Development projects ain’t easy to handle. You would not dare ask a project manager how he felt all day when he was looking to solve complex problems. The development scope has changed drastically in recent years and each coming day presents more complex problems.
Executing tasks with old fashioned techniques is no longer feasible. With complexities, new modules, classes, and libraries are to be built and this leads to quite huge software development projects. Examples are clear with Enterprise Resource Planning Software where different departmental modules are integrated to present an all-in-one solution.
The evolution of software hasn’t become possible by any individual effort. This has been caused by a large number of teams putting together a collective effort. For instance, a single video game such as GTA would take several years to be fully developed and tested before it is rolled out to the market.
Understanding Software Development Life Cycles
As mentioned that it takes a concise collective effort to build upon a single IT product, life isn’t much easy out there managing a development team. Project managers have worked out software development life cycles where they carefully plan each of their coding lines and how it is going to develop into different modules.
Different modules then integrate into a single software. The complexity for each module differs and different development teams specialize in different modules. The integration is also a key job here to ensure the final product works totally fine.
Without proper planning strategy, the project would be a complete disaster. Software development life cycles are now known to managers and developers where standard procedures are put in place so that nothing goes missing. The stages to reach the completion phase are design, development, and testing according to the expectations level of stakeholders.
A variety of software development life cycles have evolved and each of them clearly defines the roadmap to build a software system that is not erroneous. Among the latest and most popular agile models – the Scrum framework seems to be the main choice for most organisations.
Like with everything, you can figure things out yourself, read books, and attend webinars. Alternatively, if you are in luck, you will have a Scrum Alliance Certified Training available in your country. If you happen to be in the Asia Pacific, then the certified Scrum Master training in Australia is considered to be one of the best in the region.
Let’s dig more into this latest technique of dealing with development projects.
Facts Check On Scrum Methodology
It is an Agile Methodology where software development goes through frequent iterations processes between developing and testing. Time Scoping is the main aspect of scrum development. It is also sometimes called timeboxing what is called Sprints in Scrum.
Timeboxing is an essential part of Scrum methodology as it breaks down a project into smaller modules that can be developed in quick time periods. These sprints are assigned and tracked easily during the development and execution phases.
Relatively accurate Sprint estimations help immensely in delivering projects and predicting the time frame required to complete the work. The complexities are broken down into simpler tasks and modules that can be worked on with much better ease. You are in control of things since the initiation of any complex and large project.
For instance, in Scrum, a great emphasis is laid upon Sprint Planning and if you can get to master this skill, life would be much easier in managing real-time complex projects.
When you are looking to manage small to medium size projects, you can achieve great development efficiency through Scrum Framework that makes full use of the Agile methodology. If you are new to this framework or even so concept, starting with a certified scrum master training or product owner training is a great way to accelerate your knowledge in the field.
Surely, most information is available online, but nothing replaces proper on-site classes that deliver amazing insights. At the same time, it would be great if you come somewhat prepared and at least know the main concepts of Scrum.
Most Important Scrum Metrics To Consider
It is important to track and measure some metrics in anything and Scrum performance is not different. Without them, a project status becomes unclear and the team’s performance becomes questionable at best. Each of the metrics below is used to help you closely monitor things that affect the project scope, timing, and general wellbeing of the stakeholders.
Daily Scrum: Sharing of Problems and Progress On Daily Basis
You would have to meet with the other team heads on a daily basis where you would be discussing problems that are being faced and progress made. It is quite important as each one of the teams needs to remain aware of each other and on-board regarding project scope and requirements.
Planning Sprints: Breaking down of tasks
The use cases developed are broken down into detailed executable tasks. These are small portions and should remain achievable in a short period of time. This sprint planning is key for success as they have to be executable and traceable. Daily Scrum would intensely discuss the progress report on Sprints.
Summary Meeting: Retrospection at end of Sprints
Once the team finalizes the completions of Sprints, a meeting needs to take place to discuss room for improvement. Ideas and any possible qualitative information are collected in order to optimize the future development experience.
Now let’s go through the measures that are monitored in Scum Agile Methodology. Project managers need to intensify checks on these metrics so that the system remains close to the stakeholder’s requirements and expectations. One of the foremost measures would be to check the customer satisfaction levels.
Overall Customer Satisfaction
If this isn’t measured or doesn’t fall in the required levels, then the whole concept of Scrum is completely ignored. A project would be a total disaster if customer satisfaction levels are not met by the Scrum team. So the scrum agile developers need to keep customer requirements in mind before getting involved in the execution phase.
This metric calculation shows the number of defects detected during the development phase. The stories developed in the initial stages should go through a rigorous testing period so that defects are removed at Sprint level. If defects get accumulated at a larger level, it would be a menace to get rid of them and detect the source of error.
Daily Scrum is when the team heads rigorously discuss project scope, deliverables, and track progress on a daily basis. This is important for complex projects and the requirements may evolve on a regular basis. So, daily scrums must be carried out to effectively monitor the progress and the team should always work towards achieving business goals.
Capacity of Team
It is the most important aspect one should keep a note of. Although the primary principle of Scrum is to rapidly handle fast-changing requirements and deliver is the least possible time, all this falls on the team’s capacity.
Ignoring this factor would lead to a disastrous situation and not meeting deadlines would not fulfill the purpose of Scrum Methodology. Managers should accurately calculate the capacity of their team and how much time would be required to complete a certain set of requirements.
Defects Undetected during Sprints Testing
Sprints completed go through a testing phase and overall software testing takes place at the end. Defects detected at the end stages should be taken note of so that Sprints development can be optimized for the next coming projects.
Coverage of Automated Test
Keep note of how much code was tested through tools and what remains to be tested. Nothing should be lacking testing phase so you always should be on your toes and keep a rigorous check on testing coverage of each line of code.
The satisfaction of Team Members
It is just not about project stakeholders every time. The satisfaction of team members who are solely responsible to get the project completed and ensure it meets the requirements must of a top-notch level. Never underestimate this qualitative metric as it is directly linked with the completion and success of any project.
Density of Defects
The development team should also be made responsible for the defects that have been detected. Defects density is a vital metric that should be kept in records for performance evaluation analyses and how the scores can get improved.
The velocity of Each Team
Sprints are divided among different teams so you need to check on the velocity of sprints that are completed by each of the team. In this way, you would be able to know the efficiency and effectiveness of any team and trace out their overall contribution to any project.
Number of Interruptions
The interruptions are quite common as the complete development phase can never run smoothly over long periods of time. Scrum methodology conveys that a record of the number of interruptions and their nature should be taken note of for better productivity analyses.
Time Spent On Issues Fixation
Time calculations are the most important aspect and it won’t be left out even during the bugs and issues fixation. The development team has to remain on foot always and get things done in real quick time as the core purpose is to meet the assigned deadlines.
Dependency On Other Teams
It is quite pertinent to note that as different sprints and modules belong to a single project, cross dependencies can develop. Noting down these and look to optimize or make existing teamwork quicker would be more than helpful in reducing these time dependencies.
Turnover of Team Members
Team members regularly showing up for work indicates that a sophisticated and professional work environment is provided at the workplace. Attendance metrics are to be used in a positive direction to become aware of their satisfaction levels and further look to facilitate them.
Why Scrum Methodology Has Been So Effective?
Agile methodologies have existed now for quite some time. Still Scrum Agile Development Model was able to make its way through and make previously used techniques outdated. The core focus on keeping stakeholder’s interest involved and desire to delight the customers has made this methodology adored by the industry.
It starts from the development of stories and those are broken down into detailed tasks that are further evolved into Sprints. It helps immensely in keeping the project work traceable and rigorous checks can be made at each stage. The bugs are tried to be caught at their originating level so not much hassle is faced at the modules integration phase.
Further, each of the team member’s contributions can be easily monitored as a continuous evaluation process is performed. Daily Scrums and Retrospective Summary meetings allow team heads to come together and discuss the problems and progress. With an intense level of discussions and experts involvement, the project is bound to be completed in a successful manner
Maintaining quality and optimizing development cycles presents no such problems with Scrum methodology. The project doesn’t get initiated until the requirements gathering phase is completed with complete transparency. Each of the requirements is documented and then stories are developed to make teams understand the actual purpose of the software.
If it won’t be for Software Development Cycles, we couldn’t have such flawless resourceful software that makes a human being more powerful. Managing teams and assigning tasks is some work to do and is easier said than done. You would land in turmoil if you won’t be applying the right techniques and methodologies.
The period of requirements gathering and testing phase are the two most vital aspects of a successful project. There is no need to second guess anything and each of the teams should be clearly aware of the direction they need to move towards.
Scrum methodology clearly focuses on increasing customer satisfaction levels and the overall quality of IT products. The need for technological products is more than ever and each of the businesses now looks to make a makeshift towards these as traditional practices do not present scalability.
Also, if you would be looking to enhance your credibility and reach to the top-level positions, Scrum Master certification might help. These hands-on pieces of training will help you improve and further justify your motive to enhance your career. Having a different perspective on the problems and complexities would definitely lead to impeccable development projects.
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Founder Dinis Guarda
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