Unless you are involved with software development or are a big fan of rugby, you may have never heard of the term ‘Scrum’ before and find yourself wondering “What is Scrum?” Not only is Scrum a rugby term for a sort of dog-pile, but the Scrum methodology is also a framework for creating high quality software products through Agile development. In fact, the Scrum methodology allows you develop like never before!

In order to help you better understand the Scrum methodology, whether you are a first time sprinter or have used a similar framework before, we have put together this guide. Within, we will make our case for the Scrum methodology and why more developers should consider it for software development. Additionally, we will lay out some benefits and best practices of using Scrum. Let’s take a look.

Self-management

In the world of Agile development, the main goals of the project are to make sure that everyone is operating in an area that best suits their strengths. Scrum does this by dividing the team into three distinct sections: the product owner, the Scrum master, and the Scrum team. Both the product owner and Scrum master work together with the Scrum team to connect tasks with each individual’s strengths.

From here, it is up to those individual team members to complete their tasks in a timely fashioned, called sprints. Sprints typically last anywhere from 1-4 weeks and at the end of each the team comes together to see what progress was made and what needs to be accomplished next. During the sprints, members of the team must manage themselves and their work. This gives them more motivation to do good work, as it will be their name on it at the end.

Detailed planning

However, this kind of self-management would never be possible without detailed planning. This is where the Scrum master comes in. While it is the job of product owners to bring user stories and use cases to the table as a way of planning the development, the Scrum master sets up the Scrum planning meetings and does the administrative work. This allows the rest of the team to just focus on their task in the development.

This kind of teamwork can be foreign to those working with the Scrum methodology for the first time, but it often leads to much better results. Not only that, but teams that use the Scrum methodology are more satisfied with their jobs than others. Part of this comes from another benefit of Scrum, which is good communication and time management.

Read more: 4 Tips to Make Scrum Planning Meetings Better

Communication and time management

Since the Scrum development process is so focused on efficiency, communication and time management are necessary for a fully optimized project. Again, this is something that those just getting started may have to get used to, but once you see the benefits of being open and honest with your team, you will soon understand the need for it. When each member of the team is able to manage themselves, that also means they need to be honest about their shortcomings.

For example, if a developer doesn’t get something done in a sprint like they were supposed to and they say that they did, this can throw off a whole project. Whereas if they simply tell the team they didn’t have time or something like that, they simply put the task back into the next sprint. This saves the team both the headache of dealing with this and the time spent doing so.

Working with a product owner

Another benefit of the Scrum methodology is the ability to work closely with the product owner, someone who is invested in the success of the project. This goes double for teams looking to offshore software product development, as they will be the link between the team and the all-important end-user. If you can utilize your product owner in an efficient and effective way, your product will simply be better tailored for your customers.

Keep this in mind especially when it comes to the UX design of a site. Far too often, software developers who don’t use the Scrum methodology kind of just guess what they think will be a cool feature for the end-users. But without actually taking the time to hear from them, these features often fall flat. Instead, listen to your audience and product owner for best results.

Iterative testing

Although this should be an essential part of any software project, the Scrum methodology takes iterative testing to a new level. Since everything is divided into short, digestible chunks of development, QA testers can work with each part of the product individually before testing them together. This extra level of testing can prevent you from spending a lot of time on app maintenance later when it will be harder to reverse.

Again, this is where communication and teamwork are vital to the success of the development. If you have a developer who doesn’t want their work tested repeatedly, you may need to figure out if there is more to the story. And if they simply believe they are above testing, they may not be a good fit for your Scrum team after all.

High quality end-product

One of the most unique benefits of the Scrum methodology is that you don’t have a full idea of the end-product until the product is completed. Since each of the units in Scrum works independently, putting everything together at the end is a fun surprise. However, the end-product that is created, due to the methodology of the development, is often of a much higher quality than other developments.

By using each individual’s skills to the best of their ability, the Scrum, and by proxy Agile methodology has the potential to create revolutionary products and software. This is why the Scrum methodology is so important. As new technologies arise, finding the best solution (and quickly) will continue to be important in an ever-changing landscape.

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The Scrum mindset

Finally, we want to leave you with a word of encouragement. While it may seem like the Scrum methodology is a lot to take in, in truth it is relatively simple. Often it takes actually working through a project using the Scrum methodology to see the full benefits. However, we recommend trying to get your team into the Scrum mindset from the get-go of your project.

If you and your team can put faith in the framework and trust that you will create a high quality product, you are actually more likely to do so. However, this kind of faith only works when everyone is on board, so make sure that your team understands the benefits as well as what is at stake. If you can do this, you are well on your way to developing like you never dreamed you could!