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Developing iaptus with Scrum

Scrum: a framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.—Scrum Alliance

Last week, Mayden hosted a talk for the Bath Scrum User Group on how adopting the Scrum project management framework has helped our software development team become more productive.
The name Scrum was adopted for this particular, agile way of working after a study published by the Harvard Business Review compared high-performing, cross-functional teams to the scrum formation used by rugby teams. In software engineering, Scrum enables developers to deliver updates to products iteratively, responding to changing customer needs and developing technology. Scrum teams organise and manage their own work, planning tasks to be completed within a specific time period known as a Sprint, and meeting each day to assess progress.

The move to Scrum is probably the single most productive change we’ve made in Mayden’s ten year history.—Chris Eldridge, Operations Director

Rob and Claire from the iaptus development team described how Mayden adopted Scrum three years ago. As the iaptus Product Owner, Claire prioritises the software development work on iaptus. She works closely with Rob who as Scrum Master, facilitates the work of a small group of software developers, known as a Scrum team.
They outlined how moving to the Scrum framework has helped the development team to prioritise work, plan the level of resource needed for tasks, and deploy software changes efficiently. They explained how Scrum has significantly improved working processes, increased collaboration and enhanced developers’ sense of ownership of the work they deliver.
Rob and Claire discussed some of the key benefits and challenges of adopting Scrum.
Embracing change Adopting Scrum requires everyone in the development and the management teams to embrace new ways of working. This takes commitment, time and effort. It’s not just processes that have to change, people have to change too.
Trusting the process and people Scrum empowers developers to organise their own work, and managers must learn to trust the process and their teams.
Building a collaborative environment In a Scrum team, everyone’s opinion is valued, regardless of their level of experience, and they can challenge each other in a safe environment. The best solutions come from teams rather than individuals.
Being brave enough to try the Scrum framework provides opportunities to try new ways of working, to accept and learn from failures, and to quickly move forward. The organisation has to be prepared to give developers space to try different ways of working and to view failure as part of the learning process.
Rob and Claire explained that thanks to a supportive management team at Mayden, they had been able to fully embrace the Scrum framework, and had been given the space to experiment and adapt the framework to suit the team over the last few years. Rob highlighted the challenges for Mayden in scaling Scrum effectively, as the Mayden development team grows, and the Scrum professionals in attendance offered ideas from their own experiences. The presentation closed with a lively Q&A from the audience.
Thanks to all who attended. We’re looking forward to sharing more of our Scrum experiences with the developer community in the future.