Scrum, Maturity, Adaptation and W.O.W.
By Jasmin Ahmetbasic, Lead Program Manager & Team Lead @ Authority Partners
Like most software development companies around the world, at Authority Partners, the Scrum framework is an important part of the way we work. In this blog we take a look at how, after 24 years in business, we’ve adapted and built upon Scrum, developing mature work processes that better serve the needs of our workforce and deliver innovative business solutions to our clients.
Like other Agile-based methodologies, Scrum is a framework that helps people, teams and organizations generate value through adaptive solutions for complex problems. It focuses on taking an iterative approach to the project development process. Guided by Scrum’s 16-page guidebook that outlines the framework: the Scrum Master, Product Owner and the Development team work collaboratively in small teams to achieve a specific product goal.
At Authority Partners, we have added to and modified existing Scrum-based policies to better suit our methods and common practices as a company. We have taken some of the core elements of the Scrum framework and adapted them to include processes that better support the way we work.
We believe that our 24 years of developing IT projects and products with our global team of experts gives us a level of maturity when it comes to insights and experience related to the software development process. Though many IT companies deploy Agile and Scrum frameworks, our approach adds an additional layer of value and better serves our clients around the world.
One way of describing our in-house ethos is that we take a mature approach to understanding the values and principles of the Agile software development philosophy. We realize what works best for us – we know the Scrum rules, we know the Scrum frameworks. We may have stuck to them unfailingly in the past, but now and over time, we are adjusting them to better suit our needs.
These adjustments make sense in relation to our internal policies and processes. They help us deliver the level of technical expertise and insightful business solutions that we are known for. It represents our W.O.W. – way of work – and the adjustments we make to Scrum are an integral part of that approach.
We believe that our ability to adapt, modify and build upon Scrum is indicative of the mature and sophisticated way we manage projects and programs from elaboration, construction and monitoring to delivery. Our W.O.W. describes a style of teamwork and program management that is both detailed and flexible. In addition to existing Scrum roles, we have added to the framework with specific policies linked to career paths and education, for example. Our unique approach is integral to our ability to deliver programs and projects that set us apart from the competition.
Program Managers not Product Owners
In a typical Scrum arrangement, the product owner is an internal, in-house member of the Scrum team. But at Authority Partners we found that the product owner function was often being performed by an individual on the client side. We recognized the need for an internal role that would serve as the interface between Scrum teams and the client project lead.
In response to this realization, we developed a W.O.W. that includes a program manager role instead of the product owner role found in Scrum. The program manager is our add-on, acting like a bridge between the Scrum team and the client/product owner. Although their function isn’t listed in the Scrum guide, part of their job is to make sure that the Agile principles are being respected and followed through by all of the members of the Scrum team and that the process on the client side runs smoothly, via a supportive and value-driven structure.
The program manager is typically responsible for overseeing multiple projects. But within Authority Partners, their role and responsibility extend much further and are clearly set out in our version of the Scrum framework. These include: organization, delivery, quality and collaboration linked to the projects they are working on; continuous skills training and development, as well as fostering learning opportunities for those on their team; and a commitment to organizational culture and engagement in relation to their immediate colleagues and the other members of the company with a mindset shifted toward the future, next steps and big picture.
Most importantly, program managers serve as the interface between the Authority Partners development team and the client. They are also present at the Scrum level, playing a critical role in the daily Scrum meetings with the program’s Scrum Master(s), developers, QAs and business analysts to help ensure quality control and serve as the channel for client needs and requests.
The Authority Partners program manager does the reporting, making sure that the KPIs are being reached and all the necessary processes are in place on our side. Our ability to incorporate this new level of functionality in our Agile process and Scrum framework is indicative of our ability to adopt a mature, time-sensitive and focused approach to delivering world-class business solutions, and the role of program manager is just one of the examples in which we believe we succeeded
For new clients in particular, this innovative approach is what we present as our W.O.W. It is the way we collaborate and is part of the management process we’ve integrated into our in-house guides and policies to describe the different roles and responsibilities within the company. The process has helped us ensure that we deliver innovative projects on time, on plan and on budget, and that they meet our clients’ expectations in every respect.
For 24 years, we at Authority Partners have been providing IT solutions that have helped our clients become leaders in their industries. We have been partners in their growth, creating software solutions that deliver a clear competitive advantage. We are partners who help deliver business outcomes.
We are Authority Partners.
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