If you’re just now getting into the tech community in your city or town, you may be encountering some new terminology. You’ve probably heard about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Ruby on Rails and a plethora of other programming languages, or what about “scrum?” Scrum, as you might be thinking, is not an acronym. The word actually derives from the game of rugby, and has since been applied to product development in manufacturing, and more recently, to the tech industry, as an agile software development model.
As a digital development agency, it’s important for all of us to be on the same page for each and every project that is brought in house—which is why we implement daily scrums. As a crucial part of our development workflow, scrums enable our team to stay organized and on top of all projects. Below is a more detailed explanation as to how scrum fits into our workflow, but stay tuned for more on our development lifecycle later! Whether there are designers, developers or project managers, scrums are beneficial to everyone involved. Here, I will explain 5 of the main reasons why we benefit from our morning scrum sessions here at Manning:
1. Because They Keep Open Lines of Communication
The first benefit that scrum sessions provide us is open communication and collaboration amongst our team. At Manning, having a scrum session at the beginning of every morning lets the entire team know where each person is on projects and what they will be working on that for day. I can’t stress enough how important it is for everyone on your team to be on the same page. Being the project manager, I have to ensure all communication lines between the developers, designers and I are open, and that we all hit our milestones on time and at a high level of quality. This leads to a high success rate for our projects and our clients.
2. Because Scrums Are All Around Us!
Our daily scrum sessions enable our entire team to stay in sync. Whether working on many projects simultaneously or only one, these quick meetings provide everyone with a ‘who is where on what project’ so they know what to expect for that given project, day, or week. We love HBO’s new series called ‘Silicon Valley’ that depicts six programmers who are trying to make it big as a tech start-up in Silicon Valley. In the 5th episode entitled ‘Signaling Risk’, they introduce scrums to the developers, which leads to each team member knowing what needs to be accomplished and staying on target of what they’re supposed to be focusing on. They also practice an agile development workflow—so if you’re looking for pointers, “researching” this show may be a fun start!
3. Because They Provide You With Micro and Macro Views
Another benefit we receive from scrum sessions is an opportunity for discussion on macro and micro solutions and clarifications for a project’s lifecycle. With the open communication lines that scrums give us, we are able to pinpoint problems and issues early and resolve them quicker. As the project manager, it’s my job to keep everyone focused on the end goal of a project and milestones (the macro), while my team stays focused on the tasks to help us get there (micro); helping us to maintain a predictable schedule for delivery.
4. Because of Personal Planning
For me, one of my favorite benefits is the encouragement of personal planning. Everyone has his or her own agenda and own goals to reach—from the designers, to the developers. In line with reason #3, personal planning enables us to hit those key milestones on time, thoroughly, and as a team. Outside of project timelines, personal planning at Manning also means setting individual objectives for future learning and interests in order to help inform and expand our work, thus allowing the individual and the team to increase their productivity.
5. Because it’s Within Everyone’s Best Interest
We have always thought of our clients as much more than just cash flow—we consider them our partners. At the end of the day, one of the main focal points of a digital business is to have our partners be happy and 100% satisfied with the hard work we have all put in. Practicing scrums has allowed us to always keep our partners informed about the status of their projects.
We challenge you to implement scrums into your everyday work lives to make your project, or all of your projects, run much smoother. If they can be adapted for rugby teams and tech start ups, we’re confident scrums can work for your team too! If you doubt it, just ask us how.