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Agile & Scrum basics

The idea of Agile Project Management follows the unforgettable Ronseal approach, that being, it does exactly what it says on the tin. The dictionary definition of Agile is the ability to move quickly and easily, and that’s precisely what the key usage point of Agile Project Management is. This continuous improvement focussed methodology allows you to adjust the scope of the project with flexibility and interactivity to deliver quality products.

Agile was originally used in the software development industry, but has evolved to be useful in others including construction, engineering and other areas of IT. The “Agile Manifesto”, which was published in 2001, has conceptual links to lean techniques, kaizen and Six Sigma while being centred on four values:

  • Communication with parties is more important than standard procedures and tools.
  • Focus on delivering a working application and less focus on providing thorough documentation.
  • Collaborate more with clients.
  • Be open to changes instead of freezing the scope of the work.

building-blocks-agileThe key to the success of Agile lies in the iterative method that resides within it. As projects plod along in their lifecycle, their scope can grow in complexity, end users can have difficulty defining the long-term requirements. If a project is developed in iterations, they can constantly gather feedback and react to those requirements.rugby-scrum

Now, what is Scrum? Well, besides a rugby formation used to restart play, Scrum is a subset of Agile; a framework that is used to implement Agile in complex projects and manage product development. It was formalised for software development projects, but works well for any complex scope of work.

There, it really is that simple.

The two have a relationship where one can’t function without the other; without Scrum, Agile becomes just a theory, while without Agile, Scrum is just a framework with nothing behind it.joker-batman-icon

The idea of Scrum is to work smarter and accomplish more in half the time, which means, all together now… productivity!

Next week, we will be giving you guys an introduction to Lean Six Sigma, which is essentially a two for the price of one process methodology.