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Taking baby steps towards Agile project management with Scrum

Set up whole wall white board, and loaded with big paper cards!  #Scrum #Agile #SoftwareDevelopment

Last week, I had an opportunity to take Craig Larman's Agile project management with Scrum course. I have been in a software project using Scrum, but before taking this course, my understanding was rather superficial. My impression about Scrum was just daily stand up meetings, iterations, and occasional retrospect meetings. So, when Craig opened the course by strongly emphasizing the core values of Agile software development, it opened my eyes. The four values of Agile software development are:

  1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  2. Working software over comprehensive documentation
  3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  4. Responding to change over following a plan
Those are essentials in delivering real values out of software products into the market and the society. In the rapidly changing business environment, flexibility, or being "Agile" is crucial, or we work hard only to deliver an antique that would not have practical value in the new reality. We engineers like a rigid plan and execution, but aren't we often stubbornly following the plan that was perfect only for the obsolete reality? Being transparent about what we do, always inspect if what we planned still makes sense to the current reality, and adapt us to the new reality even if it means to rip off the initial design.

We use Scrum to be Agile. All the framework of Scrum, from daily stand up meetings to the small iteration cycles, now make more sense to me when looked through the glass of Agile software development philosophy.

I am still too novice to start preaching about Agile project management with Scrum. So, I stop here just with reporting that I immediately set up a Sprint back log on the office wall instead of keeping it on the project web page. This visual management with big and tangible representation induced a lot of creative conversation among us right after the second it had been put up. I think it's a good start.

Original post: May 31, 2010 | Last updated: May 31, 2010

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