Learn why scrum became the leading project management methodology and how it can work for you.
- Scrum wants you to fail. In fact, it's known for the slogan "fail fast." No, I'm not joking. I realize it sounds weird, but there's a very good reason for this. Traditionally, project managers and developers would work for months or years before seeing the results. Most of the time, around 80% in fact, the software and projects failed. So, why, you might ask, are they signing up for more failure? Well, really, they're not.
The trick is in focusing on the second word: fast. Failure is okay as long as you're learning from it, but if you have to wait too long, you're not going to learn nearly as much from it. Scrum takes the Agile manifesto and its key principles and boils them down to a very simple framework that encourages small-scale focus and rapid learning cycles. That's what fails fast really means, learn fast.
With that in mind, the basics of the framework are designed to encourage that fast feedback loop. The Scrum framework is not prescriptive. We generally refer to it as guardrails, like the ones you see on the highway. Those guardrails don't tell you exactly where to drive in the lane, but they keep you within the boundaries that will result in a successful road trip. Scrum is much the same. With the Agile principles as the guideposts and a loose framework of activities executed on a regular, short schedule, your project will be set up for success.
In a nutshell, here's the Scrum framework in its simplest form. To start, the product owner has a prioritized backlog of work for the team to do. Every two weeks or so, the team looks at the backlog and decides what they can accomplish in the next two weeks. The team develops and tests their solution to the backlog items until they're done and ready for use. At the end of the two weeks, the team demonstrates their accomplishments to the product owner and stakeholders.
Finally, they reflect on how things went during the two weeks, and they decide what they can do to improve their work practices. That's it. The short time frame and the focus on a completed product at the end forces the team to fail fast. Or, more appropriately, learn fast.
- Understanding the scrum approach to project success
- Solving project problems with scrum
- Establishing your scrum team
- Setting the vision for your project
- Writing user stories
- Setting boundaries for success
- Getting stories done in scrum
- Assessing the team