My Experience with scrum and why it is such a great methodology

Scrum is now a buzzword in Software Development. When I heard about Scrum initially, my natural reaction was :  “oh okay….here comes yet another idea to develop software”.

As I started reading more and more about Scrum, I kind of got addicted to the way it changes the whole paradigm of software development. We got opportunities to implement it for a few clients and so here is a summary of my experience with Scrum:

1. Scrum is Software Development done backwards

Yes! that’s what I really mean. In scrum, the requirements are presented as an end result. For example, “As a guest user, I should be able to sign up”. Now, once the developers are presented with the end result, they start working backwards to achieve that. Everything starts from that point. No wonder why results wouldn’t be great.

2. Scrum focuses on End Business Value

In scrum, user stories are created keeping in mind End Business Value. As a result, client requirements becomes very specific. Since scrum forces to think from an End Business Value perspective, less important items weed out automatically.

3. Scrum is about daily success

In Scrum, practices like stand up meetings, small iterations and frequent feedback allows the team to achieve small goals daily. In no time, these smaller goals sum up into big achievements.

4. Scrum is about measured progress

For many of us in Project Management, when introduced to Scrum initially, we thought it would be a cool way to get away from likes of Gantt Charts and Critial Path, is’nt it? 😉 …Well, thats not the case.  Scrum does have something similar but the good news is that, it’s done very smartly. In Scrum, the project progress is measured in ‘Velocity‘. And since this is the most interesting part of Scrum, I would like to explain it some more:

In Scrum, every User Story entered by a customer is estimated in terms of ‘Story Points‘ by the development team. Story Points is relative estimation of a User Story based on complexity of that story relative to other stories. For Each Sprint (read milestone),  the team takes up User Stories with a goal to complete ‘X’ SPs (story points).  After 1 or 2 Sprints, the team knows how much SP’s it can finish in a given Sprint. The measure of a Team’s efficiency in acheiving software goals is termed as ‘Velocity‘.  Once a team knows it’s Velocity on a Software Development project…it becomes extremely easy to product features and shipment dates.

There is a lot more to Scrum than all this…I would rather let you explore it over the web. Here are some useful resources where I learned by baby steps in Scrum:

You Tube Video

Scrum Estimation at Agile Software Development

I would like know your experience on Scrum. What did you find out about Scrum and what have you learnt?

Wish you Happy Project Management with Scrum!

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