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Scrum in Agile Startups: 5 Essentials You Need to Know

#development #startups

Every startup wants a fast start. Slow and steady are unlikely to win the race. Adapt quickly, pivot if the initial plan is not working, be agile. This is the mantra for startups. When you’re in “move fast or die” mode, there are techniques you can use to facilitate product development. Scrum is one of them.

Development and testing are the two greatest time wasters. Traditional waterfall methodology is not always the right choice when it comes to a fast go-to market strategy. Scrum allows you the ability to build an MVP faster and consequently test a concept or idea.

Tip: If you’re not sure about features your product should have, Scrum significantly helps in identifying and making the final decision.

This approach is universal and popular not only among agile startups, but also tech giants such as Microsoft, Yahoo, Intel, Spotify, Adobe, and many more. Here are just several things that make Scrum so popular:


The greatest thing about Scrum is that it ensures great flexibility. Writing a project specification takes time (even months, depending on the project size and scope) with more and more new ideas coming to mind. Further discussion of requirements can be a time-consuming process. Scrum enables a quick project start with the ability to simultaneously adjust development to new requirements.

work estimation in scrum

Tip: To meet deadlines and ensure all tasks are completed on time, conduct Sprint estimation with the whole team. Don’t forget to add testing to avoid any headaches.

Clear expectations

Prioritization is one of the greatest challenges teams face. Ever-changing requirements confuse the development process. In Scrum, the scope of work for every Sprint is strictly identified. This forces the team to concentrate on the most important task for that very moment. This speeds up the pace of your market breakthrough.

Tip: A good practice is to finish a sprint on Wednesday and start new on Thursday. Don’t ask how we know it, just trust us.


Some entrepreneurs are afraid to face a lack of control when working with outsourced teams. Scrum eliminates this issue. Sprints enable you to see which tasks are in progress, which are already tested and which are done.

Daily or weekly meetings, which are an inevitable part of Scrum methodology, help the team stay aware of progress. The top three questions discussed during these meetings are:

  • what the team’s been doing
  • what the plans are for the rest Sprint
  • what obstacles the team is facing along with ways to overcome.

Through this process, potential and actual problems are identified at the early stages when they are easier to solve. This gives you a clear picture of how fast the team is moving and how successful they are.

Tip: Make sure that the development process goes smoothly by setting limits on the number of tasks at the very stage. For example, no more than 3 for In Progress, Testing, Rework, etc.

Learn from the past

Sprint retrospectives help eliminate past mistakes. For example, a team can fail to finish a Sprint on time due to the absence of necessary credentials or feedback. Retrospective discussion of Sprint obstacles allows you to eliminate the likelihood of something like that kind going wrong during the next one.


Scrum is all about transparency and efficiency. The comprehensive control over all development processes along with the highest priority given to the most critical features and functionality results in a quicker go-live, which is important for the whole startup software development success.

Scrum is a great methodology when it comes to startups. With no clear recipe for success, there should be room for experiments and innovation.

This article was created with the help of Nadezhda Shkuda.

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