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Risk Management through Scrum

Could following the traditional project management guidelines be a thing of the past? You be the judge.

If you familiar with Scrum, you know that it is a way to plan, schedule and derive project cost. However, don’t be fooled because the benefits of Scrum don’t stop there. When the founders of Scrum created their framework, they intentionally placed a great deal of emphasis on differentiating how Scrum is unlike any other, traditional forms of software development. For example, simplicity is the root of the agile philosophy. This ideology has helped guide individuals understand how to incrementally deliver working project pieces.

We all know that managing risk is crucial for project success. Unlike traditional project management processes, Scrum stresses the use of feedback loops to mitigate invalid guesses. This strategy allows team members to refine the project plan as the project moves forward. The idea behind feedback loops is to use them in assisting teams in seeing the value of what they are currently producing and understanding the potential for early release options. I think that this is extremely important. It keeps people open-minded, and allows them to fully understand and recognize what it is they are trying to achieve. Scrum allows teams to make the appropriate changes to their original schedule by combining value with time.

Customers play a huge role in Scrum. Scrum teams often have a dedicated product owner that relays the wants and needs of the customer back to the team. This allows teams to work collaboratively in producing the requested features and determine when and how those features can be delivered. As delivery teams continue to progress, the product owner can evaluate the project backlog. In looking at this, owners are able to determine future actions, ensuring that the project is a dynamic process. The ability to change anything at any time illustrates the true essence of the agile project management framework. Without the ability to work in an agile environment, I believe teams quickly and easily lose sight of what is important. It becomes increasingly easy to focus only on requirements formulated internally, totally overlook the requests of the customer.

Scrum teams are constantly attempting to make themselves better as one sprint ends and another begins. They evaluate previous sprints by discussing team performance and the quality of the end product. From there, teams can correct for the next sprint. After doing this a few times, teams begin to build a confidence level that makes forecasting productivity for future sprints easier.

I don’t know about you, but I am convinced that using Scrum as an Agile Project Management Framework is the way to go. It seems like it keeps teams more open-minded while maintaining an understanding of what the outcome needs to portray and accomplish.

Your Turn

How do you feel about Scrum?
Are you currently using it in your place of work or do you follow the guidelines of traditional project management?
Which do you believe leads to a more successful outcome?

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