Same Same but Different: Growth & Scrum

Before joining Infinum, I had no practical experience with Agile, Scrum, or Growth and their application in real business situations.

I understood what they were about in theory, but implementing them in day-to-day work was a bit blurry. I also had a skewed perception of Growth as just another name for performance marketing when it is, in fact, so much more.

Understanding the Growth mindset

The Growth mindset is about experimentation and choosing the best strategy based on accurate data. While experimenting, the whole team is constantly evolving and learning, which allows them to quickly pivot to the optimal strategy in the digital product lifecycle and, finally, the best one for the client.

Using the Scrum framework in Agile software development is a well-established concept, both at Infinum and in the global tech industry. However, employing growth as a business strategy is still a relatively new approach, and the two have a lot in common.

Scrum and Growth share the same philosophy – learning by doing to create maximum value for the end customer.

The Scrum framework allows businesses to act fast

Somewhere along the way, Scrum became an industry standard for delivering maximum results through continuous incremental improvements achieved in sprints. It is a flexible approach, easily adjustable to client needs.

In the tech industry, the only sure thing is uncertainty. Technology is evolving daily, new tools and frameworks are constantly arising, creating perpetual motivation for business owners. You need to be in touch with all the novelties to breed and nurture innovation within the company. 

The Scrum framework allows businesses to act fast. They can be quick in implementing new technologies, fast in pivoting to different strategies, and quick in solving urgent questions and problems while keeping the end goal in sight and the ultimate vision of the project intact.

Regardless of the type of project, the ultimate goal is always the same – to bring greater value to the user. Scrum places a responsibility on every individual in the organization to continuously work on acquiring new skills and knowledge. It has a crucial role in answering the most critical question: How can we do things faster and better, and what is stopping us from doing that? 

The answers to these pressing questions are revealed in a constant feedback loop at the end of every sprint when developers go through the demos with their clients.

Build. Test. Measure. Demonstrate. Learn. Repeat. That is the foundation of the Scrum mindset.

Growth is about value-driven experimentation

The continuous improvement and innovation mindset that is the backbone of Scrum opened the door for the formation of the Growth team at Infinum. It allowed the company to create new offerings for our current and future clients as well as improve internal projects.

The Growth mindset is based on the philosophy that building beautiful apps and websites is not enough per se. Any digital product aims to solve a particular problem for the users. However, there are so many solutions to the same problem in today’s market that users can find themselves overwhelmed by all the options.

Businesses need to find a way to differentiate themselves in the cacophony and position their solution as the best one. It’s not hard to achieve when they have a unique product on their hands, but what if it’s similar to an array of existing ones, just slightly different? How to show that value to the users?

Sometimes we’ll hear from clients that their app, web page, or other solution became a success overnight. The users recognized the value and are raving about it to everyone they know. However, usually, that’s not the case. The global competition in today’s connected world is fierce and organizations have to be very explicit about communicating the uniqueness of their product. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about half of small businesses will have failed by the end of their fifth year in America. And that’s a statistic nobody wants to be a part of.

Growth can help businesses avoid that doomsday fate. Developing a Growth mindset inside an organization is all about setting up a rigorous experimentation process with the primary goal of driving holistic growth.

The main idea is to get to know your users and make them happy. Give them the best possible user experience. Inform them about your product in the right way – at the right time across preferred channels. 

Using Growth experiments, businesses get answers to many questions and the right message for each user at every step in the funnel. We don’t know that right off the bat. In fact, no one knows. No one has that magic crystal ball. The experiments are backed by data, which is the foundation for meaningful insight.

Build. Test. Measure. Demonstrate. Learn. Repeat. By doing this religiously, businesses can find the right message and the right offer for the individual user wherever they are in their decision-making process.

Employ Growth and Scrum for wiser use of resources

Just like Growth and Scrum both allow businesses to use their resources wisely and always be prepared to optimize their strategy to achieve the primary goal, Growth and Scrum teams share the same philosophy – question everything and acquire new knowledge by testing different strategies but never moving your eyes off the prize.

And the prize is finding the best solution for a specific customer problem. We can do that by thinking about the end-user from the beginning of the project, through development and release, and all the way to post-launch.