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Agile Web Development: What is Scrum and How Does it Benefit the Client?

Sep 2014

Scrum clearly provides many benefits for developers, but what about its advantages for the client and other stakeholders? This is a question I faced recently in a client meeting. To answer it, I first need to define Scrum itself.

WHAT IS SCRUM?

In layman’s terms, Scrum is a project management technique that is used with Agile development projects. It aims to make projects more effective by defining the roles of team members and by providing a specific way of organising the workload over a series of short development cycles, or “sprints”.

THE ADVANTAGES OF SCRUM

  • Scrum’s main advantage is the way it facilitates adaptation to changing customer requirements. It does this by providing a flexible framework wherein new features can be added and tasks reprioritized without adversely affecting the project flow and team morale.
  • Secondly, the system of sprints encourages regular feedback. Each sprint is followed by a review, which provides an opportunity for the entire team to reflect on the previous sprint and discuss improvements for the next.
  • Thirdly, by defining roles for team members, client and other stakeholders, it promotes collaboration, and clear and open communication between all parties.
  • Finally, Scrum provides a framework to estimate the levels of work involved. Features are estimated in terms of points, where each point represents the relative quantity of effort required. This technique is flexible enough to allow for changes in requirements or changes in the development team’s velocity.

THE DISADVANTAGES OF SCRUM

  • It does not work with traditional software development methodologies such as Waterfall.
  • It cannot work effectively unless it has full management/client support.
  • It requires a Scrum Master who understands the Scrum practices and is able to apply them.

 

Bit Zesty uses scrum and agile for Ruby on Rails application development
If you want to read more about Scrum, Agile and other project management methodologies, then see all our blog posts on project management.