Agile Development Scrum

Agile Software Development for Transnational Projects

ThinkPower 2019/11/22 14:16:32
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Agile Software Development for Transnational Projects

Each team follows a different methodology and has experience in its particular approach. Agile Development is becoming more and more popular, but you may still wonder if it is the right approach for your project. So, I want to share my personal experience and give some advice on how to handle transnational projects using the agile project methodology. Currently, I’m working as a project manager on a project involving three software teams spread across Taiwan and Vietnam. Of course, the communication and project coordination for such a project is challenging and I have to make sure that it runs smoothly. That is why we chose the Scrum approach which is based on the agile development method.

 Scrum Roles and Functions

The Scrum approach includes three main roles: The client takes over the Product Owner role and is responsible for describing the requirements and represents the final user’s needs. Second, The Scrum Master takes care of the smooth running of the project. And of course, the Scrum Team, implementing the tasks of the backlog.

 

What is the Scrum Process?

Instead of one single project frame, Scrum splits the tasks into many smaller units, called Sprint. Each Sprint lasts two to three weeks. The Product Owner lists all tasks required for the product including prioritization in the Backlog. At the beginning of each Sprint, all team members join the Sprint Planning Meeting to discuss the details for this Sprint accordingly to the Backlog. After we start a new Sprint, we will have Daily Scrum Meetings to report the process and challenges. At the end of each Sprint, we review our work and summarize what needs to be changed or adjusted for the next Sprint, this is called the Sprint Review meeting.

 

What are the Benefits of Scrum?

The benefit of the Scrum approach is that our team adjusts faster to changes and acts more flexible. Due to the short process circles, we have a close exchange and communication channel. Additionally, our client receives regular reviews on the work process and is closely involved. As the Product Owner, he has the chance to intervene more quickly if it goes in a different direction than desired.

The main advantage of the Scrum approach within the agile development is that we can deliver in very short timeframes and have detailed review processes. This mechanism reduces the risk of unproductive and duplicate work. However, there is also the possibility to lose focus due to the high flexibility to change requests. Therefore, a precise coordination between the Scrum Master and the Product Owner is crucial.

 

As we have to align the work of three teams, the Sprint Planning Meetings and Sprint Review Meetings are most crucial and also most challenging. We use Kanban-style list tools like Trello and ticket systems to keep everyone up to date and synchronize workflows across national borders. Naturally, it is ideal for the team to work together in the same place, but in a globalized world with large international projects, this is less and less realistic. Therefore, I recommend trying Agile development to strengthen teamwork and to work more efficiently.

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