Order
Group
Business
17.09.2021 | 6 min

Why use Scrum? 6 reasons and practical examples

About five years after Order Group was founded, we switched to agile project management. Contrary to waterfall methods, where the project goals are set in a narrow group of people and developers only perform the assigned tasks, programmers' participation is much greater in Scrum.

Why use Scrum? 6 reasons and practical examples - 2021 16
Table of Contents
  • Better matching to the customer's and market's needs
  • Faster release
  • Less frustration and stress
  • Continuity of the project
  • Everyday work is smoother and faster
  • A closer relationship between the client and software house

About five years after Order Group was founded, we switched to agile project management. Contrary to waterfall methods, where the project goals are set in a narrow group of people and developers only perform the assigned tasks, programmers' participation is much greater in Scrum.

The cooperation on the client-contractor line is much closer.

After four years of using Scrum, we can see that this approach is much more beneficial for all parties: the client, his clients, and the software team.

Why?

Better matching to the customer's and market's needs

For each Scrum project, we conduct a business workshop with the client. Together, we set the framework for the project, including the key functionalities of the application or website.

However, it often happens that ideas don't correspond to reality. The original assumptions may not be 100% accurate because market trends may have changed since they were established.

Sometimes you have to see a feature to realize that it doesn't make sense. And vice versa, sometimes you need to recognize that a feature is missing to find out it's necessary.

Scrum consists of a weekly product demo where the project team shows the current version of the product to the client. Together, we think about what is needed, what is redundant, and what is worth improving.

Thanks to this, the client can influence the course of work on an ongoing basis. We avoid a situation where we code something only because we planned it three months ago. Thanks to Scrum, we code only what the client and his clients really need.

An example from a project:

A client from the food industry hired us to recreate old versions of existing websites. After business workshops, we agreed to create all pages from scratch, using content from previous versions.

Thanks to weekly meetings, we learned that some of the old pages contained useless information and outdated sections that we shouldn't include in our scope of work. As a result, we saved time for both the client and ourselves and could think of something new that will be useful for the users.

Faster release

After business workshops with the client, we create an initial list of functionalities and start coding. Scrum sprints, during which we present the fruits of our work and discuss the next steps, are held every week or two. You can read more about our process in the article How we do IT

Sometimes, however, after the first or second sprint, the product turns out to be sufficient. Thanks to quick feedback rounds, some projects, planned for several months, are handed over much earlier, saving client's time and money.

An example from a project:

For a client from the energy industry, we designed a new control panel for the company's consultants. For one of the first sprints, we created an elementary version just to present the essential functionalities.

It turned out that the demo version was entirely sufficient for the client and his employees, so we stopped further UX work. As a result, the customer used it for business purposes much faster than initially planned.

Less frustration and stress

Having worked for a couple of years in waterfall methodology, we learned that clients stress the most when they don't know what is happening in the project. Is everything going as perfect as expected? Is the project going in the right direction? Do I know everything I need to know?

In Scrum, the client is a full-fledged product team member and participates in weekly demos. As a result, he is fully aware of the progress of work and the existing problems or possible threats.

The knowledge exchange on the client-developer line is smooth; there are no understatements and uncertainties.

An example from a project:

Finance industry. To progress on the project, we needed constant access to specific knowledge that only the client had. So we created a dedicated Slack channel, where we exchanged knowledge on an ongoing basis with financial specialists on the client's side.

As a result, the client knew exactly what we were working on and at what pace.

Continuity of the project

Each person in a Scrum project has to explain their work section for a given sprint to the rest of the team. No developer works in isolation, and information on individual tasks spreads within the team and is available to everyone. As mentioned above, the client is a sole part of the product team, too.

Thanks to this, the project is resistant to team leaves and unforeseen situations, such as absence due to illness. So when you suddenly run out of a tester, everyone knows what to do in the testing field, and it's easy to continue working without any time slippage.

An example from a project:

In Scandinavia, July is the month when everyone takes long holidays. It was no different in the case of our client from the renewable energy industry, who went on a whole month of vacation.

Because he participated in demo meetings before his departure, and the entire project team knew the tasks of each developer separately, his monthly absence didn't stop the progress of the project. We could even solve the problem that is usually on the client's side, without his participation!

Everyday work is smoother and faster

Daily Scrum is a meeting where the whole team talks about yesterday's work and what they will be doing today. Developers have the opportunity to listen to each other and share information with the rest of the team that could impact the day's assignment.

Thanks to this, the team's work is smoother. We avoid downtime because we don't know something. We don't do additional work because we verify the sense of specific actions faster.

Daily Scrum helps to correct the project course at the level of everyday development work.

An example from a project:

When planning sprint activities for a security-related project, one of the developers prepared a list of conditions to meet. However, we discussed them internally and concluded that they require 2x longer work.

We started to present our solutions on how to deliver the project within the set time frame. Together we developed conditions that we managed to meet within the specified time, and we delivered the product at the end of the sprint.

A closer relationship between the client and software house

All of the above arguments boil down to one, in our opinion, the most important: Scrum encourages the client and the development team to work closely. Together we build the product on trust, partnership, and open exchange of information.

Because the client is involved in the process, he can correct the course of the project on an ongoing basis. He can give feedback and notice whether he needs certain features and if any are missing.

On the other hand, the development team is also more involved: they code and co-create the product with the client. Team members listen to the client's ideas and give their own suggestions. Thus, they actively participate in the project's life.

As a result, the product is the fruit of collaboration and meets the customer's needs as much as possible.

That is why we decided to work with agile methods, and we encourage everyone with whom we work to do so.

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