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Agile development: Scrum and other techniques

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25 May 2020

What is Scrum development and why is it growing popular around the world? We have been working on this technique for several years now, and we have something to tell. Make yourself comfortable: we share the key features of “agile development”. 

Scrum is a project management methodology and one of the techniques of Agile Software Development. Scrum is based on an empirical approach and helps develop products in a deliberately complicated, confusing environment.

Businesses should keep their eyes open in the world of actively developing technologies: promptly implement new products and quickly adapt to the needs of the audience, keeping up with the competition. That’s why many IT companies implement Scrum, a new management tool, which helps the team to adapt and change.

Appearance of Agile

IT specialists all over the world have been using waterfall methodology for a long time, where the process is divided into clear stages: idea, ToR, design development, code writing, testing and release. But if there was a new idea or requirement somewhere in the middle, they had to ignore it or redo processes from the very beginning. This had a negative impact on the quality of both the process and the product. To solve this problem, a so-called Manifesto for Agile Software Development was created that first mentioned the term Agile.

Agile is a set of “flexible” methods of software development. First appeared in the IT environment, but today it is actively implemented in other areas. The main idea of the method is that the openness to changes is more important than following the original plan.

Agile, Scrum and Kanban: what is the connection?

There are many flexible approaches to achieving goals and values. Agile, Scrum and Kanban are the most popular of them. 

Scrum divides the team members into three roles:

  1. Product owner is the one who takes responsibility for the end result. The product owner does not lead the process but only knows the priorities and operates with them.
  2. Scrum Master is the one who controls the process and helps others to overcome difficulties.
  3. Development team. Employees who have the required skills to get a working product.

The basis of Scrum is sprint, a period of two to four weeks. Before the start, tasks are formed for a given period, and at the end participants analyze the result and prepare tasks for the next sprint.  

Scrum development does not allow adding tasks to the current sprint. Even if there is an urgent requirement, it will be worked on only in the new sprint. This reduces the flexibility of the method, but allows us to meet the deadlines.

Kanban = efficiency

Kanban is an Agile method that can increase team productivity many times over. Its goal is to make the workflow as clear and understandable as possible, with the workload being evenly distributed among team members. 

Kanban is based on three principles:

  1. Tasks need to be visualized. Schemes, infographics, signs allow to notice errors in time and to eliminate them in time.
  2. All team members must be involved in each task. This is the only way the load is distributed evenly.
  3. It is important to control the timing and time spent on the tasks to optimize the development process.

How we do in IT Brick

Kanban and Scrum development are Agile methods of work organization, each of which has its own pros and cons. We use effective Scrum approaches, transforming them to our needs.

Our work consists of sprints. The customer knows the deadlines of the tasks included in the current sprint. But we don’t waste time with the daily meetings provided for in Scrum. When a project is launched, we create a common ToR to understand the process and evaluate it for the customer. ToR can be changed and updated when forming sprints. 

You don’t have to be limited to one method to build an efficient workflow — you can try different ones by adapting them to your needs. The goal remains the same: to present a high-quality, in-demand working product to the world.

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