Scrum is just 15 pages of rules and guidelines, but some say it has changed the way people feel and think about creating products. It all started in the IT industry, but in fact you do not have to be a software engineer to benefit from Scrum.
What’s more, it can be implemented anywhere you need to start with concepts and end with a finished solution. Scrum is the answer to misestimated deadlines, frustrated teams, irrelevant meetings and changing work scopes. It’s incremental and experiential. It’s focused both on the product and the people. It’s a swiss knife that helps you manage, solve, motivate and push everybody towards a common goal. It doesn’t matter if you’re a startup founder or our client (or both!), here are 5 ways you can win if you let Scrum guide you through the development process.
5 ways you win by working in Scrum
1. A workflow based on evidence and tailored to the team’s needs
In classic management, everything seems under control. If you use charts like this one, you know what has to be done, when, how much time it will take and who is responsible. The thing is that the details only work in theory. In everyday practice, there are a lot of postponed deadlines, unpredicted impediments, people taking days off, misunderstandings and unexpected changes in the project’s scope. What’s more is that people are extremely inaccurate at estimating the time needed to finish complex tasks. The moment you kickstart a project, your chart is already obsolete.
Scrum turns this issue upside down. It says: first inspect, then adapt. Admit there are things that at first you cannot predict. Admit that if you want to predict something, you need evidence. Also, accept the fact that some things are going to change continuously. Focus on increasing productivity and not just sticking to the initial plan.
2. Everybody cares, knows what to do and why they are doing it
The worst thing that can happen to a team is when responsibility is diffused or there is no sense of responsibility at all. It’s complicated to deliver results when nobody: knows what to do, takes credit for the work or understands who carries the can. Plus, even a perfect product chart won’t be enough to make people care.
In Scrum you know when you must take responsibility. Team members constantly negotiate. There is a lot of space for direct contact. People who develop your ideas are encouraged to collaborate and work as closely as possible with their team. Every person in the process gives feedback and explains their part in getting things done.
3. Less time is wasted on telling people what they already know
People are bad at estimating deadlines and are even worse when they try to do it for someone else. Scrum provides one restraint – it timeboxes work. Scrum teams work in one, two or four-week intervals. They estimate how many tasks to take up, not how much time they need to do them. Inside the time box, every team member can schedule his or her work according to her or his preference and style, as long as it’s fine with other people.
Scrum gives the team the means for self-organizing their work and acknowledges that there are certain things that you cannot plan for in advance. It makes assessing the workload easier and encourages exchanging resources.
4. Everybody is well informed and happy to participate
Scrum contains several core events – a daily stand-up meeting, planning, demos, and retrospective meetings. Some of them are meant for everybody and some are just for the developers and designers. The fundamental purpose of the events is to encourage everybody to give and receive feedback. The events increase client participation, put the team in direct contact with the client and with each other. The events also provide an environment for mutual understanding.
5. The product is the boss
In Scrum, it’s no longer that you do something because someone tells you to. You do it because you understand the objectives and you’re an essential part of it.
Scrum requires that everybody understands the rules and knows what they are for. Once you realize that, the product gets to the center of everyone’s effort. The role you assume in a Scrum Team gives you certain responsibilities towards other team members and prevents you from losing sight of the common goal.
It doesn’t matter if you are an entrepreneur, engineer, designer or manager. In the end, it’s all about getting things done.