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Life Before and After Scrum

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Industries, both IT and non-IT, have undergone a Scrum revolution in the recent past. The Scrum methodology was introduced in 1995, and before that the industry would work on the waterfall model (since 1970).

I have executed projects with Waterfall and Scrum models. With Scrum methodology, we can deliver products faster, and change requests can be accepted.

What is Waterfall Model?

In the Waterfall model, the sales team discussed the timeline for project delivery with the management and shared details with the client without deep analysis, as per scope.

The sales team shared product details with the business analyst, Once the stakeholder made an upfront amount.

The business analyst is the single point of contact with the stakeholders. He involves the project manager if there are any technical difficulties or understandings(of the stakeholders) required and understands requirements to create a detailed requirement document. Once the stakeholder approves the requirement document, the project can be started. Sometimes, it can take more than a month.

The business analyst kicks-off the project and explains the detailed document. The developer may ask some questions and get clarity on the project. This is the first and last time the cross-functional team communicates together with a business analyst.

After that, the cross-functional team estimates the delivery with the project manager and shares a delivery date with the business analyst.

Development starts and the developer shares daily updates with the project manager. The business analyst does not have any idea of development and whenever the development team has any impediments, they need to discuss it internally with the project manager. The project manager needs to ask the business analyst to explain the document if needed. If required, business analysts discusses with stakeholders and updates documents.

The cross functional team may take 2-3 months or more to deliver the project. Sometimes, the business analyst and sales team divides development into two milestones to show the progress to stakeholders. Within 2-3 months, some stakeholders may drop ideas, go out of pocket or come up with different ideas/change requests.

Change requests in waterfall

If the stakeholders come up with different ideas or change requests once the team completes a milestone of work or completes the project, then the business analysts can ask to add the next phase (after the end of the development). Sometimes stakeholders requested change in the same phase to remove or add task. It takes a high amount of time because effort increases when development is near to completion and maximum projects get on hold or cancelled because of change request efforts.

Without scrum, projects can fail due to business goal and requirement uncertainty along with implementation/technology uncertainty.

To increase certainty for business goals, requirements, implementation and technologies, maximum organisations adopt scrum.

The Scrum Framework

Everyone respects the product owner's decision, including stakeholders. As per the scope, the product owner and stakeholder decide the depth and breadth of the project. There are five events introduced in scrum: sprint planning, daily scrum, sprint review, sprint retrospective and the sprint. Every event is conducted in the sprint.

Once the sales team agrees on the scope and terms & conditions, the product owner adds the first level requirement in Jira with epics, stories and tasks. Once the product owner creates sufficient tasks for the sprint, the project gets started. The product owner is able to start development within 3-4 days.

Scrum Events

In the first event of Sprint Planning, the product owner, Scrum master, development team (cross functional team) and subject matter experts may be included if required. The scrum team plans a sprint for a maximum period of 1 month because the smaller sprint increases the level of certainty. The scrum defines sprint goals too and every scrum event is a timeboxed event. The scrum team starts the sprint and the development team assigns tasks internally.

In Daily scrum, the development team shares updates within 15 minutes. The development team needs to discuss previous day updates, Plan for today and Impediment (if they have). Daily scrum is not organized for a detailed discussion of impediments. The scrum team can connect during the day to resolve impediments. The Product owner and The scrum master are not compulsory to join daily scrum but highly recommended. If the development team finds new features or changes in the sprint task, they can raise it with the product owner and request to add in the backlog for the next sprint.

The product owner creates the next sprint during the sprint and takes help of scrum master and development team. The Scrum Master is accountable for establishing Scrum as defined in the Scrum Guide and helps the development team, product owner and organization to resolve impediments.

At the end of the sprint, the sprint review event is organised. The scrum and stakeholder are available for the event. The scrum team demonstrates sprint tasks to the stakeholder. The product owner adds a backlog for the stakeholder’s feedback and starts the next sprint. In scrum, the development team can directly communicate with stakeholders.

Before the start of the next sprint, the scrum team attends the Sprint Retrospective as the last event of the sprint. The scrum team on the basis of “start doing, keep doing and stop doing points”, creates action items.

Wrapping up

Scrum is a framework for product development. The project is divided into multiple iterations with the help of scrum and allows the change requests of the stakeholder. With the help of scrum, stakeholders receive working software faster because it provides a minimum viable product.

As ProDT, We are following scrum for all projects and giving client a successful product.

As scrum increases the level of certainty for business goals, requirements, implementation and technology also increases.