Over the past 15 years that WebDevStudios has been delivering robust solutions for our clients, we have operated in different methodologies for project delivery. In our year-in-review blog post, we announced the WebDevStudios Scrum Masters operational initiative: to have our entire project management team receive certification as scrum masters.
Initially, we used a waterfall approach 100% of the time. Back then, we used Basecamp as a project management tool.
While it is an excellent platform for managing tasks and providing communication to clients and our team, Basecamp wasn’t a tool that was made for an agile approach. Basecamp didn’t make it easy to run sprints, size tasks, and do effective sprint retrospectives.
Move to Atlassian
Around 2018, WebDevStudios moved to the Atlassian suite of tools, primarily Jira and Confluence, for our task management, documentation, and client communications. Jira is a vital tool for setting up and defining sprints in our development work.
Welcome to Wagile
WebDevStudios gradually moved toward a ‘wagile’ approach, a hybrid combination of waterfall and agile. This method works well for us in many cases because most of our client projects lean in that direction.
There are several ways to approach wagile, but for us, it’s best to use a combination of agile and waterfall when dealing with a complex project with many unknowns and critical elements that must be followed. An excellent example of this type of project would be creating a new feature for an institution that must comply with regulations. This requirement does not lend itself to an iterative, agile approach because it is rigid and fully defined upfront.
Selecting the Approach
When achieving the best results regarding satisfaction, budget, and timeline, the methodology doesn’t matter as much as the project manager’s goals. These questions help determine if a mixed model is appropriate.
- What approach will give us the best chance of success?
- Is it essential to get feedback as the team makes progress?
- Do we need to take risks as we explore new ideas?
- The ability to optimize each project for success
- The flexibility to choose the best method for each process
- A custom methodology tailored to the project’s needs
- The need for expertise in both Waterfall and Agile
- The potential for overwhelming complexity with multiple combinations
- Difficulty in replicating the methodology for future projects
WebDevStudios: Scrum Masters, All!
Moving through 2023, we have committed to sending each delivery manager and project manager back to school! By the end of the third quarter of this year, they all will have obtained their Scrum Master certification (CSM), including yours truly. (See? You CAN teach an old dog new tricks!)
Scrum Master Certification Benefits
Here are a few reasons why obtaining Scrum Master certification is something we feel is beneficial for both our team and clients:
- Increased knowledge and understanding of Scrum: Scrum is a popular agile framework for managing projects, and obtaining certification requires passing a rigorous exam that ensures a deep understanding of the principles, practices, and roles within the framework.
- Improved ability to lead Scrum teams: Scrum Master certification demonstrates an individual’s ability to effectively lead and facilitate Scrum teams, making them more valuable and sought-after by organizations that use Scrum.
- Enhanced career advancement opportunities: Scrum is widely used in software development and IT projects, and Scrum Master certification can make individuals more attractive to new job opportunities and promotions.
- Better team performance: Scrum Master certification can help individuals to lead their teams more effectively, resulting in better performance and outcomes.
WebDevStudios Scrum Masters Goals
We are excited to take this next step! Consequently, our goals for becoming more agile and less waterfall include the following:
- Faster delivery: Agile methodologies prioritize the delivery of working software over documentation and planning. This allows organizations to release new features and products more quickly.
- Increased flexibility: Agile methodologies are designed to be adaptable. Teams can change direction or pivot as necessary in response to changing customer needs or market conditions.
- Better collaboration: Agile methodologies encourage teams to work closely together. This increases cooperation and communication between team members, stakeholders, and customers.
- Greater customer satisfaction: Agile methodologies prioritize customer feedback and involve customers in the development process. This ensures that the final product is closely aligned with customer needs, resulting in greater satisfaction.
- Improved team morale: Agile methodologies prioritize teamwork. This leads to increased motivation, job satisfaction, and a sense of ownership and buy-in for the project.
- Better project visibility: Agile methodologies include regular reviews and inspections. These processes allow our team to view the project’s progress accurately. They can identify and address issues or challenges early, preventing delays and budget overruns.