If you’re on the hunt for a software development team, you’ve probably noticed various terms getting thrown around. Whether it be agile, waterfall, or Scrum, most software development teams label themselves with their favorite software development methodology, as it demonstrates they take an organized approach to development.
When it comes to outsourcing, agile is the most commonly flaunted term. While incredibly similar to agile development, we believe Scrum project management has the upper-hand. In the following, we’ll dive into Scrum and how it can particularly benefit you if you’re hoping to outsource your next software project.
What is Scrum?
The word “scrum” is derived from the game rugby; in rugby, scrum is when one team forms up, interlocks arms with their heads down, and pushes toward the opposing side. During this process, the team works to kick the ball toward their side of the field. As this illustration implies, Scrum is a teamwork-based approach to software development.
While all software development methodologies require at least some degree of teamwork, Scrum takes it to the next level. As an implementation of agile, this method breaks down a large software project into smaller, more manageable tasks, each of which the client has the opportunity to review. In this way, it’s known as a more flexible approach to software development.
Scrum vs. Waterfall: The Scrum Development Process
To better understand Scrum, let’s compare it to the waterfall method. The waterfall method is one of the more traditional software development methodologies, as it follows a very clear, chronological order. Waterfall generally involves five key phases:
Each phase of the waterfall takes several weeks, if not months, to complete. The method places a significant emphasis on the planning stage, as that plan will most likely not change throughout the remainder of the development process. This lack of flexibility can create issues if the final product doesn’t align with the client’s vision.
To address this issue, the Scrum method follows a similar model but in shorter iterations called sprints, which are often between one to three-weeks in length. As such, the key phases for a Scrum software development project may be:
Sprint #1: Plan, Build, Test, Review
Sprint #2: Plan, Build, Test, Review
Sprint #3: Plan, Build, Test, Review
Sprint #3: Plan, Build, Test, Review
Deploy final product
During each phase, the client is able to review a small portion of the software product. Not only does this allow the client to become more involved in seeing his or her vision through, but it makes it easier to pivot the direction of the project if need be. As a result, both the team and the client have greater flexibility and opportunity for change.
Scrum vs. Agile: How are They Different?
While the terms Scrum and agile are often used interchangeably, agile is actually an umbrella term for several frameworks, including Scrum, Kanban, XP, and FDD. In this way, most agile methods (Scrum included) follow the same key phases mentioned above. What makes Scrum unique, however, are the key players, artifacts, and ceremonies involved, all of which emphasize collaboration and communication.
On your Scrum team, you’ll have three categories of key players: 1) the Product Owner, 2) the Scrum Master, and 3) the development team. The Product Owner has the idea for the product, the Scrum Master (often a project manager) oversees the Scrum process, and the development team consists of the developers creating the software project.
The Scrum development process also dictates what artifacts these key players use to track progress: First, the product backlog establishes the priorities for each sprint. These priorities are tracked as user stories, essentially end-user needs. The highest priority User Stories are tracked in the sprint backlog. Finally, the burn-down chart is used to track the completion of each sprint.
In line with these artifacts, there are three Scrum ceremonies: 1) sprint planning, 2) daily Scrum, 3) sprint review. First, the sprint planning meeting establishes the user stories and the sprints’ relative sizes. Next, there is the daily Scrum, a daily meeting that keeps all players in the loop. Finally, there’s the sprint review, an end-of-iteration meeting that reviews the work from that phase and establishes next steps.
Scrum Project Management and Outsourcing
These days, many offshore software development teams follow the agile method, many identifying with the Scrum method specifically. While many argue that the Scrum method can’t be effectively implemented for remote offshore teams, here are just a few reasons we’ve found that it works.
1. Communication & collaboration foster success.
When your team is overseas, it’s all the more critical that you and your team are regularly communicating and collaborating. Thankfully, the Scrum method emphasizes these key concepts, which greatly increases your chances of receiving the software product you envisioned.
2. The Scrum Master keeps things organized.
When outsourcing, trying to orchestrate your team’s schedule, next steps, and more can be difficult. But with a Scrum Master, someone’s already in place to play the role of project manager and keep things rolling for you.
3. Ceremonies keep everyone in the loop.
To keep things organized, your offshore team will ideally follow a schedule for working on your project to communicating with you. With the help of routine ceremonies, your offshore team can simply follow the Scrum model to establish a timeline for each.
4. Sprints provide greater flexibility.
Is the software you received not quite what you expected? No problem. Your team won’t have to backtrack too far to get where you want them to be, which can save you and your team a surplus of time and money.
Looking for a Team with Scrum Project Management?
At ClikGlobal, we bring together onshore and offshore team members to provide clients like you with a quality yet affordable software development services. We are able to provide quality by following a proven process, which follows many of the key principles in the Scrum method.
To get started, tell us about your project today.