Choosing the Right Method: Agile, Scrum
When properly employed, project management methodology can provide the blueprint for completing a goal, regardless of the type or size of the project. However, because OPM can apply to anything from building and construction to software development, an organization must take many factors into account to help determine the best methodology for its project. These factors include organizational goals, key business drivers, stakeholders, as well as complexity and estimated project costs.
Though there are more than 20 styles of project management, some are used much more often than others. As business environments change, so too can the most effective styles of OPM. The following are some of the most often employed by today's leading companies. The following section highlights some of more popular methodologies in use today.
Most often used in software development, agile project management assumes that the requirements and solutions deemed necessary at the beginning of the planning and development phase may change and that the development teams must be able to collaborate and self-organize across departments to respond to the changes and create new solutions.
In its simplest form, the Agile approach branches a project into smaller projects, sometimes called "user stories". These subprojects are then prioritized and presented in cycles known as "iterations".
A project leader may set the priorities, or the customer may choose to set the priorities. As the project moves forward, the team will start creating deliverables to show the customer. These iterations may start to transform as the client provides feedback during each stage.
For more information, please see agilemethodology.org.
Scrum is a word derived from the rugby pitch where all the players on the field come together to gain control of the ball. This approach is a subset of agile project management and one of the most commonly used frameworks for solving complex problems. It's broken down into 24-hour and 30-day sections, called "sprints".
At the beginning, the team gathers in a "scrum" and takes a piece from the product backlog to complete. The backlog is a prioritized to-do list created by the product owner. The team determines what needs to be done and what roles each member will fulfill.
Every 24 hours, the team meets in a daily scrum to assess its progress and any areas of weakness. After the 30-day sprint is complete, the product should be in the deliverable stage. The team gathers to assess the project and then selects the next piece of backlog to work on.
Scrum is currently the most popular form of agile project development and is routinely used by Fortune 500 companies, and universities, across multiple disciplines. Various militaries have also used this system to prepare for deployment.
Explore Scrum more at agilemethodology.org.