Did you know…
...that an average software project exceeds its intended budget by 27%?
...that one in six projects exceeds its budget by more than 200% and has a schedule overrun of 70%?
These are really not good news for businesses trying to develop a digital product.
However, the good news is that there is a proven way to prevent those devastating numbers.
By managing software projects with an agile framework SCRUM and having a certified project manager called SCRUM Master onboard you can tremendously increase the success of your next software development project.
We will explain why you should go agile and use SCRUM in your next software development project in a few key points:
- Better productivity and faster delivery time
- Top end-product quality
- More predictable project schedule
- Increased project control and full transparency
- Staying within a specified budget
- Preventing projects failure: risk assessment and mitigation
- Flexibility and adaptability to requirements changes
- Higher ROI and faster time to market
1. Better productivity and faster delivery time
The reason teams perform so well in Scrum is smart work planning.
A software development team that utilizes Scrum works in predefined time periods called sprints that last for 1-5 weeks.
During the sprint planning meeting, the project manager guides both the development team and the product owner to define user stories, as well as end goals and users that will actually use the final product.
Keeping every member of the team happy boosts their morale, which in turn directly impacts their productivity and speed of work.
Even though the development team is free to organize themselves, the project manager monitors all activities and acts accordingly if something goes in an unplanned direction.
During project development in UHP, it sometimes happens that the development team finishes all the tasks planned for the current sprint before its end.
In that case, there is a list of tasks called backlog with developed user stories ready to be added into the current sprint to fill in the gaps and prevent resource squander.
2. Top end-product quality
Another reason we use Scrum (apart from it speeding up the development process) is the premium quality of the end-product. The precondition to delivering a high-quality end-product is a deep understanding of product features by every team member.
As soon as misunderstandings occur or any error is discovered, they can be resolved in the next Scrum daily team meeting.
Spotting those early is easy in Scrum because larger tasks are broken down into smaller, manageable pieces during the planning phase. Also, spotting errors early enough in the process ensures superior quality, as well as time efficiency.
The biggest advantage of managing projects within Scrum is the active involvement of the product owner in the development process. Here is how that is done:
The whole team, led by the PM, gets together for a meeting called Scrum product review with the product owner once after each sprint. The main goal of the meeting is to present the current state of the product and to resolve errors that cannot be resolved internally by the team.
After the product review, but before sprint planning, another meeting called Sprint retrospective occurs. It lasts from 1-3 hours at most. The main goal of the sprint retrospective is to find out what things were impacting the development team’s speed and work quality.
To ensure that rigid company quality standards are met, in UHP, developers from different Scrum teams work together to cross-check their work through the pull request-review process.
Prior merging developed product features into the shared Git repository to be available for other developers to work on, code cross-check is performed to confirm that the quality standards are met.
3. More predictable project schedule
In an agile framework, project schedules are accurately predicted because the team who will actually work on the project estimates the timeline.
It is really rare for the project to be completed within the estimated schedule. Estimations with 100% accuracy do not exist. Because of that, estimates are provided in story points rather than in time units. Derek Davidson in his article on Scrum.org defines story points as follows:
“A Story Point is a relative unit of measure, decided upon and used by individual Scrum teams, to provide relative estimates of effort for completing the requirements.
As stated here, it is important to notice that story point estimations directly represent the complexity of the tasks. Very clear requirements make estimations made by the development team much easier, which in turn makes project schedules more valid.
That way, sprint schedule overrun is less likely to happen.
4. Increased project control and full transparency
The transparency between the development house and the client can greatly impact the outcome of the project.
In Scrum, the client has the role of the product owner and is an active member of the project team throughout the whole development. Since the product owner is involved in the development process by attending sprint reviews, the client is aware of the status of the project, future plans, and schedules.
The product owner is also responsible to organize the project backlog (together with the Project Manager) by updating it with new tasks and prioritizing the tasks to ensure that the team has all the information essential for development.
When developing software solutions in UHP, all stakeholders have full access to every piece of project information through Jira, a project management application used by our Scrum teams.
These types of applications store all requirements and task definitions, track work status, and provide sophisticated reports. They also enable remote teams to collaborate and allow stakeholders to access the information they need.
5. Staying within a specified budget
One of the main reasons why projects fail is exceeding the defined budget.
The Project Manager has an overview of the total budget and the current progress of the project so that he can, in cooperation with the product owner, adjust the project schedule and prioritize tasks in order to meet the project goals and deliver maximum business value.
Staying within a defined budget is one of the top priorities of project managers in UHP.
The project budget is monitored daily and if there is an opportunity to reduce costs or speed up the project execution towards the final goal, adequate measures are planned and executed.
6. Preventing projects failure: risk assessment and mitigation
According to a study conducted by Calleam, 17% of IT projects fail so badly they can threaten the existence of a company.
One of the proven ways to mitigate project risk is having a certified Scrum project manager onboard. That’s exactly why we in UHP put additional emphasis to project manager certification.
Monitoring relevant metrics (aka. KPI’s - Key Performance Indicators) on a daily basis is something that can take projects from being doomed to fail to succeed in the end.
7. Flexibility and adaptability to requirements changes
According to the Project Management Institute, 38% of organizations report using agile frequently. That being said, 75% of highly agile organizations met their goals/business intent, 65% finished on time, and 67% finished within budget.
Going agile implies fast product releases and an ability to alter the scope according to the customer’s desires, as well as to keep ahead of the competition at all times.
The scrum team can quickly adapt to the product requirement changes in order to provide the customer with a competitive advantage.
Even though the Scrum framework is created to cope with sudden changes in the development plan, big changes should definitely be avoided so that the defined budget and schedule could be successfully met.
8. Higher ROI and faster time to market
Return on Investment (ROI) is the primary concern in any industry. The ROI represents the benefits gained from the investment versus the costs that were invested. One of Scrum’s main purposes is to increase the ROI of a project.
Scrum has been proven to deliver value to customers 30-40% faster than other methods such as waterfall. That is possible due to earlier initiation of development, the fact that the highest value requirements are delivered before the lower value and risk requirements, and, at the end of each sprint, the team produces a working product and shippable increments.
The decrease in time to market is the reason why Scrum projects have a higher return on investment (ROI). Revenue, as well as other benefits, start coming in sooner and because of earlier accumulation, the ROI is higher over time.
ROI increases with Scrum by regular feedbacks that enable early and less costly changes and fewer pricey defects.
These are some of the most important benefits of using the Scrum framework in software development.
Remember that good organization is the key to success when it comes to project development. Scrum helps save both time and money, facilitates teamwork, is easy to use, and adapts to the company.
By managing software projects within Scrum and by having a certified Scrum Master onboard, you can surely increase the success of your software development product.
By using the Scrum framework, here at UHP we work efficiently, organize and prioritize tasks and requirements and, above all, make sure that we make the most out of your product and your investment. Feel free to contact us through your preferred channel for any queries you might have, no strings attached!10 June 2021