Best Practices for Optimizing Scrum for Seamless Life Cycle Management

Custom software development is a competitive field that constantly moves and changes, thus requiring different methodologies. Optimizing Scrum with Life Cycle Management is a good combination, leading to enhanced flexibility. Scrum is an Agile method that delivers software development in incremental cycles. LCM manages the application’s end-to-end process. But how can you use both together effectively? The hybrid method enables a custom software development company to receive quicker feedback, better adaptability, and higher-quality software.

What Is Scrum Software Development?

Scrum is a method where teams work in “sprints” or short cycles to develop custom software step by step. It’s the most popular Agile method, with 81% of Agile teams using some version of Scrum. Each sprint lasts for two to four weeks. The team conducts “daily scrums” to check their progress for 15 minutes. At the end of each sprint, the team will have two more meetups; one meeting is for reviewing the work and getting feedback, and the other is for discussing how the software can be improved.

What Is Life Cycle Management?

Software lifecycle management covers everything from the initial idea through its creation, deployment, upkeep, and eventual retirement of an application. It ensures the software doesn’t just exist but thrives and gets better with time. A solid LCM strategy keeps teams on track, monitors progress, improves efficiency, and spots areas where things could be smoother. With the software market projected to hit $22 million globally by 2025, having a strategic plan is vital for any custom software development company.

What Are the Best Practices for Adapting Scrum and LCM?

Sync sprints with milestones

Break your LCM roadmap into milestones that match up with Scrum sprints. Think of LCM milestones as checkpoints along the software’s journey, like launching a beta version or completing a specific feature. By aligning sprints with these milestones, you keep your team focused on delivering features that help achieve the bigger goals of the LCM roadmap.

Say a custom software development company plans to launch a new eCommerce platform in six months. One of its major LCM milestones is to have a fully functional shopping cart in three months. During the sprints leading up to this milestone, the Scrum team prioritizes tasks related to building the shopping cart feature. These daily sprints ensure they remain focused on the core task first. Regularly reviewing the LCM roadmap during sprint planning helps keep development on track to meet these milestones.

Maintain a clear scope of work

Having a clear scope of work for each sprint ensures smooth development and integration with LCM activities. A clear scope of work outlines the tasks and features to be completed in each sprint and details how they fit into the overall LCM plan. The outline should include deliverables, timelines, milestones, and reports to keep everyone on track. Each feature should align with the LCM roadmap and consider how it will affect future stages like deployment and maintenance during backlog refinement.

Having a clear scope helps the team stay focused and prevents issues with later LCM activities. An ambiguous scope can reduce developer productivity, cause duplicate work, and lead to unnecessary stress. Furthermore, when you have a clear scope of work in hand, it’ll deter scope creep or a client who asks for more than what was originally agreed upon.

Practice transparency

Clearly communicate the sprint scope to everyone involved in the LCM process. “Everyone” includes the developers, testers, deployment specialists, maintenance teams, and key personnel. It’s good to have open communication between point persons or team leaders so everyone is in the loop. Using tools that allow for asynchronous communication minimizes confusion or tension between teams. A clear and shared understanding helps everyone work efficiently and solve problems more effectively.

For example, if the development team discovers a security issue with the shopping cart during a sprint, they should immediately inform all stakeholders. This includes discussing it in the daily Scrum meeting, adding it to the sprint backlog, and notifying the deployment and maintenance teams. This way, everyone can work together to address the problem and reduce disruptions.

Automate scrum processes

Scrum’s iterative approach is superb, but it can get a bit overwhelming to manage manually. Automating tasks helps sidestep time-consuming tasks. Task management tools automate repetitive jobs like sorting through backlogs, planning sprints, updating daily tasks, and sending out notifications. They streamline the creation and organization of user stories while keeping tabs on sprint progress as it happens.

Automated testing frameworks are also valuable. Not only do they catch issues early on, but they also maintain quality by handling test cases automatically. This frees up testers to dive into the more intricate testing scenarios. By automating Scrum processes, teams can focus on coding, designing, and collaborating, and not administrative duties.

Document routinely

Keeping good records is vital in custom software development. A well-documented project keeps things orderly and minimizes unnecessary revisions. Documentation also keeps everyone in sync. It’s proof of the progress so far, the tasks in line, the edits made, and the upcoming deadlines. It also notes who’s in charge of what.

It’s also important to file security risks when they happen so the teams have a reference for the future. Good documentation is valuable throughout the project because it eliminates friction from the back-and-forth work between teams.

Use Scrum beyond development

Don’t limit the Scrum methodology to the development phase. Sprints are valuable for other parts of custom software development, such as experimentation and support. Look at how to implement the process in different phases. Adjust Scrum sprints to suit deployment or maintenance requirements. This lifecycle-focused outlook can help identify areas for improvement across the entire software development journey.

For example, implementing daily sprints for feedback loops on marketing the software can help both the marketing and sales teams.

Is It Worthwhile to Use Scrum and LCM Best Practices?

The answer is yes. There are various ways to manage, develop, and collaborate on software projects. Pairing Scrum with LCM is a solid choice overall. Follow the best practices mentioned above to keep everything running smoothly, well-structured, and up to par.

Ashutosh Kumar

Ashutosh is a Senior Technical Architect at Taazaa. He has more than 15 years of experience in .Net Technology, and enjoys learning new technologies in order to provide fresh solutions for our clients.