The race to be the best, deliver high-quality software and to be the first to market has many organizations turning to different methodologies in order to speed up the development process. One methodology organizations have been flocking to in particular is Scrum.
“I always will recommend Scrum if an organization is new to Agile and they are coming from a traditional waterfall or linear sequential phase gated type of process,” said Lee Cunningham, director of enterprise Agile enablement at VersionOne. “My recommendation is to always start with an iterative approach, and Scrum is obviously the most popular and most well known of those and the reason for that is because it gets the team members oriented to getting things done whereas the world they may be coming from might have projects that go on and on forever.”
The reason that Scrum is such a popular method for streamlining the development process is because it creates a sense of urgency and allows teams to develop the sense of whether they are doing well or not based on the commitments they’ve made, according to Cunningham.
“Scrum is a very empirical process, which means we are going to observe what’s actually happening and then we are going to base our projections on that versus some pie-in-the-sky wish list,” he said. “When we have the ability to actually see what our throughput capability is, we are going to be able to see where we might have some difficulties with our planning versus our velocity.”
Getting Scrum into the Enterprise
Transitioning an organization to Scrum can be hard because there are many different adaptations and modifications to process. The route an organization takes with Scrum depends on the nature of the work and the size of the organization, according to Jon Terry, chief operating officer at LeanKit.
“For truly large enterprises, let’s call it the Fortune 1000, there is no such thing as one size fits all. Scaling up ‘agility’ can’t be just scaling up Scrum. It will necessarily be a hybrid of Scrum, Kanban, DevOps, and, let’s be honest, waterfall/SDLC,” said Terry. “We really think that a hybrid approach guided by a framework like SAFe is a major success factor versus implementing a pure-play approach and trying to adapt at a team level without an overarching roadmap.”
But before an organization begins to think about a hybrid approach, Cunningham believes they should start with the basics.
“We tend to make adaptations to the things that are painful, and those are the things that need to change the most,” he said.