Software development – creating software characterized by a high level of complexity – is a task on which development teams nowadays spend long months. From the pre-implementation analysis, when the first outline of software is created together with the client, to the testing and implementation phase – it is always a complicated, multi-stage process, on which specialists from various fields will work. Is it possible to accelerate this work or at least make problems appear less frequently? It turns out that yes. The solution is scrum. What should you know about it?

Scrum – the basics

software development process

The concept of the scrum was born in the IT industry, which has long been looking for a way to safely and efficiently execute complex projects in which separate teams of specialists work on individual elements of the whole. Such projects are, by their very nature, quite vulnerable to human error. Inadequate coordination or lack of communication can lead to a situation where the whole job has to be done from scratch. Such a situation is obviously very problematic for the ordering party, which does not receive its product on time, as well as for the software development house or the interactive agency which undertakes the execution of such orders. The benefits of using the scrum method meant that it has moved from the world of IT to other sectors of production and services, and is successfully used in processes related to the creation of all kinds of products.

How does scrum work in the software development process?

How does scrum work in the software development process

A scrum is an approach that is most often described as agile. It allows organizing the software development process in such a way that the whole thing is always safe, regardless of whether there are problems with on-time delivery at some stage. In this process, work on the product is divided into specific stages, which are called sprints. A team with the right competencies works on a single sprint, which can last from one to four weeks. The goal of a single sprint is to create a working version of the software – one that meets the pre-defined goals for each stage. The finished version becomes the basis for work in the next sprint, which adds specific elements to the product. Teams working on subsequent sprints may differ in their composition, as each stage of product development requires slightly different competencies. The combination of all product increments (versions that are created as a result of sprints) gives the finished software that can be implemented in the customer’s company. A very important aspect of the process is that each of the sprints and the overall project development have their own definition of completion so that where the work is always clearly defined and the situation is unambiguous. The procurer in this system is called the product owner. Extremely important is the function of the scrum master, i.e. a person who designs the development process and coordinates all the work.

The most important benefits of the scrum process

The most important benefits of the scrum process

By applying the principles of the scrum method, software development is faster and safer – both for the customer and the development team. Since the work is divided into predefined segments, in case of a major problem the time loss is never bigger than the duration of a single sprint. So even if it does happen, you’ll never be in a situation where you have to start all over again. Dividing work into sprints, which are carried out by separate teams, always allows using of the maximum potential of the specialists involved. The product owner also has greater control over the process of software development and always knows exactly at what stage the work is. Software development house can, in turn, precisely plan the work of employed people, thanks to which it gains much more possibilities in strategic planning of the company’s activities.

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getting started in the cloud
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5 Simple Steps to Getting Started in The Cloud

All start-ups and small businesses have heard that the cloud is everywhere and can transform your business. But what is it and what can it do? Cloud-IT specialists Principal have the answers.

Confusingly, the cloud is used by providers, software sellers and businesses who want your money as a catch-all term for a variety of things. It can become quite complicated, but it doesn’t need to be.

The cloud is basically an on-demand storage or software resource that you can access immediately through the internet.

Tech giant IBM offers a handy definition of the various different types of cloud applications which is a good place to start. It’s likely that after reading that you’ll have more questions than you started with. To help, here are 5 simple steps to getting started in the cloud.

1. Pick your cloud

The first thing to clarify is, like the sky above, there isn’t one cloud – there are infinite numbers of potential clouds. As a business, you need to configure one that works for you.

As a small business you will want to focus on how the cloud can benefit you. For most, that’s likely to be moving certain data and applications to the cloud.

The first step is to analyse your data centre usage. This audit can identify your current software and storage requirements, enabling you to identify areas that could be better served in the cloud.

It’s important to recognise that to work any proposed move needs to improve efficiency and be cost-effective.

The bottom line is, if it won’t save you time or money, then think again.

2. Solid security

The cloud is as secure – if not more secure – than your own proprietary network, but you still need to be cautious.

Once you’ve identified the information and software you’d like to be hosted by the cloud then take the time to assess what this means for security.

The Data Protection Act and European Data Protection Regulation all have implications for how you manage and store data, and how you select your partners too – more on that below.

3. Simple strategy

Once you’ve done the groundwork, you can begin straight away. Microsoft, Adobe, SAP are just a couple of the huge names who have moved to providing software via the cloud. Dropbox is a leading name in cloud storage, but isn’t the only one.  All you need to do to get started in the cloud is get your credit card out and sign up.

If you do though, you could be making a mistake. According to tech bible ZDNet, what most cloud projects miss is a strategy – and we agree.

A solid cloud computing solution needs structure. This will help create a system that works for the organisation and your customer. It is also built with the future in mind, growing and developing as your business does.

4. Cloud culture

Your implementation strategy is important. Equally important is how your organisation embraces the cloud. It’s all about culture.

The cloud offers freedom to access information, work collaboratively, remotely and at all times of the day. But it comes with some new risks. These are particularly important to recognise as employees increasingly use their own devices for work.

Businesses need to develop working practices and approaches that are fit for the new world of the cloud. You’ll need to introduce new staff guidelines for document sharing and storage to help you and your employees work in a new way.

5. Provider or partner

If you’re tech minded it’s relatively easy to set-up a personal cloud, but you need to explore whether it’s the right approach for you.

Focusing solely on individual providers can leave you with a fragmented cloud system, with complex and inefficient interdependencies between different pieces of software from different providers.

In the end, you could end up paying for a system that far more complicated than the one it replaced.

One way of avoiding this is working with a partner who can help you configure a cloud solution that works for you. They can also take care of some of the security and access issues, helping you devise a strategy for success.

A successful transition to the cloud needs some thought and some planning, but genuinely does have the power to transform the way you work – increasing productivity, efficiency and profit.

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