Does Scrum Apply To All Types Of Projects?

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Introduction

Probably this is one of the most frequently asked questions in relation to implementation of Scrum and still baffles everyone. The old school of Scrum was very anxious about Scrum being used beyond software development. And it’s a regular question googled in relation to the adaption of scrum methodology, and still people are confused whether to implement it in their projects. All of us know in software companies that scrum is the most significant agile methodology for handling software projects. In spite of its well-known advantages, we might be uncertain whether to use this framework or follow a traditional way for the development. Scrum is a framework that can have a transforming power. Before adopting the methodology one should be sure when it’s best to use scrum and how to make the best utilization out of this methodology. Scrum is a lightweight agile process framework used primarily for managing software development.

What is scrum methodology? 

It’s a simple framework that facilitates team collaboration on complex projects. The good news is that scrum is easy to understand. The bad news, it’s hard to master. Scrum emphasizes teamwork in project management. It stresses accountability and is an iterative progress towards a well-defined goal. Scrum is part of agile software development and teams practicing agile. The name comes from the sport of rugby, where scrum is a formation where everyone plays a specific role, but everyone is working towards a quick adoption of strategies. When working with a scrum methodology, start with what is known and then track the progress, changing your actions as needed. Scrum is a framework that can have a transforming power.

The Pros

  • Effective use of time and money.
  • Works well with fast-moving development projects.
  • Big projects are divided into small manageable sprints.
  • Not much deviation for implementation of process.
  • Regular feedback received at the delivery of each sprint and adjustments implemented before next sprint.
  • The next sprint can be planned after the current sprint.
  • Maximum business value can be achieved.

The Cons

  • It leads to scope creep, due to lack of definite end-date.
  • Adopting in large teams is challenging.
  • Successful only with experienced team members.
  • Iteration has huge impact on the project.
  • Quality is hard until the team undergoes aggressive testing process.

Now, let us discuss the below scenarios.

  • Sometimes there were too many issues from the earlier versions but the other times too few issues were there – In these cases, we need to immediately switch our focus to a high-priority issue and provide a possible solution to the customer as early as possible. The current sprint needs to be cancelled and pending tasks need to be transferred to the next sprint.
  • Sometimes no issues at all – Continue the sprint.
  • Sometimes issues need to be addressed but the current project is also in a critical stage – An example is the build failure of the current project and where testers weren’t able to continue the testing. This becomes a critical condition for any project which needs to be addressed and planned for.

Because of this critical situation, management switched its posture and agreed to leave Scrum for this project as it stalled both the projects and instead used the waterfall model.

HOW TO APPLY SCRUM TO OTHER PROJECTS

  • Earlier we reviewed the scrum principle, methodology, framework, pros and cons. Now we shall implement and analyses the scrum methodology in a manufacturing company use case. Consider T-shirt manufacturing companies take on scrum methodology. Company wants to improve existing T-shirt: design and colour. Manager (Product owner) will provide the requirements as short stories to the team regarding the design required on T-shirt and cloth quality. Design team and quality (QA) team will analyses the stories and implements details into short points as the different designs required for different colour of T-shirt (sprint backlog) and will implement in span of 2-4 weeks duration.
  • Daily scrum meeting are held to update the progress on the design planning and working. Manager manages the work across the cross- functional team such as design, colour correction team, quality check and manufacturing team. With the story points initial T-shirt is manufactured (sprint). Based on the initial T-shirt team provides the feedback for the improvisation. Feedback can be from internal team members or external customer feedback. Based on the feedback, the adjusted design requirements are manufactured in a sample batch. Once the team is satisfied with the sample, the final T-shirt is manufactured.
  • The above example explains the use of scrum methodology for T-shirt manufacturing company. Here the scrum is useful in providing the required output. Sample T-shirts help to avoid the correction in large productions. Scrum methodology helps to implement the creative ideas and the feedback given are incorporated in next production. This helps to overcome minor corrections in production. Unlike the waterfall method, scrum helps in visualizing the actual product before the final production and allows further customization prior to final production. The fast pace of the work process is well suited for the fast change of technology. This method is suitable for improvisation of existing T-shirt but not for manufacturing of T-shirt in its initial design

Conclusion:

In my opinion, before adopting any methodology we should always deep dive into it and understand its success rate in different scenarios of the project.  If you are working in the creative industry such as communications, design, manufacturing, marketing or sales department or program managers in government organization scrum methodology can make your work process easier. It helps them to satisfy the needs of the customer, adapting the changes and working faster. This methodology improves cooperation and communication among team members.

Barghavi

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