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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks


Book Review: Agile Project Management with Scrum

Many large companies have taken advantage of Scrum to undertake complex projects in an incremental fashion. Without doubt it is a promising methodology if understood & implemented properly.

If you haven't heard of Scrum or know little about it, Ken Schwaber's nearly 200 paged book 'Agile Project Management with Scrum' is a good resource to understand the essentials. The book is engaging all throughout as it is anecdotal & the tone is conversational. The author uses case studies (involving what appear to be fictional companies) to explain the important concepts of Scrum. Throughout the nine chapters, he constantly repeats the key phrases & jargon to reinforce the basic principles.

As the book is written by a Scrum co-creator and evangelist, I felt it was not objective & dispassionate. Although it has important tips for practitioners, it does not tell us specifically what scenarios Scrum is not suitable for.

Scrum is also idealistic. Sample this -

Scrum relies on individual and team commitments rather than on top-down control through planning. Self-organization and human commitment are far more powerful mechanisms than imposed controls, plans, and even loyalty.

When the team members stop acting as many and adopt and commit to a common purpose, the team becomes capable of self-organization and can quickly cut through complexity and produce actionable plans. At that point, the members of a team no longer accept obstacles, but instead scheme, plot, noodle, and brainstorm about how to remove them. They figure out how to make their project happen despite the different backgrounds and skill sets each person brings to the job.

Sounds cool, but how easy is it to build a self-managing, self-organizing team and importantly sustain it? You would have to find ways beyond this book to verify if Scrum is suitable for your project.

Nevertheless, this book is a helpful & practical guide to understand Scrum.

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