Why Scrum? Why Agile? Answering a Project Manager

I'm a Project Manager, how will we organize projects with Scrum?

Scrum has no Project Managers. Projects are generally only focussed on developing something, whereas Scrum Teams design, create and sustain something. Managers are generally responsible for something or some people, whereas Scrum Teams are self-organizing.

In Scrum - as long as a product exists, it has a Product Backlog of everything that will be done to it. That includes, but is not limited to what can be termed 'projects', however it is ordered so that working on it, produces the maximum amount of value, first.

In project management, value is assumed to be a function of the 'iron triangle' - this budget, spent in this time, with this scope of solutions will make the project done. Quality is a cost to these variables: running out of time or money whilst still making the same scope will lead to reducing the quality. This is working ‘inside out’ - from what we can make, towards value for customers.

Scrum turns this 'outside in': the Scrum Team aims to continuously add maximum value for its customers. It does this by adding high quality work to the increment at least every sprint, ensured by a transparent definition of "Done".

Instead of predicting scope, the team selects what it will make every Sprint in a Sprint Backlog and defines a Sprint Goal. The Scrum Team learns how to add value empirically by inspecting and adapting the increment, how they create the increment, and their daily progress towards the Sprint goal.

The Product Backlog is also continuously inspected and adapted so that it is possible to forecast how many time-boxed Sprints, so how much time and money will be needed in the future.

So Scrum relies on self-organization and not organization by managers. However, empowerment to remove impediments to customer focus, self-organization, and a healthy system, are required. Consider becoming a Product Owner or a Scrum Master. Otherwise, support the Scrum Team by opening the space they work in, as an agile leader.

Thanks to:
  • https://scrum.org
  • http://professionalscrumtrainer.com/
  • https://valueminds.nl
  • https://scrumguides.org
  • https://agilemanifesto.org


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