Scrum, an agile development methodology for better control of projects
Triodor has been developing its software for years using a method that is increasingly popular: scrum. Scrum is a term from rugby, referring to the way the game is restarted after a foul, when a group of players tries to push the opposing players away from the ball and get the ball across the field.
What is Scrum?
In summary, scrum means that the customer's requirements are divided into small modules within a clearly defined time-frame to give the customer a tangible result. Such a set of requirements are laid out in a sprint, a period of two to maximally four weeks. Within the sprint a product or module is designed, coded and tested. What makes scrum special is that experts in a small cross-functional team are involved in all phases of software development. This is a radical break with the traditional way of software development, where each phase in a process has its own experts, performing their tasks and then handing the result over to the experts in the next phase. This way of working is not only inflexible, but the cost in time and money are often difficult to predict. Working with scrum not only increases the effectiveness of the team, by frequent feedback and evaluation of the progress of the team and the project are continuously monitored. As a result, risks and blockages of various kinds, that become apparent at an early stage, are minimised and can be eliminated.
The benefits of Scrum
Triodor has been working with scrum for years because the method has obvious advantages over conventional development methods. It allows us to improve the flow of a project considerably because so much is happening at once. There is frequent communication among team members and between the team and the customer commissioning the project, so that everyone knows about problems that occur. This not only increases the problem-solving ability of all concerned, but also enhances team spirit and mutually beneficial cooperation. Scrum enables developers to evaluate quickly, in real time and repeatedly (every two weeks) the software currently in use. Because the business sets the priorities, no software is developed which is redundant or of no market relevance.
With scrum we approach projects in an integrated way, not as the sum of all kinds of sub-projects and so avoid the so-called 'island syndrome'.
Scrum makes projects flexible and agile. If, for example, a customer wishes to make changes in the project implementation, this will have little impact on the work flow.
The changes are simply carried along in the workflow - to the next sprint.
Finally, scrum makes clear very quickly what works and what does not work and the method thrives on chaotic and highly dynamic environments.