The Value of Scrum for Project Analysis

Why a Scrum Master for Project Analysis

Every  enterprise has experienced projects which go over budget and take longer than originally planned.  Sometimes the end result is a product which offers features a customer will never use or has other similar issues. These problems point to the fact that the project could have been completed in less time by avoiding a lot of unnecessary work.

Scrum methodology provides a way to offer the customer the most important product features while reducing unnecessary time investments. In this way, Scrum streamlines the processes and helps professionals to complete the project in less time than would otherwise be possible.

Scrum is also flexible enough to adapt to the needs of each particular project. For instance, most development projects using scrum methodology start the first sprint from the initial start of the project.  Although this works for some projects, others are better initiated after a period of analysis.

Benefits of Scrum Analysis

Scrum methodology involves three team roles which are limited to a small number of individuals.  The team roles are Product Owner, a high level stakeholder that develops the roadmap for the product, the Scrum Master, who ensures the sprint maintains course, and the Team, which consists of members with a diverse set of skills that are necessary to accurately deliver product features.

Once the sprint has been completed, the project can move into production to determine where improvements can be made during the next sprint.

In terms of Scrum for analysis, there is a lot to be said for applying Scrum methodology to pre-project analysis for a number of reasons:

  • Determine Project Value:  Is the project worthwhile?  If it is, then what should be involved with the project?
  • Improved Risk Management:  Although the risks are identified by the Team during Scrum development, it has more of an impact with some projects in which an analysis phase is used prior to implementation.
  • Elimination of Analysis Paralysis:  Using Scrum analysis increases productivity during the implementation phase of the project since most of the analysis has been taken care of during the sprint.  For example, if you are developing a database application for enterprises and one of the goals is to learn exactly what enterprises need in terms of application development, this takes a lot of the guesswork out of product development and helps to focus on the features which are the most important to enterprises.
  • Necessary vs. Unnecessary Efforts:  Using Scrum analysis helps to better identify the efforts necessary to bring a product to fruition and determine which work efforts are likely to be wasted on features the customer will never use.  It also initiates the thought process in terms of time investment in advance of project implementation.  This increases the chances of better time management and maximizes the amount of time spent bringing the most important features to the customer.
  • Improved Scrum Task Evaluation and Stakeholder Visibility: When Scrum analysis is used prior to project implementation, tasks involved with project development as well as the project as a whole become more visible to the stakeholders.
  • Better ROI:  If the project is one that benefits from scrum analysis, product development and implementation may stand a better chance of an improved Return on Investment.  This is because the chances of the project running longer than it should and over budget are less with a pre-analysis which brings things to light earlier than projects which are started with Scrum methodology minus the analysis phase.

Opinions differ as to whether Scrum analysis is beneficial despite the fact the goal of analysis is to determine the most important value requirements for delivery. Regardless of how roles are defined within the Scrum framework, analysis work is vital to the project outcome whether or not it is accomplished before or during project implementation.

The bottom line, though, is that analysis is best done collaboratively while leveraging each team member’s skills to build and maintain a shared understanding of product needs and development.

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