The Benefits of Agile Methodology and Hiring a Scrum Master Consultant
At a certain point, someone in your organization, or possibly an outside consultant, might recommend hiring a scrum master consultant to implement agile methodology in your software development cycle. While the concepts are familiar, exactly how beneficial will making that switch be, and how can your company benefit directly from scrum methodology?
Here are a few of the many benefits you will see, especially if you hire a certified scrum master to handle the implementation.
Encourages Collaboration and Transparency
Agile methodology relies on short boxed sprints that make it much easier for clients, developers, project teams, and other members of your organization to collaborate on projects.
Because the project is done in smaller chunks, and scrum analysis keeps it moving as fast or faster than other development processes, input is more readily available at every step of the process. Because a working product is evident much faster, it is easier to engage people and get them excited about the project while acquiring feedback.
At the same time, transparency should be a major part of this process. With such frequent intervals and feedback cycles, it is possible for every person involved to see how a project is evolving in real time.
This is a major boon for your company. When you use agile methodologies and scrum development systems, the entire project becomes easier to predict – in terms of delivery, cost and schedule.
New features are rolled out on a regular basis instead of in one giant, overdue lump, and the costs of those iterations are often easier to predict because of their size. It makes it easier to schedule your teams, lineup your release schedules and keep your budget under control from one step to the next.
Change Is Easier
Imagine making a major change to a software development process two or three years in. It would be a nightmare and it would cost a fortune. With a certified scrum master consultant and a focus on transparency and frequent iterations in the agile development process, you can make changes much more easily.
Each iteration will be done according to the plans outlined for the project, but because the turnaround on those iterations is so short, it is much easier to adjust and make changes to the project scope as you go from one step to the next.
The bottom line is that scrum analysis and agile methodology, when implemented effectively into the development process can revolutionize how your company does business. Whether you work with clients, handle large internal projects, or are developing a product for consumer release, there are very real, very tangible benefits to be had from switching to an agile development cycle.
If you’re interested in learning more, contact Arcisphere today and ask to talk with one of our certified scrum master analysts.
What is Agile Software Development and Project Management?
Prior to the publication of the Agile Manifesto in 2001, software development was an unwieldy beast. Technology – both in hardware and software – had evolved dramatically throughout the 80’s and 90’s to the point that software was starting to do some pretty incredible things, and yet development to produce that software took longer and was more cumbersome than ever before.
It was harder to make changes, teams were growing too large to effectively manage under one roof, and bugs abounded. The agile methodology was designed to change all that and today is rapidly becoming a popular transformation in software development teams around the globe.
The Agile Project Management Concept
Agile methodology works in both project management for a development process and in the software development cycle itself. The idea is to move away from set-in-stone development tactics that would often lead to software behind the curve before it was released.
Instead, the project process would be more adaptive and iterative. With smaller milestones and iterations for reach software update, changes would be made on a much smaller scale. This allowed teams to be segmented up into near autonomous teams that would then work in tandem with one another, a sort of collaborative network of developers working toward a standard goal.
While iterations would be carefully planned and executed, it was possible to change the project’s direction and focus more rapidly when necessary because those micro-releases were so much shorter. It took weeks not months or years to produce an iteration and test it – this leads to greater transparency in the development process, faster updates when something doesn’t work properly, and the ability to make massive changes when necessary. Agile development is a faster, more evolutionary approach to software development and project management.
Implementation of Agile Development
Of course there are many factors involved in agile development. Iterations are referred to as timeboxes and each timebox lasts between one and four weeks. Teams are built to handle all functions – planning, analysis, design, coding, unit testing and acceptance testing. When the timebox is complete, the working iteration is shown to stakeholders and evaluated.
Risk is minimized because only 1-4 weeks of time is invested into each of these timeboxes and feedback is gathered much more rapidly – allowing a faster evolution of terms and functions to fit the stakeholders’ needs. No one iteration is enough to warrant commercial release, but when properly planned by an agile project management team, they can result in a new update or product rapidly.
Using Agile Methodology Smartly
Agile development is very different from traditional methodologies and so many firms turn to consultants who can help to implement it properly. Inserting a customer or stakeholder representative on the team, for example, is a new concept that few development teams will be immediately comfortable with. The daily stand-ups will take coordination and frequent changes in focus to make a reality as well.
However you implement agile techniques, however, the bottom line is that they have helped businesses of all sizes streamline and improve development processes from top to bottom. To learn more about scrum software development, contact Arcisphere and ask for an initial consultation.