Why Do Scrum?

If we hear about Scrum and want to convince some managers to do it, how should we present the benefits of this approach?

The 2011 Agile Survey by Version One gives some ideas.  See it here:

Typically the biggest idea is: faster time to market.  And this is a very powerful idea.

But it is an idea that is hard to measure for many firms. Or perhaps better to say that the firms, in my experience, do not discuss what they are measuring with the community (eg, the employees) nearly enough. For example, even if we deliver 12 units of functionality in a year, both before and after, it is still a huge win to deliver that in 12 small releases (with agile) rather than in one big release at the end of the year (with waterfall).

Some other key reasons.

Manage Changing Priorities.

Increased productivity.  Scrum should provide greater productivity for the Team per Sprint. This is probably best measured by Velocity, meaning average total Story Points ‘done’ at the end of the sprint, over probably the last 3 sprints.

Better Align IT/Business.

Enhance Software Quality. We think a strong Definition of Done and more automated testing naturally should lead to higher quality with agile. But no doubt some people who say they are doing “agile” are producing products of lower quality than some waterfall teams.  But in general, Scrum should have higher quality. A lot higher.

Project Visibility. This is one for the managers.  They can just see better whether the project doing well or not.  This is a big win for them. Whatever the answer is, I just want to know the truth, they say. If things are not good, then I can so something about it, they say.

There are other reasons (in the survey and not), but this is a good start.


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