A Scrum Approach to Project Management
Ahmed is the CTO of QPSoftware; he has been with the company for more than three years. He is SCRUM Master Certified, and he is the one who implemented this methodology in QPSoftware. However, first, let's get back in time and see how everything started: "I began to hear about the Scrum methodology on different blogs that I follow to stay up to date with the latest technologies and solutions available in my field. I saw more and more articles and posts about this methodology, and I started to get curious about it. I did some research and step by step I collected enough information to be able to apply it to our projects. I had to implement some Scrum technics at QPSoftware, but I could not use this methodology entirely. That is why I followed specific training to be fully aware and competent. I decided to use this methodology because It is an exciting and brilliant methodology to use when working on digital projects. Since these projects require constant evolution, Scrum allows us to solve this issue efficiently.
For instance, often clients change their mind as the project develops and thanks to Scrum we can consider this even before starting a project. This methodology helps us to manage our teams with high-efficiency. It helps our teams to achieve the best while being happy and involved."
If you are familiar with rugby, you know what a scrum is. If not, let me explain. A scrum is when a group of players tightly interlock arms and heads towards each other then pushes forward at full power to attempt to get the ball before the other team. We are not trying to give you a rugby lesson here, but if you can picture what a scrum looks like, then it's easier to understand just how the scrum approach to project management works.
Scrum is a fairly new system used to approach a task especially in the tech field, and it is an integral part of the broader “agile” project management process. Tackling a project with the scrum approach helps teams to work smarter and to accomplish better results. It will enhance the overall quality of the final product saving both time and money. All good reasons to investigate further how the scrum approach to project management works.
What Is Scrum
Scrum is defined as an agile approach to the development of a project. However, it must be understood that scrum is not the full process but only a framework that supports the agile methodology.
Since things may be getting a bit confusing here, let’s go back to our rugby example. When a team approaches a contest, they have an overall strategy to win the match. This strategy can be compared to the “agile” methodology. The scrum is just one of the many means used by the team to implement the end goal.
When a team adopts a scrum approach, for example with a new web design or e-commerce project, they merge forces to achieve a common goal. Exactly the same as with a rugby scrum, the team members no longer work individually but they become a sole unit where their single capabilities and expertise combine for maximum efficiency.
How Scrum Approach Works
What makes this approach innovative is the fact that there is not a specific team leader that gives directions to each member or oversees their performances. The team members are therefore not given a detailed list of how to do each task. Each team member is well aware of the final goal, and they will decide the best way to achieve it using their specific capabilities. In a nutshell, the scrum group is self-organized and cross-functional.
Self-organization means that the team itself decides as a whole who takes care of specific tasks and how to handle particular problems. Thanks to their expertise, each member knows the best way to solve any given issue they are presented within their field. At the same time, seeing as the team is cross-functional, each member of the team is involved and needed in order for an idea to be transformed into a product.
This creates an environment where brainstorming is stimulated, and personal abilities combine to achieve better results.
The work is organized into a series of scrum sprints to make sure that the project flows smoothly. A sprint is a set period, usually ranging from a couple of weeks to one month. At the end of each sprint, the team is expected to deliver a usable product to test their work and discuss results.
For instance, in the case of a web design project, the product delivered at the end of a sprint can be a demo of the specific features implemented by the scrum team. This would not be the final product, and it is not expected to have all the right design elements in place. However, it has to be a usable product in order to test the overall quality of the product and discuss further adjustments or implementations.
Dividing the project into several sprints provides regular intervals for the client to check that the product is meeting their requests and to make any necessary adjustments as per his demands.
Even though the concept is simple, to implement a scrum approach to project management requires some training and practice. Good organization is pivotal, and it is important to understand the different roles. We can focus on three main roles of a scrum.
The Scrum Master
The scrum master plays a key role in the success of the project as they ensure that the team is working in the right direction and that everyone is on the same page. He does not assign specific tasks or give instructions to single team members since the team itself takes care of that.
It is his or her responsibility to remove any obstacle the team may face during a sprint so that the deadlines can be met. Most important, the Scrum Master makes sure that the scrum team sets achievable goals for each sprint to avoid over-commitment that could compromise the overall quality of the project.
The Product Owner
The responsibility of the product owner is to provide the scrum team a detailed product backlog. The product backlog is a comprehensive and precise to-do-list for the project that tells the team what to work on and what is the expected result. At the end of each sprint, the product owner will examine the product created by the scrum team.
The Scrum Team
This is the group of professionals working on the project. A typical Scrum team is not big, usually not more than 5-9 people. Since their capabilities and expertise are tightly intertwined during the project, they develop a deep team spirit that prompt creativity and efficiency.
What Are the Benefits of the Scrum Approach to Project Management
Here at QPSoftware, we use scrum approach on a regular basis, and we have direct experience of its benefits. Among our team, we have Certified Scrum Masters who can make this process highly efficient and truly effective.
Even though this model is often applied to web design and e-commerce projects, it can be used successfully in many other ways.
The idea behind Scrum Project Management is to deliver a product that is precisely what our clients want. If you use this approach, you will never find yourself in the position of proudly presenting your product to your client just to get a thumbs down in return.
To appreciate the full the value of scrum approach, let’s consider some of the many benefits we have experienced ourselves.
- Agile scrum saves you time and money. This is one of the most important benefits you will appreciate. Being that the project is divided into several sprints, you can easily control it at every step of the way. At the end of each sprint, we can present our client with the demo that has been created and receive their feedback. This makes any needed adjustments easy to implement and we avoid wasting time working on functionalities that the client is not happy with. In the end, the client will have exactly what he wants and the project will be time and cost-effective.
- The scrum team members develop camaraderie. This team spirit prompts creativity and efficiency. Even challenging projects become easier to tackle when the team is united and work together toward the same goal.
- Projects move ahead quickly and more efficiently. A scrum team meets daily for a few minutes to check on its progress. The project development is visible to everybody and mistakes can be quickly rectified without wasting time or money.
- Thanks to the daily meetings, it is possible to keep track of each members productivity. Therefore each member is motivated to improve his performance and projects can be delivered on time.
- Clients are happier with the product. The scrum approach produces higher-quality products that meet the customer’s expectation. If you combine that with the cheaper management costs for the company, scrum approach is a perfect win-win situation.
QPSoftware is a top web design agency in China, and we use the scrum approach as an integral part of our agile methodology. We have been using this method for years, and that has enhanced the quality of our web design and e-commerce projects. Take a look at our portfolio to see just what kind of results we have achieved using the scrum approach.
The same agile approach has been highly effective as we tackled Business Intelligence projects and SEO projects. The scrum approach has been critical in clearly identifying our clients’ needs and adjusting our workflow to achieve maximum results.
Especially for WeChat app projects and native app projects, the scrum approach enables us to make sure that the solution we are developing is user-friendly and meet the users’ expectation.
If you want to test for yourself the quality of scrum approach to project management, get in touch with us today, and we will illustrate to you how you can best handle your project.