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Have you released an app for your business only to find it outdated sooner than you imagined? Keeping up with new technologies as well as the demands and expectations of your customers can seem like a full-time job.
If this sounds like you, then you’re in the right place. We’ll show you how you can get the most from the power of agile sprints when it comes to your product development. Don’t worry if you don’t know what a development sprint is, keep reading and we’ll show you everything you need to know.
What Is a Development Sprint?
The agile process can seem intimidating to those who haven’t experienced its amazing benefits. The idea of short sprints and stand-up meetings might seem foreign to those used to slow change and endless meetings. However, with an agile framework, you can find yourself releasing new features for your apps regularly for your eager customers.
Historically, technology teams would innovate new features, research and develop them, then test and change as needed before finally releasing them to the general market. Today, this process must be sped up to keep up with the quickly changing technology landscape as well as increased customer expectations.
As a developer, the scrum framework allows you and your team to deliver quality new products to your clients quickly. Within the scrum process, your team will complete several short sprints and adapt or adjust accordingly each time. As the manager, it’s your job to ensure that the entire development process is completed sustainably and successfully.
Each sprint is a short phase in the entire developmental process. When completing a development sprint your team can produce exceptional new products for your customers quickly. By using this methodology, you can keep up with customer expectations and stay ahead of the market in your industry.
Benefits of Using a Sprint
When you manage large on-going projects, you can feel like your work is never done. And as you grow your business, your team might change as well. That is why short sprints in the agile framework have become so popular in business these days.
Working in short sprints has many benefits regardless of your industry. Some of these include:
1. Break Projects Into Manageable Chunks
In the scrum framework, teams break down their backlog into short iterations. This simply means your team will focus on one very particular aspect of your product development project over the course of a short time frame, such as two to four weeks.
By breaking down larger projects into short sprints, you can make greater progress because your team isn’t splitting their time between priorities. They are solely focused on this one priority for the duration of the sprint. This is also why you need to plan short breaks in between sprints so your team can still keep up with their core daily tasks.
2. Ship New Features to Your Customers Regularly
Your customers have high expectations. And you want to meet those expectations. To do this, you will need to release new features and updates regularly.
By working in short sprints and releasing new features at set intervals, you can keep up with, and even exceed, customer expectations. So take the time to do the steps below, and you will see increased engagement with your customers immediately.
3. Improve Productivity
It can be difficult to release new products or features for your current products. However, with sprints, your team can get more done in less time. And you can find your business releasing new updates more often.
The agile framework has been a game-changer in the world of business when it comes to increasing productivity. So, don’t miss out on this vital tool that can help your team get more done in less time.
If you want to grow your business to the next level, you need to release more products and updates more often. And to do this well you should use development sprints.
Why Development Sprints Are Best for Mobile App Development
While sprints work great in industries across the board, when it comes to getting the most from your mobile app strategy, you need to use the agile methodology. Especially when it comes to app development, the sprint iterations give the best framework for your quickly develop and release new features regularly to your customers.
Don’t let your app get stale and outdated. Instead, use short product development sprints to keep up-to-date. There are several benefits you can realize when using sprints; some of these include:
- solve customers problems
- reduce risk
- implement quickly
- define a solution and solve it quickly
- allow for flexibility
- save money
- encourages innovation
As you can see, using sprints to develop new features and update your app can have many benefits. Your business is sure to see the increased ROI after just a few sprints. So, let’s jump into how you can implement development sprints in your business today.
How to Complete a Development Sprint
As mentioned earlier, product managers in the agile framework will focus more on strategy than planning the exact execution. This isn’t to say you won’t follow a well-laid out plan or roadmap. But instead of spending too much time planning, you will focus on implementation.
Here are the steps your team will follow to release new features or products into the market:
1. Create User Story Maps
The first step in your product development is to identify the best opportunities. And the best way to do this is to create user story maps. To do this, you will identify your main ideal target audience and then map out their customer journey.
This will show you how your team can solve your customer’s problems and what features will receive the best reception amongst your users. Creating user story maps can be a great visual exercise for your team members. It allows them to see the product they’re creating through the eyes of your customers.
By doing this, you will create new products, or improve existing ones that your customers will love.
2. Identify Your Challenges
Next, you will identify any challenges that might hinder your development sprint. By identifying them before you start, you can either plan for them accordingly, solve them, or figure out an alternative path.
The biggest challenges of any team can involve miscommunication, missed deadlines, and blown budgets. You can control these outcomes by identifying the challenges ahead of time and then solving them before they materialize.
One of the key benefits of scrum product development is the minimized risk associated with short sprints. You can also minimize risk for your stakeholders by identifying and solving challenges before they present to your team.
3. Determine Everyone’s Roles
There are specific roles that need to be assigned during Scrum sprints. These roles generally include the Product Owner, the Scrum Master, the development team. The thing to remember when assigning roles is that the Scrum Master doesn’t need to be the same person every time, but it should be someone with Scrum training.
Additionally, your team could change for different sprints based on the goals and needs for each sprint. So, decide your objectives and choose your team accordingly.
4. Define the End
We’ve all worked on projects that never seemed to end. Nobody knew the exact objectives of the project, and the client kept changing their mind when it came time for delivery. However, the definition of done is a key concept when it comes to planning your sprints correctly.
You need to have a clear definition of what your finished outcome will be. This will empower your team to work towards the finish line and know what they’re working towards.
5. Review and Learn From Each Sprint
You don’t launch the final product at the end of each sprint. Instead, you take the time to review how the sprint went and what you learned. You then share your newest feature with your client or beta testers and get their feedback about how they like it or what they would like changed.
Next, you meet with your team members to hear what they learned during the sprint. And finally, take the information you gathered to implement changes for your next sprint so you can continue to deliver the best products to your customers quickly.
6. Adapt as Needed and Repeat Until the Final Release Date
As mentioned, each sprint is a short iteration that leads to the final release of your new product, a new app, or an updated version of a previous product or app. Your product owner will have a product backlog that they will work from and assign new iterations to your team.
Each time your team completes the next sprint, you will adapt and learn from the review sessions. This process is repeated until you have a great final product you can release to your excited customers. As new technologies and expectations come about, you will continue this process so as to stay ahead of the market and grow your business.
Why Your Product Owner Needs a Product Backlog
As you work with your customers and listen to their feedback throughout your development sprint process, you will come across countless ideas for your product or new app. These ideas are a gold mine for ideas that your team members can implement in future sprints.
Your product backlog is a list of new ideas you can implement either in new products or by updating existing products. By having a product backlog, you will never run out of ideas that will keep your app up to date and in front of mind for your customers. Your product backlog can be in the form of an Excel chart, sticky notes on a whiteboard, or a Kanban board.
Regardless of how you store your ideas, you must have a place to store and keep these ideas so you can always stay ahead of the market in terms of innovation.
The product owner then decides which new products or features will be rolled out in which order. Once a feature or new product has been chosen for the next series of sprints, you will create your roadmap as outlined above to identify the steps and features necessary to complete your release or launch.
Additionally, you can have both a product backlog and a sprint backlog so that your team always knows what will be expected of them and when. This will allow them to plan their schedules accordingly and be able to give their full attention to the next sprint when the time comes.
Prioritizing new features and releases is a key feature in the sprint process. Your product owner will need to keep an eye on both their teams and the market. This will ensure that your team has the capacity to complete the next launch. And it also ensures that the market is in a position to accept and adopt the new release when your company launches it.
Keep Your Business Agile With Sprints
You’re a busy business owner. You don’t have time to keep up with the ever-evolving technological landscape. That’s why we are here to help you at EB Pearls.
We’ve spent the last 15 years running product launches using the development sprint process. So if you’re ready to release a new app to your customers, we’re ready to help you.
Reach out to us today to see how we can use this amazing product development process to release new updates for website or app so that your customers can rave about your business and look forward to the next product launch with eager anticipation.