Why I'll Never Shut Up About Scrum Planning - Neutech, Inc.
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Why I’ll Never Shut Up About Scrum Planning

If right now you’re thinking “Jared, I DO NOT care that Neutech uses Scrum and agile planning for your project management” – I get it.

I’m also guessing you don’t care what type of coffee we serve in our breakroom (Nespresso) or where we love to take friends and founders for Brazilian Barbeque (Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse).

But how we manage our projects? It actually has a huge impact on how fast we help you get your app or website to market and how easy the whole process is. Studies show teams employing Scrum deliver a 250% improvement in quality (!!!) and 78% of Scrum users would “enthusiastically” recommend it to others.

So what even IS Scrum planning?

Great question, my friend. Scrum planning refers to a project and its structures as a whole; it follows the Agile project management methodology. Scrum planning is led by a project manager who oversees planning based on a team’s skills. 

Scrum planning is named after rugby Scrum – a sort of huddle where the team works together to move the ball forward, rather than throwing and kicking the ball to different individuals who move it down the field a la American football.

Here’s what gets considered in Scrum:

  • Goals and deliverables – we mean both the product itself and the value its users get out of it
  • Stakeholders – who”s involved and affected by the project, both negatively and positively
  • Project schedule – Delivery date and the schedule of sprints needed to reach that delivery date (more on sprints later!) 
  • Risk assessment – What are the risks to this project and how can we mitigate them? 
  • Resourcing – Is the budget big enough to cover the tools and talent necessary to complete this project on deadline?

How is Scrum project management different from traditional project management?

Scrum is VALUE driven. When our project managers are planning, they’re thinking “What is the most valuable item we can deliver today?” This means we’re helping you launch a MVP (and get money in the door) as soon as possible. Click To Tweet
Scrum is iterative and incremental. If we launch your MVP and discover that people LOVE this aspect of your app and ignore that part, Scrum allows space to pivot, make quick changes, and release the new version. We’re not tied to a huge, multi-year plan. 

Scrum also prioritizes working in “sprints,” team members can work uninterrupted on specific tasks. Imagine you’re trying to drive a car from A to Z. And if you go from A to B to C to D to E to F, straight down to Z, you might have an easier time.

But if you go from A to B back to A to C, then to P, then back to B and then to O, and you start, you may eventually get to Z, but you’re not going to get there nearly as quickly or as efficiently as that straight line, right?

When your team completes tasks quickly with sprints, they get feedback faster, which means they can make changes faster and you can start making money faster. Click To Tweet

How does traditional project planning work?

Traditional planning (often called “waterfall planning”), produces a plan from which costs, schedule and estimates are created and the development is phase-based and sequential. Waterfall planning is also predictive – a plan is made based on how we predict people will use a product.

Traditional project management is based on fixing the scope, cost, and schedule and managing those parameters. Some people believe that traditional project management is better suited for larger projects that require upfront planning and more rigid processes.

At Neutech, we prefer Scrum, but what’s most important is that you plan

Like my fifth grade teacher used to say “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” If your team does better with traditional planning that’s fine! What’s most important when you’re launching an app, a platform, or a website is that you have SOME sort of plan for the process to get you from idea to minimum viable product and that you have the discipline to stick with it.

A shocking number of start ups die in the build phase, contributing to that “90% of startups fail” statistic we see bandied about.  Good planning – whether that’s Scrum or traditional – can help you avoid that.

What do our clients have to say about Scrum planning?

Jesse Link, the CEO of Rella says “I can’t even think of the money and time I wasted trying to build our product before finding Neutech. With their dedicated and bespoke approach, we’ve accomplished more in the last eight weeks than we had in the last year.”

So you can probably see why Scrum is our preferred planning method. Whatever method you prefer, just make sure you’ve created some sort of plan to bring your product to market. Your profit margin and stress levels will thank you!

If you’ve got a tech project you want help with (and you want it managed quickly and affordably), I’d love to chat. You can grab a spot on my calendar here

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