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Using the Scrum framework as a project management process for product development

Scrum is a popular product development methodology used mainly in software projects and is considered as an alternative to classic project management practices.

Scrum is a framework with an iterative approach requiring cycles of development, inspection, and adaptation of project progress. Reference: Scrum framework, BVOP.org

The following article presents significant reasons why you can use Scrum in your organization and as a way to work on project development. The report also states the reasons why organizations do not use this Agile methodology. Reference: Agile, Scrum and Waterfall project management, ossalumni.org

Reasons an organization decided to include Scrum in its production processes

An organization could include the Scrum method in its production processes, even if not in its full scope, as it really depends on its activity and the production it produces, when it wants to achieve independence and autonomy from its employees, to increase their motivation. , and when he wants to optimize activities or processes, as the basic principles of teamwork of people with different qualifications, daily micro-meetings, and regular goal setting and process monitoring are all activities that can be applied in different situations and especially in collaborations between people or teams from different departments, e.g. production, marketing, and trade, when a certain campaign or goal is pursued, which actually affects the activity of all departments to varying degrees.  Scrum is also much more easy and flexible than Kanban for example. Reference: Scrum and Kanban methodologies, vbprojects.org

On the other hand, in case of inexperience on the part of the employees or in case of wrong assessment or selection of an inappropriate Scrum Master, this would be quite a risky endeavor. In any case, it would require great precision in the introduction. As the Scrum Master is a major role in the Scrum framework the stakeholders can contact them in case of a need. There is no official contact person in the Kanban system. Kanban methodology vs Scrum framework, libraryofmu.org

Possible reasons for an organization to deliberately not use Scrum

When the production processes in the organization are of such a nature that does not allow the application of the Scrum method. The rules that the method uses for monthly sprints, as well as for daily meetings, to produce a unit of product are not always applicable. On the other hand, an organization may abandon the application of the Scrum method if it considers that its employees do not have and / or can not develop the necessary thinking – self-organization, collaboration, motivation to work without the imposition of standard management methods.

Possible difficulties of the organization (at the top management level) in the implementation of Scrum

With regard to senior management, the greatest difficulty would be the desire to control the teams and their activities, as well as the selection of an inexperienced or unsuccessful Scrum master, who can not train people from the teams of Scrum methods and successfully implement the method of work.

Comparison between Scrum and Waterfall project management practices

Regarding any questions about Waterfall and alternative methodologies for building and developing projects, I provide you with the following information about the differences and advantages between the two most common methodologies

The Waterfall methodology is a way to organize the project development process in which the product is delivered once. It is easy to understand and implement, but in some cases, it is expensive and time-consuming. The stages of the project are executed sequentially and each stage starts only after the previous one is completed: requirements definition and analysis => design => implementation => testing => implementation => maintenance. Return to the previous stage is not performed, so it is recommended for projects that do not expect frequent or significant changes in the requirements and scope, such as projects for institutions that have extensive and detailed documentation.

For complex projects, in which adaptability to changes is important, frequent changes are expected during the different stages, the so-called “flexible” methodologies (Agile methodologies) are recommended. Such methodologies are Scrum, Kanban, Lean Software Development, Dynamic Systems Development Method, and others. Indeed, these methodologies are the more common choice in modern projects, especially in the software industry, where customer requirements change frequently.

The Agile methodology, and in particular Scrum, is a way of organizing the software development process, in which the product is delivered in stages and in parts in order to reduce risk and deliver results faster.

Less time is invested in advance for documentation and analysis, as customers regularly provide product feedback. Agile relies on customer participation in every phase of the project. Planning, design, development, testing, release, and feedback are in a constant cycle over a period of time. The entire project design process is divided into cycles called sprints (typical of the Scrum framework, Reference). Each sprint has a specific duration in weeks and has a list of planned results. The results are prioritized according to the business value determined by the client. If all planned sprint work cannot be completed, the work is re-prioritized and the information is used for future sprint planning.

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