What is Agile?
Agile is a method of working which revolves around continual development and collaboration. The Agile Framework brings together a group of people into a project with the flexibility to choose their way of working as a team, operating within guidelines but choosing their boundaries. It encourages teamwork, self-organisation and accountability within a team project.
Most significantly, this method allows for the ability to be responsive to change. For example, the Agile way of working facilitates any changes that might occur in customer requirements in a timely manner. It also ensures that a company can supply an ongoing responsive product release in smaller iterations.
An Agile mind-set is necessary to create and develop high-performing teams, who in turn deliver value to their customers in a shorter time frame, which leads to a quicker return on investment.
Scrum Model Definition
What is Scrum? As per the Official Scrum Guide, Scrum is not exactly a methodology, but rather a simple framework for effective team collaboration on complex projects. Scrum gets its name from rugby terminology, and just like a rugby team, encourages members to learn from experience and continuously improve. It involves specific values, roles, events and artefacts, which ensure the seamless running of a project.
The Scrum Process Model is also known as the Scrum Software Delivery Framework. However, it is not only used to develop software for businesses; it’s also widely used in hardware development, marketing and business operations, among other things.
Benefits of Agile Development Scrum
Agile Scrum provides a range of benefits for all parties involved in the process, including development teams, customers and vendors. These include:
- Higher productivity and better prioritisation of tasks
- Faster product delivery times
- Improved control over project performance with ongoing feedback on products and processes
- An adaptable process enabling teams to easily incorporate changes on an ongoing basis and mitigate risks
- Higher quality products and increased user satisfaction
- Lower costs and increased ROI
- Uplifted team morale with higher job satisfaction
- Better visibility across the project to help keep progress on track
The Scrum Team: what to expect when working under Scrum Project Management
The Scrum Framework can only function when a dedicated team is brought together to fulfil the requirements of a business. One of the main and most important characteristics of a Scrum Team is the fact that they are self-organising. This means that they are flexible and creative in order to accomplish their work in the best way possible. A Scrum Team consists of a Product Owner, a Scrum Master and a Development Team who are responsible for different aspects of the project.
Here is a brief overview of a Scrum Team:
There is only one Product Owner per project who is accountable for the work required. They are clearly knowledgeable about the product and business requirements, and responsible for maximising the value of the product as well as explaining this to the rest of the team to achieve business goals.
The Scrum Master plays the role of a coach, mentor and leader to those within the Scrum Team, and is responsible for the promotion of Scrum within the wider organisation. They ensure that individuals internal and external to the team understand the theory behind Scrum, best practices, rules and Scrum values.
The Development Team
The Development Team is made up of at least three and a maximum of nine people. This is the optimum number, since less than three would lead to a decrease in interaction and more than nine would be too difficult to coordinate, which contradicts one of the key principles of Scrum teams – self-organisation. The Development Team works together within a timeframe, known as a ‘Sprint’, to produce a release product. They participate in ‘Daily Scrums’ and ‘ Sprint Reviews’ where they collaborate, inspect their performance and forecast what is required in the upcoming sprint work. At the end of each Sprint, the entire Scrum Team participates in a Sprint review to inspect the work done and adapt the product backlog if needed, which is the list of all activities that might be needed in the product.
To find out more about a Scrum Team, Events and Artefacts, please see the Official Scrum Guide.
Agile Scrum Approach VS Other Agile Approaches
There are a range of other Agile approaches including Kanban, Waterfall and Lean, however Scrum is the most widely used. Agile Scrum Methodology remains the simplest method that has been tested over 20 years and proven to provide maximum productivity. Like other Agile Frameworks, Agile Scrum is particularly effective for complex systems and is adaptable depending on requirement changes, however what sets Scrum apart is its purpose. Agile Scrum is focused on continuous improvement whereas Lean is designed to ensure a zero-waste manufacturing process, Waterfall is much more rigid, and Kanban is introduced to prevent overworked teams and ensure constant steady delivery.
At FDM, we teach in multiple working methodologies, including Agile, Waterfall and Scrum. This training ensures our consultants are adaptable and have the ability to succeed in various working environments with our leading clients.
Agile Scrum at FDM
FDM is leading the way in Agile working, in particular with Scrum, and provides expert training in Agile Scrum Methodology to all our team members and trainees. Product Owners across FDM have introduced Scrum through multiple Agile Pods this past year. As a result, both FDM consultants and our clients have seen first-hand how effective Scrum is in a business working environment, where flexibility and collaboration are key to achieving tangible business products and results.
If you’re looking to kickstart your career in technology, check out the FDM Technical Graduate Programme to find out more.