5 Reasons Software Startups Should Use Scrum

Software startups are the most common type of startups today, trying to come up with software that will attract as many users as quickly as possible, establish a steadily growing user base and develop a business model that makes them profitable or attracts investors.

The problem is that doing all of this is extremely difficult on every level. From big picture stuff to the intricacies of writing and testing code, it takes a lot for a software startup to succeed. In other words, software startups need all the help they need.

In comes the Scrum framework, the most popular and widely-adopted Agile framework, aimed at enabling software development teams to work as best as they can. Today, we will be covering 5 reasons as to why the Scrum framework is the perfect choice for a vast majority of software startups (provided they are not one-person startups).

1. Getting Early Feedback

One of the basic ideas behind Scrum is to deliver software in small increments that iteratively add functionalities and value to a piece of software. In other words, in Scrum, the team comes out with working software as quickly as possible and then refines and builds on it over time. This stands in opposition to working on a piece of software for months (or even years) before having a working version that anyone outside the team can see.

The reason why the Scrum way is better for startups is that it allows them to get early feedback from the early adopters. This is invaluable for a software startup as they can learn what the users think about their product and the different functionalities that their software offers.

This brings us naturally to the second reason why startups should use Scrum, which is…

2. Adapting Easily

Perhaps the most important reason why startups should use Scrum is that it allows them to easily adapt to change and newly developed conditions. Upon getting early feedback (covered in the previous section), the startup can easily modify or change their software so that it better answers the needs and the wants of the marketplace.

As a result of this, startups can avoid sinking time and money into features that no one wants or that people find unattractive for whatever reason. Startups are generally short on time and money and not going down these wasteful avenues ensures that they are not wasted. More importantly, this allows startups to divert their full attention to features and functionalities that will make their software attractive.

This adaptability goes beyond the needs and wants of early users. By developing their software incrementally, startups can respond more quickly and successfully to changes in legislation, for example. Once again, this ensures that their product can be developed with as little resources as possible.

The final result of this highly iterative work is a product that has its place on the marketplace and that is far more likely to become successful than something that had been worked on in isolation for months on end without getting any kind of applicable feedback.

3. Improving the Team

For the majority of startups, hiring top talent is usually not a possibility. Startups are limited in the amount of money they can give to top people in their fields and they are more often populated by people who are just starting out, often local talent. In such a situation, it is crucial that people improve their skills all the time and that more experienced and skilled team members can share their knowledge with their less experienced colleagues.

Guess what? This is another aspect of software development that the Scrum framework emphasizes – knowledge sharing and ensuring that the team grows together, becoming better with each iteration.

Scrum achieves this in a number of ways. For one, it insists on total, 100% transparency of everything that the team does. Every team member understands what others are doing, where the problems are being identified and the team works together on removing those problems. This level of transparency prevents people from trying to hide the fact that they do not know how to do something. Subsequently, this improves communication and there is nothing better for boosting knowledge than communication.

By prescribing certain events such as  Daily Scrums, Sprint Reviews and Sprint Retrospectives, Scrum also makes sure the team inspects how they have been doing and what they can do in the future to become better.

Team improvement is at the very core of the Scrum framework and this can play a massive role in how the startup grows from within and gets nearer and nearer to the best product possible.

4. Prioritizing Better

Prioritization can be a problem for software startups, whether we are talking purely development level or the business side of things. For example, the team will spend huge amounts of time and effort on features that should have been added at the end (if at all). The development work will be done out of order, leading to problems down the line. On the business side, the startup will waste money on fancy kinds of marketing instead of doing proper market research and targeting the right market segment.

Scrum minimizes the chances of this happening by combining all of the things we already covered – getting feedback, adapting better and boosting the skills of the team. When all of these align, the team has clear data on what matters and what doesn’t – giving them the ability to focus on the stuff that brings the most value at that point of time and increases the chances of adding more value down the line.

5. A Developed Community

Scrum turned 21 recently and over the years it has become the most commonly used Agile framework with estimated 12-15 million people using it to deliver better software. This means that you will be joining a huge community with plenty of resources and timely advice to help you best introduce Scrum to your startup.

In addition to this, you will be able to find useful free scrum software that will be of great aid to you and your team, helping visualize the process and track data that will help you become better.

Closing Word

Organizations and teams use Scrum for a number of reasons. When it comes to startups, these reasons will include early feedback, improved adaptability and prioritization and enhanced team improvement.

Do not be surprised when you discover many other ways in which Scrum helps your software startup become better with each day that passes.


Jug has worked in marketing for the better part of the decade. He is currently working at Vivify Ideas, a software development company.

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