Why scrum works – Agile development?

What the hell is agile? no it’s not a magical word you can wrap around a plan that consists of a bunch of devs going hell for leather in a dark room with an endless supply of Red Bull…. “what man? It’s agile”…..

So I asked wiki:

Agile software development is a group of software development methods based on iterative and incremental development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizingcross-functional teams. It promotes adaptive planning, evolutionary development and delivery, a time-boxed iterative approach, and encourages rapid and flexible response to change. It is a conceptual framework that promotes foreseen interactions throughout the development cycle. The Agile Manifesto[1] introduced the term in 2001.

To be honest that’s pretty spot on and I think the most important aspect this definition touches on is the concept of adaptive planning. Yes as we all know the word scope exists for a reason, without scope the ability for a client to “squeeze that little bit more in” wouldn’t be there… would it..? (devs around the world are chucking things at the screen right now). In essence without an adaptive planning approach great websites simply don’t get to see the light of day, or the call up to play run on for the 1st XV interwebs.

This is where scrum comes in. Scrum is essentially an agile framework that a project team follows in order create loose rules around: 

  • Releases (sprints): What needs to be achieved in a particular time period
  • Meetings: Face to face meetings, or scrum meetings as they commonly referred to, each day / week to promotes this “rapid & flexible response to change” and ultimately a conduit for communication that builds good teams and projects
  • Burndown!! Probably the best part of scrum – a metric through which timelines can be created for that particular client that needs to know when their pretty little site will be LIVE!

If you really want to get your head around scrum – the best example I have seen to date is Hamid Shojaee’s scrum in 10 minutes video

So in answer to your question, why does scrum work? Scrum works for us here because it ticks a couple of important boxes at wiliam: 

  • Promotes a healthy team environment where not only the project manager knows what’s going on but all stakeholders do as well! Yes even us  devs in the dark room with our red bull, which means a lot  (in case you haven’t worked it out already – I’m a dev).
  • Assurance that we can deliver a quality product on time and on budget for all our valued clients.

Get agile, it works!