There are countless possibilities when it comes to the planning and execution of a project. Not every method can be used for every project. How does this work with big and complex projects? In our case, we use the scrum method.
What is scrum?
Before we go into the scrum method, we need to know where it originates from. In 1970, a method for software development was developed that emphasized a linear progression from beginning to end. This was called the waterfall method. The waterfall method gave more clearance in the software projects. Although the waterfall method is still a successful method, there is a caveat. With the waterfall method, you test at the end of the project. There was the possibility that you would find errors afterward. They found a solution to this problem in the 90s. These big projects got smaller iterations so small parts got built and then immediately tested. The most famous method is the scrum method, where these iterations occur every two to four weeks.
The scrum method has a few advantages. One of the most important ones is the possibility to adjust on time. The scrum method also divides a project into priorities. The tasks with the highest priorities will be worked on first. This way, you will be able to deliver a problem-solving product faster.
As a developer, it is impossible to know every detail of your customers’ industry. Empiricism is an important part of scrum (learning from experience). It gives the possibility to gain new insights into the industry during production. This advantage is extra noticeable in complex industries.
Why not scrum?
If the scrum method is so nice and advantageous as we say, why doesn’t everyone use scrum? Unfortunately, scrum doesn’t fit in every project. To successfully apply the scrum method, you must have the chance to explore scrum. If there are too many stakeholders involved in a project or you can’t appoint one product owner, scrum isn’t the right method for this project. Too many stakeholders mean it will take longer to make decisions, which is the opposite of scrum.
How you can get started with scrum
At Alloq, we like to go on an adventure and create the space to work on our projects with the scrum method. By dividing the complexity into smaller pieces and letting the customer validate at the right times, we are possible to deliver a custom-made solution that seamlessly connects with the current work processes. That’s how we work the most risk-averse and guard the quality of the delivery.
So, do you want to get started with the scrum method yourself? We will help you on your way with the basic steps of scrum. On the basis of five steps, we will explain the requirements and how to set up scrum!
Step 1. Defining the problem
There are three necessities that are essential for setting up the scrum method. First of all, there has to be a problem. It goes without saying that you need to find a solution to this problem.
Step 2. Composing the team
As soon as you defined your problem, you’ll need a team that will work on this problem. It is important that the team is not too big. The bigger the team, the harder it is to have close cooperation. The most ideal team size is between five and nine persons. When a team is smaller, communication is better in general. The team consists of three groups: the product owner, the scrum master, and the developers. Every group delivers value to the final product in its own way.
Step 3. Artifacts
The problem is defined and the team members are assembled. Now it’s time for the resources. The roadmap to come to a successful project must be documented well. The documentation can be done physically with post-its or digital through the use of applications like Trello or Jira. It is wise to choose the method in consultation with the team and come to a conclusion together.
Step 4. The backlog
With this step, we will take a better look at the problem. There are two kinds of backlogs: the product backlog and the sprint backlog. With the product backlog, you make a list of all the necessities to get to the solution of the final product. Give every item in this backlog a priority and order the backlog with the most important priority at the top. Under that item, place the second most important item. Keep doing this until all the items got prioritized.
With the scrum method, you will work with sprints that last a maximum of four weeks. The size of the sprint depends on the size of the project and is always in consultation with the scrum team. You will work on a small portion of the final product. In the sprint backlog are all the necessities collected and prioritized for the upcoming sprint. The difference with the product backlog is that the sprint backlog only consists of the necessities for one sprint.
Step 5. The sprint
A sprint with the scrum method consists of a maximum of four weeks. Within these four weeks, you will work on a part of the final product. Deciding on what part you will work on is easy: the item on the product backlog with the highest priority is the first item to work on.
Tip! Make sure to track the progress during the sprints. This way, it is always possible to read when someone worked on the item, on what item there was made progress, who worked on the item, and the amount of time spent working on it.
Step 6. Repeat
Before you officially close a sprint, two meetings need to be held: the sprint review and the sprint retrospective. With the sprint review, all the results of the sprint will be presented to the stakeholders. Only completed items can be shown. The sprint retrospective evaluates the performance of the scrum team. What went well? What could have been done better during the sprint? After these two meetings, the sprint is officially done and the next item on the product backlog is up. Divide this item into smaller portions in the sprint backlog and start the sprint. Repeat all these steps until all the items on the product backlog are done.
Are you curious about how we apply scrum in our projects or how we can use scrum for your problem? Don’t hesitate and contact us!