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Incremental development

Posted by SCRUMstudy® on June 11, 2024

Categories: Agile Product Owner SBOK® Guide Scrum Guide Scrum Team

Incremental development

Incremental development is a fundamental principle in Scrum that involves delivering small, usable portions of the product regularly. Each increment builds upon the previous one, ensuring that the product evolves through continuous improvement and feedback. This approach not only enhances flexibility and responsiveness to changing requirements but also allows for early detection of issues and incorporation of user feedback, ultimately leading to a more refined and user-centric final product.

Incremental Delivery in SCRUM is the practice of delivering the product in small, manageable increments rather than a single, comprehensive release. Each increment is a functional subset of the final product that adds value, allowing stakeholders to use and evaluate the product progressively. This approach facilitates early feedback, risk reduction, and continuous improvement, ensuring that the development aligns closely with customer needs and can adapt to changes efficiently. Incremental delivery emphasizes transparency and frequent inspection, enabling more predictable progress and faster realization of benefits.

The path of a rock star normally begins in a garage. Long before performing in packed arenas, musicians toil in local venues, scrape together the money to release an EP or two, hone their sound and pray they attract a record label. Rockers travel along an incremental path, making numerous adjustments before reaching stardom.

The same type of journey is becoming more and more true for technology and innovation stars. In Scrum, instead of recording best-selling albums it’s about releasing high-quality deliverables. The Scrum framework exists to deliver maximum business value in a minimum time span. An iterative development of deliverables helps supply value throughout the lifecycle of a project, according to A Guide to the Scrum Body of Knowledge (SBOK™).

In most complex projects, the customer may not be able to define concrete requirements or is not confident in what the end product may look like. The iterative model is more flexible in ensuring that any change requested by the customer can be included as part of the project. User Stories may have to be written constantly throughout the duration of the project. In the initial stages of writing, most User Stories are high-level functionalities. These User Stories are known as Epics. Epics are usually too large for teams to complete in a single Sprint. Therefore, as they move through each increment, they are broken down into smaller User Stories and tasks that can be successful.

Each complex aspect of the project is broken down through progressive elaboration during the Refine Prioritized Product Backlog process. The Create User Stories and the Estimate, Approve and Commit User Stories processes are used to add new requirements to the Prioritized Product Backlog. The Product Owner’s task is to ensure increased ROI by focusing on value and its continuous delivery with each Sprint. The Product Owner should have a very good understanding of the project’s business justification and the value the project is supposed to deliver in each Sprint, or increment. Then the Create Tasks, Estimate Tasks and Create Sprint Backlog processes produce the Sprint Backlog, which the team uses to create the deliverables that make customers happy and turn Scrum Teams into stars.

In each Sprint, the Create Deliverables process is used to develop the Sprint’s outputs. The Scrum Team self-organizes and decides how to create the Sprint Deliverables from the User Stories in the Sprint Backlog. The SBOK™ adds that in large projects, various cross-functional teams work in parallel across Sprints, delivering potentially shippable solutions and value at the end of each Sprint. After the Sprint is complete, the Product Owner accepts or rejects the deliverables based on the Acceptance Criteria in the Demonstrate and Validate Sprint process.

SCRUMstudy’s experiences with companies across the globe shows that an important benefit of iterative development is that it allows for course corrections midstream. All of the people involved gain a better understanding of what needs to be delivered as part of the project and incorporate these lessons learned in a timely manner. Thus, the time and effort required to reach the final end point is greatly reduced and the team produces deliverables that are better suited to the final business environment.

If you wish to deliver value throughout the life-cycle of a project, team up with SCRUMstudy. It will make you a rock star in your world.

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