Imagine a situation where you wanted to recreate the most popular Instagram application, and the problem is that you don’t come from an IT background. So, what you do now is that you basically approach a development company, you put up your requirements to them and then after discussions the company promises you to deliver the app one year later.
Finally, when you get your app delivered, do you really think you would have recreated what you wanted to? No, because within a year’s gap, Instagram itself would have been upgraded with a lot of features. But now when you approach the company and ask them to do changes with the application, you’ll probably get back a doubtful reaction.
This is because the company might have followed the waterfall method to build your solution. This waterfall methodology follows a few consecutive steps, including analysis, designing, coding, testing, deployment, and maintenance.
The detriment here is that when you switch from one stage to another, it is not a cakewalk to head back to the previous stage. So, when you build software, it is almost like building a house of cards. The disadvantage with waterfall is that the time to market is low because it takes time to build the software and by that time the market has reached somewhere. Second is that you really can’t make any changes to your code phase.
So people came up with a solution to these issues. This solution is a philosophy, and this philosophy is AGILE. Agile is a manifesto that has been put forth by a bunch of people and to implement it. We use SCRUM.
As its official website suggests, it is a better way of building products. It is a lightweight framework, easy to understand but difficult to master. Moreover, scrum and agile aren’t the same thing.
The first and foremost shelf of the scrum framework is the product backlog. This is a place where you could break down your requirements into smaller parts for the current week. Next is sprint planning. Now if you have a module that you could finish up within a week or two, then that defines your sprint time. What you do is that you take a few elements from your backlog and place it in your current sprint backlog.
Eventually, you also get to plan your requirements for the module to be completed within the decided sprint. Once you are done with your sprint backlog and you have two weeks to complete it, you will have to start to build up the product, and for the development, you need a scrum team (8-10 people max).
So, after two weeks, you’ll give the product its increment which is basically turning it out into a potentially shippable product. After this, a sprint retrospective is done, which is almost like doing a SWAT analysis. There is also a stand-up meeting for a maximum of 15 minutes where we have a sprint review. Now that all of this is set, who is going to manage the scrum team? And here comes the role of scrum master.
Startups and SCRUM.
You might have heard about start-ups, either from your friend or your cousin who is all pumped up and electrified to begin his work journey right after his graduation. With so much zeal and dedication towards starting business online, all that he has to do is to get a solution for a problem or basically build a product.
Either the waterfall or the scrum method could be used. But since there are no turning back scenes with waterfall, it is fair to always stick on to scrum, which is a kind of agile project management methodology.
Why SCRUM for startups?
- During the initial times there might be a lot of noise with your start-up, but to cut through all of that and to focus on something that absolutely changes how you run your team, your company or even your own life we need scrum.
- As an entrepreneur, you might always be concerned about execution, speed, and pivots, and scrum provides you all of this.
- The best strategy is being offered by scrum, and that’s what you actually need in the line of building a product.
- The scrum methodology helps you in bring out quality in every sprint which isn’t achieved with waterfall.
- Management using scrum is very flexible as you could also bring in some changes to your product plan i.e., your product backlog could be updated with new elements too.
- Easy to manage with delays since the leftovers of your previous sprint could be added to the upcoming one.
- Each sprint is reviewed to minimize the errors so that the confusions during the later stages are avoided.
Employing SCRUM for startups.
There are only three groups in the scrum team that includes the product owner, the scrum master, and the scrum team. So, in the scrum, there isn’t much chaos.
Talking about the product owner, they are the link lines between the client’s visionary and the scrum team. He must be able to bring out the abilities of the scrum team and make sure that the team is heading in the right path. For a start-up, a good head start is essential, and it is more essential to continue to be on the line until the end.
Next is the scrum master, who is in charge of clearing obstacles for the scrum team. As a product developer, there won’t be a day where the company doesn’t face any issue. And when it’s a start-up, every decision made is extremely important for the future of the company. One more important job that the scrum master has got is to arrange for the daily stand-ups. He has to focus on the keywords: yesterday, today and tomorrow
The scrum team is baked by its team members. They should be cross-functional, cooperative, and organized. Finally, the scrum is not just a part of the project, and they have to help the entire team by building a shippable product.
Instead of having Trello or any productivity app, scrum helps you with meeting your tasks with a specific timeframe and eventually making sure that you don’t carry forward your mistakes.
In start-ups, nobody really wants to make any costly decisions at the final stages, so the scrum is very much helpful in protecting your entire team from issues. It plays a dominant role in establishing a fresh and effective environment where all your team members work with a good relationship, and after all, that’s what is needed for start-ups.