13 Mar Defining Agile Scrum & Highlighting Its Main Advantages
If you’ve delved into the project management world, you’ve probably come across the term “agile scrum.”
What exactly is this project management methodology?
As explained by Michele Sliger during a Project Management Institute conference, scrum is “an agile method of iterative and incremental product delivery that uses frequent feedback and collaborative decision making.”
In other words, agile scrum allows companies to break down a project into small iterations or sprints that usually last two-to-four weeks, delivering each in a swift and efficient manner.
This methodology is particularly suited to test out end results and products and has gained plenty of traction in the fields of software development, programming, marketing and construction, among others.
One of the key underlying components of the agile scrum methodology is transparency.
Writing for Wrike, a leading work management solution, Emily Bonnie says, “Transparency is a key principle in Scrum, so teams and stakeholders review the results of each sprint together,” which, in turn, “ensures everyone’s on the same page about priorities and deliverables, and any adjustments can be made right away.”
Teams under this methodology are divided into three distinct roles: scrum master, product owner and developers.
The scrum master makes sure the team is following the Scrum process and provides assistance in order to keep its members on track.
According to Andrea Fryrear in an article for workfront, this role has to “facilitate meetings, remove any impediments that are keeping people from being productive, and guide team members into a deeper understanding of Scrum,” while also “[maintaining] strong interpersonal connections to the team.”
The product owner is more concerned with the product being delivered and its value to both the clients and the business as a whole.
Wrike’s Bonnie explains that product owners “decide what the team will work on next, so the team’s efforts stay focused on high-priority tasks that create the most value.”
Finally, the developers are the team’s multiple members who carry out the work needed to complete each sprint.
According to Fryrear, developers need to be both “cross-functional” and “self-organizing” in their skill sets. More specifically, individuals in this role must “have a broad skill set that enables them to contribute to all phases of work” and “choose the work they do and identify the best way to get it done.”
What are some of agile scrum’s main advantages?
Taking a project from start to finish under traditional project management requires a significant amount of planning. Often, this planning does not involve the specific team members who will be in charge of working on the deliverable. Without this solid foundation, a project may be more susceptible to risk and ultimately fail.
Under agile scrum project management, any sort of deliverable can be readily tested and improved upon in a future iteration. Hence, given agile scrum’s shorter delivery times, more specific deliverables and overall ability to revisit past work, risk is somewhat minimized using this specific methodology.
Nut Cache, a popular project management app, summarizes this idea neatly on its blog: “With Scrum, planning fallacy is taken into account from the get-go; this is why Scrum advocates getting detailed work done in small chunks. That way feedback is immediate and there is continuous improvement throughout the project’s lifecycle.”
Generally speaking, the cross-functional nature of a Scrum’s team members allows for greater flexibility when completing a sprint. Likewise, this model of project management is better at handling change and adapting to new requirements on behalf of the customer.
As presented by workfront in a blog post, “historically, change was seen as an expense, and one to be avoided.” However, agile scrum “allows for continuous change throughout the life of any given project” and “each sprint provides an opportunity for review and course correction.”
More specifically, Ivan Pavlov of Bitrix24, a free collaboration platform, explains: “Constant customer’s feedback is also taken into consideration and, as the results are presented at every stage, it is much easier to accommodate change and align the product development with the requirements and needs. If certain needs are identified after a sprint, they are easily introduced to the next backlog and are taken into consideration.”
Encourages Collaboration & Transparency
Given the shorter delivery periods involved and its innate ability to constantly test results and improve wherever necessary, agile scrum promotes greater collaboration between the development team and its clients.
Workfront summarizes this relationships nicely: “Whether internal or external customers, involving them throughout the process can help to ensure that the end product meets their needs more effectively.”
Additionally, Wrike’s Bonnie says, “Scrum sees collaboration as the most effective way to create the best possible product. So teamwork and transparency are essential. Rather than anxiously downplaying problems, Scrum team members are open about their progress and any roadblocks they encounter.”
Promotes Creativity & Innovation
Under traditional project management, a project is designed from start to finish during its initial planning stage. Very little is left to the imagination, if you will.
On the other hand, according to Chuck Cobb, founder of the Agile Project Management Academy, agile scrum welcomes “creativity and innovation to maximize the business value of the solution,” avoiding “an over-emphasis on planning and control” that could potentially curtail these pursuits.
EIMF offers a variety of courses and certifications for individuals interested in Agile and Scrum methodologies as well as project management training opportunities. The available courses until June 2020 are listed below:
- EXIN Agile Scrum Foundation
- EXIN Agile Scrum Master
- Project Risk Communication Monitoring and Review
- Project and Risk Management Essentials for Non-Project Managers
- Project Risk Management
- Financial Analysis for Project Managers
- PRINCE2® Project Management Foundation Certification Preparation Course
- PRINCE2® Project Management Practitioner Certification Preparation Course
For further information about these offerings, please view the EIMF Upcoming Seminars to learn more about the course(s) of your interest.
For any additional details on these offerings, please feel free to speak with an expert learning and development adviser at EIMF at +357-22274470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.