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Scrum Development: Help Your Team Adapt to Ever-changing Environments

written by: Misty Faucheux • edited by: Michele McDonough • updated: 3/18/2012

Are you tired of clients complaining that your teams are not delivering quality product? Do you want your teams to work together more cohesively? Then, the Scrum development method is for you. Read more about this potentially, company-changing project management methodology.

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    The Scrum Development Method

    So, you've learned what scrum is, you know that it helps your organization as a whole, but what can it do for your teams? That's a good question. There are many methods out there that claim to enhance team participation, but they all too often do not produce successful results.

    What sets the scrum development method apart is - its uses the strengths of individual members of the team. Scrum teams are comprised of no more than seven members. These members come to the team with individual strengths such as: quality assurance, software development, data management, and so forth. These distinct capabilities are maximized in the scrum method, in turn helping to develop a formidable group.

    What also distinguishes the scrum development method is its ability to incorporate the actual customers into the team. Now, there is no guesswork as to whether or not the client will like the final product. They're involved in the whole process, from start to finish. After each sprint, the team can present to the customer what has been done to date. At that point the customers can decide whether or not their requirements are being met.

    These incremental phases of product deliverables provide time to adjust to changes and correct problems. No more are teams scrambling after 12 or 18 long months, trying to fix whatever the client does not like or whatever doesn't work.

    Risk management plans are set in place and are regularly checked at every step of process. Impediments (anything that doesn't allow the team to move forward) are continuously presented during scrum meetings. Nothing is ignored. Allowing team members to voice their concerns or issues with other team members or even other teams helps to correct the issue.

    In addition, if you have teams across the world, the scrum development method encourages better communication and efficiency since every team must report their progress at the daily scrum meetings. Normally teams report what they have done, what they will accomplish by the next scrum meeting, and what has not been accomplished as previously scheduled.

    Teams are put to the forefront in the scrum development method. The teams make the decisions, not management. Management or the scrum masters are there to help, but they are not allowed to micromanage teams. The teams can build on their individual past experiences to decide how long it will take for an assigned task to be completed. The teams determine how much work that they can accomplish in a sprint.

    With the scrum development method, teams can clearly see what needs to be done and can decide how to attack the assignment. Since team members have to finish the task by the end of the sprint, every minute of work time becomes important.

    Team members cannot put off tasks for days on end as they would for a project that isn't due for months. With the scrum method, they only have a specified amount of time (a few days to a couple of weeks) - deadlines are closer. The scrum development method forces team members to focus on the task at hand; multitasking or trying to handle as many projects at once is eliminated.

    Scrum development methodology allows teams flexibility, but also makes them accountable for the assigned work. The scrum development method brings cohesiveness to teams. Ideally maximum flexibility and control are needed in complex environments such as systems and software development. Scrum aids in producing orderly systems in these rapidly changing environments. Practically every organization, mainly those that rely heavily on technology can benefit from using the Scrum method.