Making Use of Agile Methodologies: Scrum Sprints
Scrum is a sprint-based project management methodology where the work is completed in short cycles called sprints, and the team meets daily to discuss current tasks and any roadblocks that need clarification. The methodology allows for more effective collaborations among teams working on complex projects.
In particular, Scrum is a set of meetings, tasks, and resources that work together to help teams organize and handle their workload. While other project management methodologies focus on developing an entire product in one iteration from start to finish, Scrum emphasizes delivering several iterations of a product to provide product owners with the highest business value in the least amount of time. Each iteration is divided into two to four-week sprints, with the objective of building the most valuable features first. In subsequent sprints, more features can be added to the product, or the current features can be adjusted based on customer feedback in between sprints.
Benefits of the Scrum Methodology
Scrum is used for fostering successful collaboration among teams working on complex projects. This methodology has many benefits. Since each set of goals must be completed within each sprint’s time frame, Scrum accelerates quicker product development. It also requires frequent planning and goal-setting, which lets development teams focus on the current sprint’s goals and increase efficiency.
Here are some of the benefits of scrum methodology:
Scrum’s biggest advantage is its flexibility. In conventional project management frameworks, product owners don’t get regular feedback, and time is wasted on trying to adjust the product halfway through development – or, worse still, the team has to start again after the product has been created.
In contrast to traditional methodologies, a scrum team usually receives feedback from the client after each sprint. If any issues arise, the team can quickly alter product features or goals in future sprints to provide more efficient iterations. In this scenario, clients are happier because they get exactly what they want and are involved at every level.
When to Use Scrum
Scrum is a good fit for long-term, complex projects that require feedback from product owners, which can have a significant impact on project requirements. Scrum could be the best choice when the exact amount of work can’t be estimated and the release date isn’t set.
Scrum has earned the trust of 89% of Agile users because it prioritizes customer needs and sets on-time/on-budget delivery. Thus, there’s a growing number of companies adopting this methodology, including Microsoft, IBM, Yahoo, and Google.
According to the Scrum Alliance’s report, Scrum has applications beyond IT. This methodology is used by companies in the fields of banking, fintech education, retail, media, and entertainment to organize their workflow and improve interaction with customers.
How We Are Organizing Scrum
In Scrum, we typically work in sprints depending on the extent of the overall project. First of all, we prepare a Product Backlog based on a prioritized list of tasks (User Story) to be fulfilled. The prioritizing criterion is Business Value that is the anticipated profit caused by task execution.
The next stage is the Estimation of each task performed directly by the developers who simultaneously find out other details required for this task execution. Estimation may influence task prioritizing made by the customer and this may cause re-arrangement of tasks according to new priorities.
After that, we define Sprint terms, select tasks from the Product Backlog (in the top-down direction) and sum up their Estimation. Then we transfer those tasks into a document called Sprint Backlog (a list of items to be completed during the current sprint, taken from the product backlog) until the Estimation total is lower than the number of tasks that the team can execute during the iteration. Our Sprint duration is 2 to 4 weeks, which is normally applied in practice.
Every morning, in the course of the current Sprint the team carries out a Standup Meeting to actualize Sprint Backlog, reveal and discuss the related problems. The Sprint being over, the team provides the customer with a stable release version of the application.
Prior to a new iteration, the team analyzes the results of the previous Sprint and makes organizational corrections in the development process to adjust it for the current project. To prepare a new Sprint we delete the fulfilled tasks from the Product Backlog, add new tasks, adjust tasks priorities and Estimations, appoint terms and compose a User Story. After that, the team continues its work within the framework of a new iteration.
Using Sprints has proven highly efficient. According to the statistics we have accumulated, it allows to achieve the following results upon average:
Scrum works well when the key goals are clearly determined and the work scope is specified within one to four weeks. This way, we make sure that the software stays relevant up to the end of the sprint.
We employ all of the traditional methodology pillars, including estimatio