I recently wrote “How to perfect the art of ‘good enough’ project management” for The Business Journals. “Good enough” is a tongue-and-cheek reference to using Agile and Scrum. This post and the article provide an overview of Agile and Scrum for non-techies.
Agile and Scrum
Agile is a method for project management. It calls for work and results to be incremental, iterative and interactive.
Scrum breaks large things into manageable chunks. It also has a huge focus on collaborating and communicating between the “product owners” who are internal or external clients and the team doing the work. At a high level, Agile/Scrum has four core parts.
Part 1 — Creating a product backlog
The product owner creates a wish list of features and functions. It’s prioritized. This is the product backlog.
Part 2 — Sprint planning
With sprint planning, the top product backlog tasks create a small chunk for the team to tackle over the course of two weeks. This is the sprint backlog.
Part 3 — Sprint and sprint backlog
The team tackles the tasks in the sprint backlog. The person who keeps everyone focused is the ScrumMaster. A key component of Agile and Scrum is the Daily Scrum. This is a brief meeting where the team goes “around the horn” and gives updates. The overall goal of a sprint is a “good enough” version to show the product owner.
Part 4 — Sprint review and retrospective
At the end of a sprint, there are three important questions:
- What should we start doing?
- What should we stop doing?
- What should we continue doing?
BTW, the above list are great questions to ask people outside the Agile/Scrum arena… employees, customers, even family members.
A word to first time executives and leaders using Scrum and Agile… rework is part of the plan. It’s about evolving, improving, and learning.
Here’s a toast to good enough!
If you’re in need of some help with Agile, check out Intertech’s Agile Coaching offerings. We can help you accelerate your Agile adoption across your entire organization.
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