Different software development methodologies exist today. What is more commonly followed is the ’waterfall’ development methodology wherein the complete set of requirements are mapped out in advance and the development roadmap laid down at the onset. Despite its popularity, the waterfall methodology is increasingly giving way to ‘agile’ development methodologies wherein the development process is broken into multiple incremental iterations. Agile development methodologies score over waterfall in terms of the fact that they are more open and adaptable to change during the development lifecycle.
One such popular development methodology is SCRUM. A while back, Open Source Development adopted the SCRUM methodology and are awestruck with the revelations of using it. We thought that we should share these with you and bring you abreast with the latest technological adaptations taking place in the market.
SCRUM lays emphasis on self organizing, cross-functional teams that work collaboratively with the client (or product owner) in delivering a solution. Wikipedia defines SCRUM as “an iterative incremental framework for managing complex work (such as new product development) commonly used with agile software development.”
In simpler terms, what SCRUM means is that, the application is built in and then delivered to the product owner in multiple short 2-4 week sprints. At the end of each sprint, the development partner delivers complete working and tested functionality of the application. That is to say, at the end of a sprint, the product owner, can look at and use the application that has been built, and is no longer just a drawing in the functional specification. This approach allows him to make the required changes to the application as close to the development as possible.
Each sprint is a complete mini-software development cycle in itself; the target being to release a potential shippable product to the client. Hence, each sprint consists of:
1. Design of the product feature
2. Development of the product feature
3. Testing of the product feature
4. Release of the product feature to the client
Rather than penning down about SCRUM, and what are various steps involved in it, we would like to make you aware about the advantages that it offers to you and your business, if you use the SCRUM methodology.
We all know that transitioning existing systems to a new process is difficult and it should outweigh costs to ensure its effectiveness. Switching to SCRUM offers the following benefits to your organization:
• Provides a framework for people to explore ways to resolve problems in short cycles and with small improvement experiments.
• It is flexible and easily adaptable
• Re-estimation within the project can be easily done
• Involves frequent deliveries of working software
• Higher quality
• Reduced time-to-market product development
• Improved stakeholder satisfaction
• A mechanism that allows them to “inspect and adapt”
• No sequential lifecycle, hence easier detection of shortcomings
For us, as solution providers, we revel in the following returns that it offers:
• Welcome close customer collaboration
• Easier identification of bugs
• Emphasizes on teamwork
• More engaged employees leading to higher productivity and increased job satisfaction
We hope this information is beneficial, and hope it will be a deciding factor for any future technological strategic decisions you make. So next time when you think of technology, think SCRUM– it’s simple and powerful!!