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Advantages of using Scrum (contd..)

A couple of posts back, I had mentioned about some of the advantage of using Scrum as a project execution methodology, and this post is a continuation of that description.
– You get a person to play the role of one who ensures that the team is following the processes as they are supposed to be done, and this person is the ‘Scrum Master’. The Scrum Master is the one who looks at the processes being followed, and ensuring that people are following the rules of Scrum. The biggest problem with the enforcement of any development process is that people start deviating from that when they are under pressure. A Scrum Master watches over the entire process, and ensures that people are following the rules and practices.
– Since one of the expectations from a Scrum cycle is that the software should be working at the end of the cycle, there are improvements in the quality of the deliverables
– Typical feedback from teams that are implementing Scrum (after the first couple of Sprints, when the team has settled down and ironed out some of the kinks from the system) is that Scrum increases the predictability of work, reduces the times when they are working in an all-out deadline induced panic reaction
– You would be surprised as to how much a short 15-20 minute daily meeting can help in avoiding those long 1-2 hour meetings where the entire team would sit and discuss a feature threadbare, including those features which you would not end up implementing.
– A meeting with Dev and QE in the normal processes can be tense since people try to cover their own asses first; however, when you put them together in a Scrum kind of meeting on a regular basis, they can get far more involved in the feature and less about covering for themselves
– As you get more face to face communication in a short daily meeting, the formality that comes through an email response (where there may be many more people in the meeting) reduces to a large degree, and the discussion can happen onto more relevant points
– In Scrum meetings, dev and QE from other features get an idea as to what is going on in other features (use stories), and so they are able to quickly jump in if there is an emergent need
– How many times have you seen that the team is working on a feature, and they go to their manager for a decision, and that is to be expected, since in the normal development cycle, the team really does not have much empowerment. However, in a Scrum type model, the team can quickly take decisions and then inform people once this has happened
– The project manager and leads spend less time on preparing stuff such as status reports (and collecting information for a status report is an activity by itself). You can spend time in more useful areas.

As in the first part, the benefits that I can outline will spill over into a 3rd post.

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