Why should you use agile methodologies in software development?
Most top software development companies are taking strides to evolve their processes in order to create more complex products in a shorter time. Agile methodology for implementation emerged to provide transparency of information, better team collaboration and systems that help developers adapt to new obstacles fast.
Our team at redk has been using Scrum – one of the most popular takes on agile implementation methodology used by Fortune 500 companies around the world – to improve our software creation. It’s designed for smaller teams and is built around two-week development cycles, called sprints.
Here’s how it makes our team at redk more productive, efficient and happier.
How does Scrum work?: Roles, events and artifacts
The Scrum methodology consists of three main components: roles, events, and artifacts.
The product owner lays out the desired features, sets visions, manages backlogs, explains features and sets release dates. This allows developers to work fluidly and have a greater capacity for cross functioning and self organisation.
The most important role for holding everything together is that of the scrum master, who must coach, teach, protect and administer the entire process. The scrum master is usually a passionate implementer who excels at organisation and finishing projects.
Rather than hold up the process with unstructured meetings, one-hour sprint planning sessions are used to communicate individual goals to each team member. The team will lock down the backlog items they can commit to and create realistic goals to finish by the end of the sprint. These fast-paced sessions are complemented by daily scrums – 15-minute progress checks with the team – and a sprint retrospective – to review the accomplishments of the sprint and better prepare for the next one.
The success of the process is measured in artifacts. The product backlog and sprint backlog are lists of agreed upon targets, while increments are the sum of all the backlog items that have been completed.
What are the benefits of using Scrum methodology?
At redk, we find Scrum gives our teams higher accountability and allows individuals to work across a range of specialisations. This is thanks to the entire team communicating effectively and everyone being on the same page.
Our teams must think on their feet to solve problems, which often results in more creative solutions and fresh ideas. We find that passionate developers who enjoy seeing the fruits of their labours (there is a much clearer sense of what has been “done” with Scrum) find it to be a fast-paced but ultimately satisfying methodology.
“Scrum” was inspired by a rugby maneuver of the same name where all players come together, working as a team to push the ball forward.
Most importantly, Scrum allows us to deliver updates and new products to our clients effectively and efficiently, which is vital in an ever-changing market. The methodology not only delivers timely increments, but also allows us to address functionality issues with each iteration, making sure we get it right before moving on. Agile methodologies like Scrum were designed to iron out the inevitable bugs both in the software itself and the ways in which teams work together, resulting in a better product for the client.