; instead, there is cooperation among all the team members at the same time. The goal is the implementation of the solution. The client determines the purpose and the line of action because they participate in the process from the very beginning to the end.
6. We constantly make improvements
Scrum is iterative or cyclical. Sprints last from one to four weeks and are completed with the work summary and planning the following. It introduces the rhythm of work and organizes the operation of the team, as well as allows to continually add improvements to the process and eliminate everything that hinders or blocks action. Retrospectives are essential – we can always go back in time and think about what is worth keeping, what is missing, what can be improved in the process, and what is defective and disturbing. This can – for example – be the organization of desks in the design room, but also system architecture, design, communication, and interpersonal issues. Work must be not only productive but also enjoyable; that’s why it should be improved regularly.
7. It’s easy to estimate team performance – more or less you know when your product will be ready
In Scrum, estimation using Story Points (SP) is the common practice. Creating a new functionality, we can compare the time needed to develop it to the previous, similar functionality. We can estimate that e.g., logging in will be more complicated than rating. In everyday work, the Fibonacci sequence is often employed for estimation. It means that the more complex the task, the more difficult it is to determine how long it will take to complete it. For this reason, the work is broken down into smaller elements that will be easier to estimate temporarily, as well as predict the complexity of the task and the risk, i.e., ignorance resulting from the new tasks. There can be both simple and very time-consuming tasks. Thanks to work in Scrum, we are able to quickly determine the approximate time of product implementation. If the team is stable and the members have not changed, after a few Sprints, we can predict their speed, i.e., what business value (approximate number of Story Points) it can deliver within the Sprint.
8. We focus on what is happening here and now
In Scrum, the project team focuses on work at the given moment and focuses only on the near future, not on the implementation of the entire product. It is essential to work closely with the client and make them aware that – for the team to work effectively – they must be focused and cannot spend time making so-called „last minute” changes. For this reason, it is ensured that the Scrum Team is not distracted by changes in requirements, but that they get clear guidelines of how a given part of the product should look like. This working model saves time – even if the result differs from the client’s expectations or if the organization’s trends or business model changes, the team will lose only two Sprints, and not e.g., half a year of work. It is essential for the team that – after planning and starting the Sprint – there are no changes during this period. Distraction bothers, and the developers like to have their tasks clearly defined.
As you can see, developing a product applying Scrum methodology is truly beneficial. It’s not just ‘stand-ups’ and Sprints, but a kind of way of thinking about the relationship between the final recipient and the team. Scrum allows to solve many projects problems and challenges, and is a powerful tool that facilitates the work of any IT team.
An idea for a product? Contact us to see how your product can benefit from Scrum application.