Yes We Kanban – Getting the Most out of your SaaS Development Sprints

Updated on by Hayley Brown

Building software takes time and large teams from a variety of backgrounds to help with the software development process. 

Software development is an iterative logical process that aims to create programmed software to meet unique business or personal objectives. The process involves multiple steps including research, designing data and process flows, writing technical documentation, comprehensively testing, debugging and ultimately pushing it live. 

Once the product is live agile teams then need to keep up with customer and business requirements, as well as produce new product updates. 

What is Agile and Scrum?

The software development process has many stages such as, planning, analysis, design, development, testing/integration and maintenance. A methodology commonly used during the development process is agile. 

The agile methodology is used for project management. It is a continuous iteration of development and testing in the software development process. A central framework within agile development is scrum. This framework helps teams to work together and deliver the business value in the shortest amount of time.

In Atlassian words it pairs agile development and a scrum as “a set of principles and scrum is a framework for getting s#it done.”

What is a development sprint?

Teams that follow an agile development build products in a series of iterations which break down large and complex projects into manageable tasks called sprints.

A development sprint is a short period of time when a team works to complete a pre-set amount of work based on customer or company needs. The scrum master will determine the length of the sprint depending on the size of the agile project. As well as the sprint goal. They are typically between 1 – 4 weeks. They sit at the centre of scrum and agile methodologies and planning sprints right will help agile teams deliver better products. 

According to Atlassian, “with scrum, a product is built in a series of iterations called sprints that break down big, complex projects into bite-sized pieces.”

What happens in a SaaS Development Sprint?

At the start of any new sprint there will be sprint planning. Both the development and product teams will conduct meetings to plan the forthcoming sprint, which involves moving items from the product backlog to the sprint backlog. These will be addressed in the sprint.

During the sprint the development team will work on the pre-planned tasks from sprint backlog, and on a daily basis have scrum meetings with the scrum master. These meetings are to help the development team work together. The team have the opportunity to discuss what has been achieved so far and what needs to be done next. As well as share any issues or roadblocks they have encountered. 

At the end of a SaaS development sprint there is Sprint Review meeting. The development team will demonstrate the new features, or product gains to the product owner and any other stakeholders. This is where the product owner will see if all requirements from the sprint backlog have been fulfilled. If not they will return to the product backlog and be picked in a later.

The development team will also have a Sprint Team Retrospective. This gives the team the opportunity to discuss how they worked together collaboratively. As well as reflect on how things went during the sprint and if there are any improvements to be made. The goal of a sprint and scrum team is to continuously improve their collaboration. 

The Dos and Don’ts of a SaaS Development Sprint

Source Medium

Signs of Successful SaaS Development Sprints 

You can measure the success of your sprints with numerous tools and metrics. These data points can help track, and improve efficiency and effectiveness for future SaaS sprints. Measuring the success of a sprint can also help to set future benchmarks, and guide the direction of work. As well as measuring the team’s velocity. 

A sprints success can also be measured by how well the team works together. This would be discussed in the Sprint Team Retrospective. As well as ways to further improve collaboration. Whether this is through improved communication or tools needed. 

A key sign of a successful SaaS development sprint is that it actually delivers value. Whether this is in the form of new product features or updates, but in the way the team builds trust amongst stakeholders from continuous value delivery. 

The most obvious sign of success if achieving the sprint goal.

More Agile and DevOps related blog posts

Avatar for Hayley Brown

Hayley Brown

With several years experience in the digital marketing space after graduating from Sussex University, Hayley has gone on to work in the retail and education industries. In 2020 she joined the Cyclr team and is working alongside Daniel in the Marketing Department.

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