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23 January 2018

Agile & Scrum Improve Software Delivery

Scrum and Agile have emerged as important methodologies for improving the speed with which new applications are developed – and without compromising the quality of the “finished” product. In the age of digital transformation, the ability to build and deliver applications quickly is crucial to meeting customer demands for instant gratification.

How Agile improves quality

At the very heart of the Agile development philosophy is a focus on continuous improvement. The goal of every project sprint and stand-up meeting is to improve the quality of the development process – and the final product.

Although Agile techniques are typically associated with software development, the same processes can also be applied to other business operations. Project managers involved with line-of-business processes and sales and marketing are both candidates for Agile training, using the same core principles to define “done”, and to better estimate and plan for better outcomes.

How Scrum improves quality

Scrum provides a management layer to oversee Agile processes. As well as a continued focus on iterative development to continuously improve products, Scrum helps to handle interactions with customers too. Completing a Scrum Master course will help project managers capture the priorities of their clients (internal and external) and use that information to help steer the work of their developers.

Again, the Scrum methodology is also applicable to other business units – not just software development.

Why you need Agile and Scrum methodologies working together

Although Scrum and Agile philosophies can be used in isolation, they are much more effective when used together. Businesses already invested in Agile development techniques often overlook the value of a Scrum Master, assuming that any appointed developer can arrange the necessary meetings. Small teams may decide that having one of their developers complete Agile for Product Owners training, they will be able to apply the same level of knowledge and experience to their projects.

The reality is that a Scrum Master fulfils a slightly different role, championing the needs of end-users which can be forgotten when the team is completely focused on overcoming technical challenges. The Product Owner takes responsibility for planning sprints, releases and reports – but not necessarily capturing the user requirements that will drive those plans. This is the role of a Scrum Master.

Ultimately, any project that relies on one methodology without the other will be unbalanced. Favouring software development over customer needs with Agile will result in a product that suits your business, not your customers. Scrum without Agile will help to collect customer requirements, but it will not steer development effectively.

To learn more about Agile training, Scrum courses, or how to become a Scrum Master – and how to boost the quality of your projects and deliverables - please get in touch.

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