This article provides an overview of the agile project methodology and how it works with a project management office (PMO).
The Agile movement seeks alternatives to traditional project management. Agile approaches help teams respond to unpredictability through incremental, iterative work cadences and empirical feedback. Agilists propose alternatives to waterfall, or traditional sequential development. Scrum is the most popular way of introducing Agility due to its simplicity and flexibility.
Scrum is a management framework for incremental product development using one or more cross-functional, self-organizing teams of about seven people each. It provides a structure of roles, meetings, rules, and artefacts. Teams are responsible for creating and adapting their processes within this framework. Scrum uses fixed-length iterations, called Sprints. Sprints are no more than 30 days long, preferably shorter. Scrum teams try to build a potentially releasable (properly tested) product increment every Sprint.
Scrum roles include the following:
- Scrum Development Team.
- Product Owner.
- Scrum Master.
Scrum meetings include the following:
- Sprint Planning Meeting.
- Daily Scrum and Sprint Execution.
- Sprint Review Meeting.
- Sprint Retrospective Meeting.
- Backlog Refinement Meeting.
Scrum artefacts include the following:
- Product Backlog.
- Product Backlog Item.
- Sprint Backlog.
- Sprint Task.
- Sprint Burndown Chart.
- Product / Release Burndown Chart.
Scrum addresses uncertain requirements and technology risks by grouping people from multiple disciplines into one team (ideally in one team room) to maximize communication bandwidth, visibility, and trust.
The greatest potential benefit of Scrum is for complex work involving knowledge creation and collaboration, such as new product development. Scrum is usually associated with object-oriented software development.
Scrum’s relentless reality checks expose dysfunctional constraints in individuals, teams, and organizations. Many people claiming to do Scrum modify the parts that require breaking through organizational impediments and end up robbing themselves of most of the benefits.
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