By Xochi Adame | July 10, 2012
Last week I kicked off the first of a 3-part blog series on Scrum and Agile. We’re back with CDS Global Director of R&D Luis Colón, this time to discuss how to determine whether Agile methods are right for you.
For developers out there, what are some key indicators that they should adopt the Scrum methodology?
For software developers, you have an advantage: Scrum‘s origination came from software engineers. It has been proven particularly effective in addressing long-lived issues with software development projects such as cost overruns, automating quality and improvements, and producing products, features and values at the speed of leading technology companies. It’s no surprise that some of the world’s largest companies, like Google, Microsoft, Facebook and others, are big Scrum and Agile proponents and practitioners.
Your team may be in need of Scrum if you can relate to Einstein’s definition of insanity: “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” You must try different techniques to achieve different outcomes.
You should consider Scrum, or at least experiment with some of its practices, if you find your team saying: “we need to compete better,” “we need to be more nimble,” “we need a way to systematically add efficiency and remove wasteful processes,” or “we must find a faster way to produce high quality software.” The more you commit to the Scrum discipline, the more likely you’ll see the benefits that thousands of companies have already realized.
Take a look at TIME’s 5-min video documentary of Facebook’s use of Agile and Scrum:
Agile and Scrum seem extremely beneficial for maximizing productivity. Could business professionals in general use these methods?
For business professionals, you’ll find a lot to like in Scrum. Say you are a C-level executive of an established company, and you see all these super-nimble small companies competing with you like never before. These folks release new products sooner, more often, and without your traditional company’s overhead. Agile and Scrum can provide a framework to start figuring out where to best focus your energies.
On the other extreme, say you are in an operational blue collar job, and you get frustrated by upper management’s desire to cut costs and maximize profits, resulting in high expectations that you must do “more with less”. In your case, Agile and Scrum can provide you a model for high efficiency, reduced waste, and continuous improvement implementations in a way that can make your work more rewarding. Does it sound too good to be true? Too gimmicky perhaps? Keep in mind that these “labels” like Agile and Scrum apply to a collection of proven best practices. So for you skeptics out there: Agile and Scrum simply organizes or packages good techniques in a coherent way to help you focus on their benefits.