Scrum project management is a methodology for managing software delivery that comes under the broader umbrella of agile project management. It provides a lightweight process framework that embraces iterative and incremental practices, helping organizations deliver working software more frequently. Projects progress via a series of iterations called sprints; at the end of each sprint the team produces a potentially deliverable product increment.
Scrum is a proven and widely adopted method for achieving software agility. By working in short sprints, this iterative cycle can be repeated until enough work items have been completed, the budget is depleted or a deadline arrives. Project impetus is maintained, and when the project ends Scrum ensures that the most valuable work has been completed.
This contrasts sharply to the more traditional waterfall style approach that fixes the project scope upfront, requiring the extensive creation of requirements, analysis and design documentation before development can get started. Delays and budget overruns are common, and the failure to prioritize the feature set often results in low quality products that are overloaded with features that the customer/user does not actually require.
The Scrum approach to project management enables software development organizations to prioritize the work that matters most and break it down into manageable chunks. Scrum is about collaborating and communicating both with the people who are doing the work and the people who need the work done. It's about delivering often and responding to feedback, increasing business value by ensuring that customers get what they actually want.
Shifting from traditional project management approaches to Scrum project management requires an adjustment in terms of the activities that are carried out, the artifacts that are created and the roles within the project team:
The main activity in Scrum project management is the Sprint, a time boxed iteration that usually lasts between 1-4 weeks, with the most common sprint length being 2 weeks.
Deliver More Business Value with Scrum Project Management Tools
Scrum Project Management requires very few artifacts, concentrating instead on delivering software that produces business value. The main artifacts in Scrum are:
There are three main roles involved in Scrum project management:
Many teams start out using spreadsheets to manage the product backlog and task boards to see and change the state of tasks during the current sprint, often with a whiteboard and sticky notes. This approach tends to work well for small, co-located teams. However, as the backlog increases and remote members require project visibility many organizations implement a more sophisticated tool to centrally manage projects and enable cross-team collaboration.
If you’re thinking about trying Scrum, here are some additional resources to help you get started:
Understand the differences between Agile Methods such as Agile Scrum, Lean development, Extreme Programming(XP), Feature Driven Development and Dynamic Systems Development Method.