Agile Scrum - What is it and Why Should You Care?
October 20, 2023 • 8 min read
Dive into the world of Agile Scrum, a project management methodology introduced by Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber in the 1990s. Understand why you should want your tech providers using this methodology as a grower. Through iterative development and defined roles, Scrum fosters a collaborative and adaptable environment; leaving customers satisfied.
What is Agile Scrum?
In project management, operational efficiency and collaboration reign supreme. That's why the choice of project management methodologies, such as Agile Scrum, is crucial. Agile Scrum is a method of working that enhances efficiency and collaboration, particularly in project-based work. In this article we'll explain why growers should care about the project management methodology of their technology partners.
Why Agile Scrum Matters to Horticulture Growers
In horticulture, operational efficiency and adaptability are crucial for success. Growers should prioritize technology partners who employ Agile Scrum to involve clients in the entire development process. Agile Scrum takes a client-centric approach, ensuring that software solutions are tailored to the needs of the horticulture industry.
Client-Centric Approach: Agile Scrum places clients at the core of the development process. Clients are not merely clients but development partners. For growers, this means software products adapt to their needs and include the most important features first. This aligns software solutions with the challenges growers face daily.
Feedback Loops: Agile Scrum enables tight feedback loops to maximize value-creation for growers. Through Scrum, growers benefit from rapid adaptability and precise responses to their changing requirements.
Adaptability: Agile Scrum lets teams adjust their approach as needed. Client needs are prioritized and re-prioritized frequently, so development teams can adjust their focus as client needs change.
Return on Investment: Regular updates and adaptations enabled by Agile Scrum enhance software product quality, resulting in a higher return on technology investments. Placing the grower at the core of the development process means their feedback is prioritized, ensuring a return on their technological investment. This results in valuable and tailored solutions that meet growers' needs.
The Roots of Agile Scrum: Addressing Change and Uncertainty
Agile Scrum, often referred to as Scrum, is a specialized branch of the broader Agile methodology. The roots of Scrum trace back to a 1986 research paper titled The New New Product Development Game by Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka In the early 1990s Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber introduced Scrum to the software development industry to manage change requirements and the unpredictable nature of long-term projects. Scrum's success in all industries, including software development, is anchored in three standards: transparency, inspection, and adaptation. These principles foster an open work environment that improves results for clients.
Understanding Agile Scrum: A Collaborative Framework within Agile Philosophy
Agile Scrum is part of the Agile methodology, a client-centric philosophy that promotes a collaborative and adaptable work environment. Scrum is fueled by feedback-driven development. It helps teams prioritize efficacy and value to the client through an iterative and incremental development process. It is widely embraced in software development but also used in other industries.
Agile is built on twelve principles outlined in The Agile Manifesto. These principles are the guiding beliefs that promote client satisfaction, adaptability, and collaboration.
The 12 Principles of Agile
Customer satisfaction through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
Welcome changing requirements, even late in development.
Deliver working software frequently, with a preference for shorter timescales.
Collaborate closely with customers and stakeholders throughout the project.
Build projects around motivated individuals; give them the resources and support they need and trust them to get the job done.
Use face-to-face communication as much as possible.
Working software is the primary measure of progress.
Maintain a sustainable pace of work for the development team.
Strive for technical excellence and good design.
Keep things simple and maximize the amount of work not done.
Allow self-organizing teams to make decisions and adapt to changing circumstances.
Reflect at regular intervals on how to become more effective and adjust behavior accordingly.
The Agile Scrum Solution for Growers
Agile Scrum is more than just a project management technique: it's the key to adaptability and efficiency for growers. With its client-centric approach, Agile Scrum keeps growers' needs in focus to drive innovation and improvement in horticulture. This methodology is the gold standard for project execution. When technology partners use Agile Scrum, growers are equipped with tools to thrive in an unpredictable and ever-changing environment.
To understand Agile Scrum, you should know the specific terms that are used to define the process. Here's a closer look at the key terms:
Sprints: Sprints are fixed, time-boxed periods, typically lasting 2-4 weeks, during which a set of tasks or features are completed.
Product Backlog: A prioritized features list, containing short descriptions of functionality desired in the product.
Story Points: In Agile Scrum, story points are used to estimate the complexity and effort of development tasks.
Sprint Planning: The process of defining what work will be accomplished in the upcoming sprint and how that work will be achieved. It kicks off the sprint.
Sprint Reviews: A sprint review is a meeting to demonstrate work completed in the previous sprint to stakeholders.
Sprint Retrospectives: After each sprint, a retrospective is held to identify areas for improvement for the Scrum Team.
Daily Standup: Daily standup meetings are brief, daily gatherings to foster collaboration and teamwork.
Scrum Team: Scrum encourages cross-functional teams with diverse skills. The three core scrum roles include the Product Owner, Developers, and the Scrum Master:
Product Owner - Responsible for representing clients' interests and managing product priorities.
Developers - Developers are responsible for building shippable product enhancements during a sprint.
Scrum Master - The Scrum Master is responsible for facilitating the Scrum process, ensuring adherence to Scrum principles, and promoting collaboration within the team.
Freeform Dynamics found that companies who master Agile experience 60% greater revenue and profits than mainstream companies.
Capterra states that 71% of companies use Agile at least sometimes.
VersionOne found that Agile adoption has helped 98% of companies.
Agile has become the norm, replacing Waterfall as the preferred model of choice, for software development and project management.
Standish Group Chaos Study reports the Agile success rate to be 42%, as compared to Waterfall's success rate of 13%. This means Agile is 3.2x more successful than the Waterfall model.