In order to understand why the scrum method, which is one of the Agile project management methods, is important, it is necessary first to analyze what the agile project method is, its history, and accordingly the need for one of the methods, the scrum method, and understand the requirements of the technique and where it is important.
It would be best to evaluate the importance of Agile project management and scrum method according to the place and time of application. When these project-based methods are applied at the right time and in the right place, they will work in gold and will pave the way for people and institutions to stay up-to-date in the developing world. This will increase the quality of the projects and seriously improve the people and institutions working on those projects.
What is Agile Project Management?
Agile project management is a project management approach that is implemented by dividing the entire lifecycle into small parts, based on iteration from the first step to the last step of the project lifecycle, and re-planning and controlling at each of these steps.
These interconnected and iterative life cycles are based on increasing speed and efficiency in projects. Agile project management, which is frequently used especially in software development projects, does not follow a linear path unlike historical project management, and gives you the authority to make changes and edits at each project step. The basis of this method, which prevents mistakes and loss of time, lies in mutual trust, desire for cooperation, advanced authorization skills, and the ability to be flexible and stay flexible.
Agile project management, in which the steps of planning, implementation, control, feedback, review, and commissioning are applied respectively as in the image below, differs from classical project management applications with its system based on iteration, which has interconnected life cycles. The life cycle of the commissioned project does not end as it is commissioned, the life cycle is connected to the next project and follows the same steps as the old project.
We will talk about how well this method works in the next parts of our blog. But at least, it is possible to say from the operation of this method that there is a continuous control mechanism in agile project management and the life cycles of projects are linked, that there are fewer mistakes, or that the results of the mistakes made can be easily reversed in the life cycle steps.
What is The Scrum Method
So what is the scrum methodology, which is one of the agile project management methods? Let's answer right away. With the frequent and rapid development of the world, it became difficult for especially large and bulky companies to keep up with the new order, customer expectations increased, and the scope and objectives of the projects expanded. As a result, project management became difficult and failures occurred in projects. Then several heroes appeared.
The scrum methodology, developed by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland in the early 1990s, brought a new breath to project management whose efficiency started to be discussed. As can be noticed from the data obtained, the success rate in the projects has accelerated and increased after the development of agile project management and the scrum method.
These philosophies are in the scrum methodology, which is built on 3 basic philosophies:
- Transparency: For the smooth progress of projects, mistakes, and truths are clearly seen by everyone
- Monitoring: Checking regularly
- Adaptation: Ensure changes made are compatible
If we want to take a short trip to the times when the Scrum methodology was first applied, we see that this methodology is mostly used to optimize the project-based work of teams in information systems. When compared to the waterfall method, which is the most classical project management technique used in the world, it can be seen how important the scrum methodology is. The biggest reason for this difference is that project definitions in the world have become more complex. Because the scrum methodology is more meaningful for projects with complex and uncertain requirements by its nature. In addition, the benefits of the scrum methodology in increasing the profitability of companies due to market conditions and the flexibility in keeping up with changing technologies make the scrum method superior to the waterfall method.
As can be seen in the chart above, there are serious differences between the success rates of large, medium, and small-scale projects in waterfall and agile scrum systems between 2013 and 2017. Especially as the project size grows and the project becomes more complex, the success experienced in the scrum methodology is an indicator of how successfully the scrum methodology works in complex structures.
How Agile Project Management Scrum Methodology Works?
For the Agile project management scrum methodology to be successful, the customer, who is defined as the product owner, must have a good command of the subject and exhibit a collaborative attitude with the development team, that is, the teams that will apply the scrum methodology.
Without a hierarchical structure among team members, environments should be created where everyone's ideas and thoughts can be expressed on equal terms and weighed on equal scales. In all roles, people should be responsible and want to make a difference with their ideas. Meetings should be held regularly. Ideas and the project's point should be communicated to the customers quickly and continuously. In this way, it should be facilitated to serve the real purpose of the project by receiving feedback at every step of the project. The steps are generally defined as follows. But of course, here too, there has been constant change and development due to the nature of the scrum methodology itself.
In the Scrum methodology, the product owner is responsible for the management of the product scope - the first part called the product backlog - due to his duty. A product owner is a person, not a group. The items in the product backlog, which is the first stage of the Scrum methodology, should be clearly expressed by the product owner for the healthy progress of the project.
In the Scrum methodology, the priority order for these items should be determined and the necessary briefs should be sent to the teams according to this priority order. The people in the development team, who will work in the next stages, act with the direction of the product owner. For this reason, the responsibility is on the product owner no matter what. Because at the end of the day, the product owner is positioned as the person who approves the outputs of the project in the scrum methodology. The task in the sprint backlog, which is one of the stages of the Scrum methodology, is to determine who is responsible for the task and how much effort the team/teams should spend to complete that task.
In Agile scrum methodology, your contribution to the other person is expected to be at the maximum, while your productivity should increase gradually. It can be said that Agile is more flexible than scrum, which is a sub-branch of the project management system. Leadership teams are supported to achieve success.
The Scrum method, on the other hand, seeks to get maximum efficiency and success from all teams by mobilizing all cross-functional teams. Of course, this system must be operated successfully and in accordance with its rules. Otherwise, the system will crash and the collapse of this system may result in chaos for the companies.
For this reason, the duties of the people who apply the scrum method are also to guide companies that do not understand this system correctly. Because, as we have seen above, the projects that you can develop by understanding the scrum method, its functions and how it works will be many times better than the ones you can develop with the old basic project management systems. In addition, since it is a time-based working method, the time of the employees will be planned in the most effective and correct way, and both customer and employee happiness will increase.
As a result, scrum methodology is the art of creating error-free results by dividing the project into parts by considering the scope of the project, with the project teams where the customer needs vary or are likely to show, and where the teams can organize themselves in terms of competence. The best part of this method is not dealing with the past, but planning and doing what needs to be done in the current conditions and changing world dynamics as a team. After all, who would want to use or buy a 1990 phone when the latest phone is available?
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