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SCRUM – is this the final frontier in project implementation?

Introduction:
This video makes a case on why SCRUM methodology should be
extensively used for IT related projects. It offers the advantages of using the SCRUM
methodology. Of course, SCRUM has drawbacks but it is something that can have a
product “up and running” in shorter sprints. Project methodologies such as
SCRUM presents a bucket full of ideas – it requires a strong leader who can
draw out the best idea or ideas or at times a combination of ideas from that bucket
to experiment and design a best possible match for the project needs. This
training video is presented by Greg Mandanis, who is a SCRUM master and a
training expert in the field of Project methodologies.
SCRUM Methodology:
The training video walk-through presented here is the 1st
of the training series on SCRUM methodology. In this training video, the presenter
highlights on why SCRUM project methodology is undertaken to solve problems,
inefficiencies that are usually found in the IT management process. The first two
slides offer a quick presentation of the overall framework of the SCRUM
methodology and how the role of SCRUM team fits into the framework. In the next slide of this video presentation, the
presenter draws our attention to the problems that are faced by today’s IT
management process. Grim picture is painted by highlighting few points, such as
- IT expenditures will exceed $1.4 trillion worldwide; at least 5% to 15% of the
projects will be cancelled mid-way. The shocker being 20% to 40% of projects
will be run over-budget, which translates into a huge waste poured in to the
economy – around $60 to 70 billion loss every year!
The Evolution
Projects today have evolved, but the methodologies that are
being used today have not – project methodologies have remained stagnant for
many companies. Some of traditional methodologies are Waterfall (RUP),
V-Shaped, Spiral, Incremental etc. The video
cities the example of waterfall methodology, where one member of the team is
running the race while other team members are waiting on the sidelines for the
person to hand over the baton so they can start contributing to the race! On the other hand, in the SCRUM race everyone
is a unit – joined at the hip. Every team member goes down the field all
together and are in sync with each other on their roles and responsibilities -
always. SCRUM results into multiple
releases produced at a higher speed and higher volume. Scrum is one-track line
approach; non-linear way. All members of team do little of everything all the
time resulting into more productivity, delivering highest business values at
lower cost in shortest period of time.
Real working solutions can be seen in as little as two weeks and the
team can then proceed for sprint towards another delivery.
The Players:
The training provides a quick overview of the SCRUM Framework
and the Team Roles for e.g. It is a cross functional team of 5-9 members
consisting of programmers, testers, and user experience designers - each of them wearing different hats. More
importantly they are self-organizing, proactive leaders.
The main players are – Product Owner - typically is the
project manager. The Product Owner’s responsibilities include the following - design
of the business plan, definition of product roadmap; product features, content
of the product, and the release date. The Product Owner is also responsible for
the profitability of the product (ROI); prioritization of tasks according to
market value; adjust features based on the market value at every iteration.
Finally, the Product Owner is also authorized to accept or reject work results.
The second main player, is the SCRUM Master – who is responsible
for the management to the project; responsible for enacting SCRUM values,
practices and removes impediments; is an active member of the team, shields the
team from external threats and interferences; ensures the team is full
functional and productive and finally enables close cooperation across the
board.
Resources:
This training video also provides a cheat sheet for SCRUM methodology
designed to help everyone on how SCRUM works and what it needs to work. The
cheat sheet highlights - the overall SCRUM process, SCRUM meetings, work review
process, user stories to help enhancing the business value and the velocity of
the team; SCRUM tools (e.g. the use of
white board), artifacts (product backlog, spring backlog, burndown chart,
release backlog etc.). It also has FAQs to
any SCRUM related questions.
Summary:
Project methodology is evolving. It is not difficult to know
which methodology works on projects and which fails. It requires knowledge and
information dissemination.There is no single technique that offers one-stop
solution but at times methodology like SCRUM comes along and offers promises in
abundance. But at the same time it
cannot be relied up as the sole project methodology for ALL the projects.
Different projects require different dimensions and hence different project
methodology. But the overall consensus should remain the same – high
productivity, low cost and better and faster solutions. The training video here
shows that SCRUM is the methodology can achieve the business goals by doing the
projects in an effective and efficient manner.

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