AGILE - SCRUM Project Management

Project Lifecycle Services can develop and implement your project using AGILE - SCRUM.

Our primary objective is to provide exceptional service and value for money.

What is AGILE - SCRUM?

Agile Project Management introduces iterative rather than sequential project processes. A range of approaches have been tested and refined over the past 20 years.

These techniques were first developed for software development projects - but in today's climate they will resonate with those working in many other sectors.

Where requirements are fast changing, and not necessarily fully evident at day one, then more flexible approaches are necessary. Scrum and DSDM are two of the more widely known methodologies. They offer tools and techniques which can be fast, effective and fun.

Why Agile Project Management?

Traditional Approaches to Project Management

Traditional project management involves:-

  • Very disciplined and deliberate planning and control methods
  • Distinct project life cycle phases
  • Project tasks completed one after another in an orderly sequence

Traditional project management methods succeed where the project requirements can be tightly defined upfront and where there is little change during the project. This is often called the "Waterfall" model.

For example, in a construction project it is necessary to design and plan for the entire building in great detail, in order to understand the full scope of the project. Once started, changes to the specification can have a radical impact on budget and timescales.

Systems development methodologies such as SSADM and general project management methodologies such as PRINCE2® are built around a sequential model.

Traditional methodologies have many strengths:-

  • Emphasis on tightly defined objectives
  • Rigorous and controllable process
  • Clear documentation and accountability

But they are less good when it comes to coping with fast changing external environments which impact on objectives and potential solutions. Traditional methods can be seen by those working within projects as unnecessarily slow and bureaucratic.

There is often heavy reliance on written communication. Conflict can arise between those responsible for different aspects of a project.

What's Different about Agile?

"Agile" is the generic term for project methodologies which allow iterative approaches to project implementation.

A distinguishing feature is the different priority given to the three central aspects of any project - "Features", "Time" and "Cost". Traditional approaches tend to treat "Features" as totally fixed by the time the project is initiated.

Agile approaches apply very tight discipline to "Time and Cost" but will accept review and prioritisation of the "Features" to be delivered.

The first formal Agile methodologies arose from best practice within the systems development community. Examples from the 1990s include Extreme Programming (XP) and Rapid Application Development (RAD). Since then we have seen consolidation of these approaches into software development tools such as Rational (now owned by IBM) and more generic agile approaches such as DSDM and Scrum.


Scrum has become the most widely recognised and most international agile project management methodology. Use of it remains biased towards software development - but many of the tools and techniques can be applied to aspects of other projects.

The following headlines will hopefully provide a flavour:

  1. The name "Scrum" emerged as a rugby analogy where a self organising team moves down the field - together
  2. Many projects involve learning, innovation and surprises, so a major recurring theme of Scrum is to "inspect and adapt"
  3. "Sprints" of intense activity are launched with a planning meeting and close with a Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective. This review questions "what we should start, stop and continue doing"
  4. "Daily Scrum" meetings are held daily during Sprints when each member briefly states what's completed, what they will do next, and what's in their way
  5. The "Product Owner" identifies product features in the form of a prioritised list and is responsible for ROI
  6. The "Scrum Development Team" is typically a dedicated group of 5-10 people with the different skill sets needed to deliver the product
  7. The "Scrum Master" is a facilitator rather than a manager - guiding the Team, resolving issues and promoting collaboration with the Product Owner
  8. The "Product Backlog" is a definitive and prioritised list of remaining features and tasks - so becomes a form of product road map
  9. The "Sprint Burndown" tracks estimated hours work outstanding against the "timeboxed" Sprint hours available
  10. Scrum is not just about processes - it's a different style of working which is energetic, collaborative, and flexible.

An information, training and certification infrastructure is building around Scrum - coordinated by the US based Scrum Alliance.

Office Address & Contacts
Project Lifecycle Services Ltd
10 Jobs Ln, March
PE15 9QE

Tel: 01354 654799
Fax: 0872 115 7218
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