Unlike small teams, large companies whose personnel are numerous and the tasks are multiple need to develop a strategy that will help them distribute the tasks and control their implementation efficiently. A great number of projects have made our outsourcing company look for a strategy that could help us prioritize and distribute the tasks. We made up our mind to turn to scrum, a project development methodology based on the principles of time management. Read full story.
Scrum: The Basics
Scrum is a popular strategy in the product development. The main participants of the scrum team are a product owner, a scrum master, and a scrum or development team.
Product owner (PO) is usually a representative of a customer who sets the requirements for a product, makes them clear to the scrum team, and works closely with the developers. PO’s main tool is the product backlog that is a list of tasks and the product’s features.
Scrum master facilitates the scrum process. This is a person who ensures that the task is being performed according to the principles of scrum. It is the SM who conducts morning stand-up meetings, motivates the team, and eliminates all the impediments to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Development team or scrum team, which usually consists of up to ten specialists, is responsible for the actual work on a project.
The aims of the scrum meetings are to discuss the achievements and accomplished goals, determine the tasks for the day, and bring the possible obstacles to light. These meetings encourage the team, make the tasks clear, create a working atmosphere, and boost the team spirit. Apart from it, the members of scrum team are taught to be disciplined and organized. They should get the idea that each of them is a separate link vested with a particular function though the responsibility lies not on a separate person but on the team as a unit. Team members need to answer three main questions during a meeting:
- What has been done?
- What will have been achieved by the next meeting?
- What are the obstacles?
These questions are aimed at seeing the result rather than explaining the process.
While implementing the scrum strategy into our workflow, we experienced some difficulties. Instead of viewing the meetings as an opportunity to improve the work process, employees viewed it as a serious event. Another drawback was connected with the unwillingness to admit and discuss problems in a group even if there was a need in it (judging from the poor performance). Also, there are some projects where scrum integration is not reasonable due to the impossibility of making long-term plans. It mostly applies to the projects connected with support.
In general, scrum has a positive influence on the development process. It ensures transparency of the process, gives an opportunity to analyze the stage of the task fulfillment, and helps the team figure out the difficulties. Moreover, it encourages the team spirit. This strategy is rather simple in implementation, although it may be quite challenging at first.