11 Benefits of Scrum and How to Achieve ThemScrum is a complex project management framework, but it can lead to many exceptional benefits when implemented correctly by following its core principles and best practices. So, let's explore its key benefits and how to achieve them.
Scrum, the most widely adopted Agile framework, has emerged as a central topic of discussion in project management. Scrum was first introduced in software development but is being utilized in dozens of other industrial sectors today.
As organizations seek effective methodologies to enhance their project execution and delivery, Scrum has grabbed attention for its ability to foster collaboration, adaptability, and iterative progress. However, Scrum isn't a simple project management framework. It requires predefined roles and obedience to specified principles to extract fruitful outcomes from it. With the right approach, Scrum can reward organizations with many benefits, from productive and collaborative teams to quality and timely deliveries. Therefore, this article explores what key benefits organizations can get by implementing Scrum and how Scrum teams can achieve those benefits. So, let's begin our discussion!
Scrum has become increasingly popular in project management because it emphasizes self-organizing teams, iterative releases, and timely feedback. It provides organizations with a structured yet flexible approach to project execution, empowering them to adapt to changing requirements and deliver valuable outcomes more efficiently.
The below 11 benefits of Scrum will further highlight why it is becoming a favorite project management approach in diverse industrial sectors:
One of the most crucial benefits of Scrum is the formation of self-managing/self-organizing teams. The members of a Scrum team collectively plan, execute, and deliver projects. In Scrum, there is no "them" or "us"; instead, it's all about "we". Everyone contributes their knowledge and expertise to have a shared understanding, tackle bottlenecks collectively, and ensure quality releases.
To achieve this benefit, Scrum teams should encourage open communication where everyone's opinion is valued without seniors' biases. Team members should be provided with a collaborative environment that leads to frequent knowledge sharing and encourages autonomy and empowerment.
Why teams manage to deliver timely and quality products with Scrum is due to its collaborative development approach. From sprint planning and daily stand-up meeting to the sprint review and sprint retrospective, every event in Scrum emphasizes collaboration. This results in better mutual understanding, knowledge sharing, problem-solving, and valuable outcomes.
To attain this benefit, Scrum teams should adhere to the core principles and practices of Scrum, as they will automatically lead them toward collaborative development. Besides that, ensuring the contribution of all members in Scrum events can further improve collaboration.
Scrum-based projects have gained a reputation for consistently delivering high-quality products. This can be attributed to the iterative and collaborative nature of Scrum, which ensures regular engagement with stakeholders and customers throughout the development process. Every sprint focuses on delivering some releasable version of the product. So, once that iterative update is presented to stakeholders during sprint review, the team gets the feedback accordingly. This way, they can improve the product quality during the development phase, resulting in more quality final releases.
To achieve this benefit, Scrum teams should keep stakeholders and customers updated on the progress. Especially sprint review meetings must be very focused so that the team can showcase their progress, get feedback, and head to the next sprint as per stakeholders' expectations.
What distinguishes Scrum from other project management frameworks is its iterative development approach. By breaking down large, complex tasks into manageable increments, the team can deliver quality results within short iterations. Moreover, maintaining a sustainable time-boxed pace, continuously reassessing priorities, and ensuring adaptivity to customer feedback, all such aspects of Scrum contribute to faster product delivery.
To attain this benefit, Scrum teams should embrace the time-driven framework of Scrum. They should break large tasks into smaller sprints and keep the workload in a sprint manageable. The focus should be to have a consistent development phase with a regular feedback loop and course correction.
Another benefit of the Scrum framework is its ability to estimate the efforts required to complete product backlog items effectively. Before beginning the project, the Product Owner formulates and prioritizes the product backlog. Once done, the development team estimates the effort of each backlog item by collaboratively discussing and estimating using techniques like Async Poker, Planning Poker, Bucket System, etc. Eventually, they get an estimated product backlog reflecting the effort they have to input into accomplishing the project's goals.
To achieve this benefit, the Scrum team must conduct the backlog estimation meeting involving the Product Owner, Scrum Master, the development team, and stakeholders. The Product Owner should present the product backlog items, while the development team should use one of the estimation techniques of their choice to estimate the efforts. Once done, they should also reprioritize the product backlog for effective sprint planning.
Scrum reduces risks through its iterative, collaborative, and feedback-based development. The backlog estimation meeting and sprint planning session provide an excellent opportunity for the team to address bottlenecks. Afterward, the small, shippable product increments in each sprint help the team to validate assumptions, gather feedback, and identify risks before they become potential issues.
To attain this benefit, Scrum teams should emphasize transparency, collaboration, and adaptation. In simple words, when everyone is working with the mindset of "we", it results in better risk management.
Scrum makes customers/stakeholders part of the Scrum team, as the development team keeps interacting with them frequently throughout the project. Especially gathering feedback during every sprint review meeting provides an excellent opportunity for customers to give their responses and for the development team to incorporate their feedback into the product. This continuous collaboration ensures that the final product aligns with the customers' expectations and needs, leading to enhanced customer satisfaction.
To achieve this benefit, Scrum teams should establish effective communication channels with customers/stakeholders. They should involve them in the project from the beginning, understand their requirements, and regularly seek their input. Conducting product demonstrations and incorporating customer reviews and feedback into the sprint backlog eventually contribute to a customer-centric approach.
Scrum gives organizations more control of the project outcomes due to its iterative and transparent development approach. With self-organizing teams, regular progress tracking, and defined roles/responsibilities/events, Scrum empowers organizations to have better control and visibility into project status and potential bottlenecks.
To attain this benefit, Scrum Master can play a key role. The Scrum Master can ensure that the team adheres to the Scrum principles and best practices, eventually leading to increased control. When the team follows all the key elements of Scrum, such as roles/responsibilities, time-boxed sprints, and other Scrum events, they create a structured and controlled framework for project execution.
Scrum keeps all the project stages transparent and visible, ensuring that the team and stakeholders have a clear view of where the project currently stands. The product backlog serves as the centralized list of the pending tasks the team has to complete, while every sprint review provides an opportunity for stakeholders to view the project's progress. This helps the team remain productive and focused by knowing the end goals and stakeholders to have a more satisfactory experience.
To achieve this benefit, Scrum teams should keep the product backlog and sprint backlog visible and encourage open communication. Similarly, using burn-down charts or Scrum boards can further help to increase project visibility.
Scrum ensures a high return on investment (ROI) mainly because it reduces the time to market, accelerating revenue generation. Moreover, continuous feedback within development helps to address concerns timely. In short, Scrum provides a practical and value-driven approach for faster ROI.
To attain this benefit, Scrum teams should enforce a self-organizing, collaborative environment where teams can deliver value iteratively and efficiently. Moreover, transparent communication with stakeholders for regular feedback ensures that the product remains aligned with stakeholder expectations. This way, the team can complete the product backlog items in a timely manner and maximize the return on investment (ROI).
Besides positively impacting project management, Scrum is also associated with better work/life balance. It is because Scrum discourages making the size of sprints large and allows the team to plan their work based on their capacity and availability. This flexibility gives team members more control over their workload and deadlines, leading to a healthier work/life balance.
To achieve this benefit, the Scrum team needs to prioritize work effectively and avoid over-committing to tasks within a sprint. Team members should communicate openly and transparently about their availability and capacity during sprint planning. This allows for realistic planning and ensures that team members distribute the workload evenly. Besides that, Scrum Master can also play a crucial role in fostering a supportive work environment that promotes work/life balance.
Scrum has made its name as a modern, adaptive, and efficient project management Agile framework that maximizes productivity, time efficiency, and quality releases. The above benefits are a glimpse of what fruitful outcomes organizations can get with the effective implementation of Scrum. However, it is not possible to achieve all the above benefits from the first day. Organizations must gradually refine their Scrum processes to make the most out of Scrum. To sum up, understanding the above benefits and implementing the recommended practices will empower you to unlock the full potential of Scrum in your projects and achieve remarkable results.