9 Real Benefits of Scrum - Part 1
By: Kathy Kent Toney, President of Kent Business Solutions
A Kent Business Solutions Two-Part Series
My last blog was about using Scrum to accelerate a product’s speed-to-market time. In that post I introduced you to my client, Schier Products (Schier). Today’s post will reveal the 9 Real Benefits of Scrum that Schier has experienced. The nine benefits are both tangible (4) and intangible (5). Today we’ll discuss the tangible benefits of using Scrum and in next month’s post we’ll dive into the intangible benefits.
Four Tangible Benefits
1. Increased Product Speed-to-Market
Let me share quantifiable measures on the “significant increase” I previously mentioned about Schier’s speed-to-market timeline. Their previous product took 24 months from design to deployment and by using Scrum principles, they reduced that to 10 months. And the 58% improvement is a conservative number, because their tooling vendor’s shipment was two months late! If we removed this delay, Schier’s speed-to-market time jumps to a 67% improvement...wow!
2. More Units Sold
Since their product reached the market much quicker than in the past, Schier most likely will sell more units over the life of the product.
3. On-the-Fly Design Improvements
Schier originally planned to develop a new grease interceptor* with stand-alone component systems, but using Scrum really expanded their vision. Through its use, they uncovered a larger product improvement opportunity than they anticipated. Instead of a stand-alone component for a single new product, Schier could design component systems to fit their entire product line, nine in total! This “modular” (or standardized unit) approach would increase production speed and lower costs for all their products, not just the new grease interceptor. Making the decision to use the modular approach was truly a no-brainer.
4. Lower Development Costs
Development costs were significantly reduced from previous product development efforts. The savings in development costs between a 24 month product development cycle and 10 month cycle is clear. This is just another additional tangible benefit of using Scrum!
Five Intangible Benefits
Schier also experienced intangible benefits. These can’t be measured precisely, but had significant impact on their business. These intangible benefits are:
5. Laser focus on the task at hand
6. Discipline and thorough planning
7. Scrum as an extension of Lean thinking
8. Final solution resulted in very few mid-stream changes/problems
9. Increased team transparency
The list isn’t exhaustive, but these five areas have produced the most powerful outcomes for Schier so far.
The 9 Real Benefits of Scrum -- tangible and intangible -- have been proven time and again in many organizations. Schier’s product development improvements are one example. And their Scrum journey was so successful that they’ve replicated it by launching two new Scrum teams. These teams will focus on New Product Development and Product Improvement, respectively. Imagine the benefits that will come from their expanded use of Scrum!
Schier couldn’t be more pleased with the results. In the words of their CEO, Luke Ismert says: “Kathy was just what we needed to get us started on Scrum and pointed [us] in the right direction. She methodically and professionally held me and our Scrum team accountable and made sure we were in-line with the tenets. Her start-up leadership helped us shave weeks off of the Scrum learning curve."
Stay tuned for my next blog where I’ll dive into the five intangible benefits. And feel free to contact me at 816-429-1042 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to learn more!
*Grease Interceptor: a plumbing device (a type of trap) designed to intercept most greases and solids before they enter a wastewater disposal system. These traps reduce the amount of fats, oils and greases that enter sewers.