Scrum Methodology Streamlines Software Development

ITFirst described in 1986, the Scrum methodology of software development has earned a new respect among information technology professionals. Today, Scrum is used to help development teams in all industries complete their projects and react quickly and efficiently to change.

01/27/2015 – NASHVILLE – TN – IT leaders have struggled the last three decades to ensure projects are completed on time and with little issue for the end-user. Historically, software developers and programmers have used a linear approach to product development. This has been problematic as a predictive manner of development does not allow for quick reaction to deviation of the original product.

Over the last decade, the Scrum methodology has captured the attention of companies looking to streamline their product development operations. Essentially, Scrum-based development is a strategy where the entire development team acts as a single unit to achieve a common goal. Scrum focuses on utilizing the team’s collective abilities to provide an expedient response to emerging requirements.

There are three primary roles in the Scrum process. This is the product owner, the development team, and the Scrum Master. The product owner is an individual chosen to act as a liaison between the customer and development team. His main responsibility is to ensure that the development team delivers value to the customer. The product owner writes and prioritizes customer-centric items and relays the importance of these to the development team.

The development team is in the center of the Scrum process. This collective of three to nine individuals is responsible for delivering potentially production ready increments of code at the end of each working session, referred to as a Sprint.  The Scrum Master is an individual who oversees the Scrum process and ensures its effectiveness. The Scrum Master often chairs production meetings and works directly with the product owner to ensure the team is always in a position to advance the project. The Scrum Master is also responsible for ensuring that the work backlog is appropriately prioritized.

Scrum development requires self-organization. As such, a Scrum Master must ensure the team is continually in the loop regarding development and potential changes. Organizational highlights of Scrum development include the Sprint, planned and standup meetings, and the Sprint review and retrospective. A Sprint is defined as a set period of time were specific goals are outlined. During the daily, or stand up, meeting members of the development team provide updates and ask any questions necessary to further development. During the Sprint review, the team must meet to ensure that the planned work that was complete. The final meeting, the Sprint retrospective, entails team members reflecting on the previous Sprint and focusing on development strategies that could be improved in the next.

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