The Benefits of Scrum & Agile

There are lots of good reasons to use Scrum to become more Agile. Here are some of the most popular:

Revenue

Using Scrum, new features are developed incrementally in short Sprints. At the end of each Sprint, a potentially usable Increment of product is available. This enables the product to be released much earlier in the development cycle, enabling benefits to be realised earlier than possible if we waited for the entire product to be “complete” before a release.

Quality

Maintaining quality is a crucial principle of development with Scrum. Testing occurs every Sprint, enabling regular inspection of the working product as it develops. This allows the Scrum Team early visibility of any quality issues and will help them make necessary adjustments.

Transparency

Scrum encourages active Product Owner and stakeholder involvement throughout product development. Transparency is, therefore, much higher, both around progress and the state of the product itself, which helps ensure that expectations are effectively managed.

Risk

Small Increments of working products are regularly visible to the Product Owner and stakeholders. This helps the Scrum Team to identify risks early and makes it easier to respond to them. The transparency in Scrum ensures that any necessary decisions can be taken at a suitable/earlier time while it can still make a difference to the outcome. The Scrum Team owns risks, and they are regularly reviewed. The risk of a failed initiative is reduced.

Flexibility/Agility

In traditional product development, we create extensive specifications upfront and then tell business owners how expensive it is to change anything, particularly as the project proceeds. We resist changes and use a change control process to keep change to a minimum. This approach often fails as it assumes we can know what we want with 100% clarity at the start of development (which we usually do not) and that no changes will be required that could make the product more valuable (which is unlikely with the speed of change in many organisations and markets today).

In Agile development, change is accepted and expected. The time scale is often fixed, and detailed requirements emerge and evolve as the product is developed. For this to work, it is imperative to have an actively involved Product Owner who understands this concept and makes the necessary trade-off decisions, trading existing scope for new scope where it adds greater value.

Cost Control

The approach of fixed timescales and evolving requirements enables a fixed budget. The scope of the product and its features are variable rather than the cost. As we develop complete slices of functionality, we can measure the actual development cost as it proceeds, giving us a more accurate view of the cost of future development activities.

Business Engagement/Customer Satisfaction

The active involvement of a Product Owner, the high transparency of the product and progress and the flexibility to change when change is needed create much better business engagement and increase customer satisfaction. This significant benefit can build more positive and enduring working relationships.

A Valuable Product

The ability for requirements to emerge, evolve, and embrace change helps ensure the Scrum Team builds the right product that delivers the anticipated value to the customer or user.

In more traditional projects, it is all too common to deliver a “successful” project and find that the product is not what was expected, needed or hoped for. In Agile development, the emphasis is placed on building the right product that will deliver the desired value and benefits.

Speed To Market

Research suggests about 80% of all market leaders were first to market. As well as the higher revenue from incremental delivery, Agile development supports the practice of early and regular releases.

More Enjoyable

The active involvement, cooperation and collaboration in successful Scrum Teams makes for a more enjoyable place to work. When people enjoy what they do, the quality of their work will be higher, and the possibility of innovation will be greater. Happy and motivated people are more efficient, effective, and likely to stick around.