Agile

New to Agile? What is it and why should you care?

The Agile movement grew out of a group of frustrated but quite excellent software engineers and architects who were sick and tired of failed projects, dissatisfied customers, and disengaged project teams. Intuitively they knew something was wrong with their traditional “waterfall” methods and wanted to find a better way. They came together on a skiing trip in 2001 to have some fun and do some brainstorming. What emerged would surprise them and ultimately change the world of software development, and business, as we know it:

You can see the complete Agile manifesto including the core values and 12 principles here: Agile Manifesto official page

Agile has now become “positively disruptive” and has fully displaced “waterfall” project management methods as the defacto standard for IT and non-IT organizations alike. Organizations wanting to quickly deliver value to customers,  stay in step with changing customer requirements, continuously improve, and tap into the creative energy and intelligence of the teams, all for competitive advantage, are choosing to go Agile.

It’s a revolution that is ongoing.

Intrigued? Think Agile is only for high tech companies? Technology is such a driving competitive force that it is now widely accepted that EVERY COMPANY IS A HIGH TECH COMPANY WHETHER THEY KNOW IT OR NOT.

Now, on to Scrum…

What is Scrum, how does it relate to Agile, and why should you care?

Scrum is a lightweight Agile framework created by two of the original Agile Manifesto signers, Ken Schwaeber and Jeff Sutherland, Scrum has it’s roots in Lean management principles and methods, and is a way of working that helps move your organization achieve the promises of Agile. Scrum is by far the most widely used of all Agile frameworks. If you can think of Agile as a set of values and principles to guide you, Scrum is the framework for realizing the benefits of those values and principles. If you want to truly become Agile, implementing Scrum in your organization is absolutely the way to go.

Scrum’s founders describe Scrum as “a team-based approach to delivering value to the business. Team members work together to achieve a shared business goal. The Scrum framework promotes effective interaction between team members so the team delivers value to the business.” (See more at: https://www.scrumalliance.org/why-scrum/core-scrum-values-roles#sthash.yUwhXhm3.dpuf)

The key roles, artifacts, and ceremonies of Scrum framework are illustrated by the following basic diagram:

Various downloadable versions of The official Scrum guide can be found here: https://www.scrumalliance.org/why-scrum/scrum-guide

Scrum is often referred to as being simple to understand, but difficult to carry out effectively. There are reasons for that.

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