Is There Room For Project Managers In An Agile Like Environment Such As Scrum1
Is there Room for Project Managers in an Agile like environment such as SCRUM?Agile ApproachAgile methodology is based on group of methodologies or frameworks used in software developmentthat is based on iterative development between self organized and cross functional teams. Here aresome Agile methodologies or frameworks: • Extreme Programming • Scrum • Adaptive Software Development (ASD) • Crystal Clear • Dynamic Systems • Development Method (DSDM) • Feature Driven Development (FDD) • Lean software development • Microsoft Solution Framework (MSF) • Agile Unified Process (AUP)The more I read about Agile methodologies and try to implement them in my professional daily life themore I find similarities between Agile and many other methodologies most likely Toyota ProductionSystem (TPS), Total Quality Management or even Project Management Frame work. Agilemethodologies and frame work are based on how to utilize team collaboration, team efforts in a moreengaging and efficient way.
Agile manifesto that was created in 2001 it reads, in its entirety, as follows: We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value: • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools • Working software over comprehensive documentation • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation • Responding to change over following a plan That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more. Twelve principles underlie the Agile Manifesto, including: * Customer satisfaction by rapid delivery of useful software * Welcome changing requirements, even late in development * Working software is delivered frequently (weeks rather than months) * Working software is the principal measure of progress * Sustainable development, able to maintain a constant pace * Close, daily co-operation between business people and developers * Face-to-face conversation is the best form of communication (co-location) * Projects are built around motivated individuals, who should be trusted * Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design * Simplicity * Self-organizing teams * Regular adaptation to changing circumstances SCRUM Scrum is a framework for incremental software product development using cross-functional, self organizing teams no more than six to seven people. Unlike the other Agile concepts which prescribe specific engineering practices like XP, SCRUM is more like a framework that provides a simple structure of roles and responsibilities, meetings or ceremonies, and artifacts. Scrum teams are responsible for creating and adapting their processes within this framework. Scrum’s management practices are similar to those of eXtreme Programming (XP), but, unlike XP, Scrum does not prescribe specific engineering practices. SCRUM consists of three roles, three ceremonies and three artifacts. The product owner reviews the Product Backlog Item with the team there is a thirty day sprint. The main goal is that cross functional team work together collaboratively to produce a shippable product. The SCRUM framework has been applied mainly in software product development but it can also be applied to any type of product development. It is particularly suited to high risk endeavors where traditional efficiency concerns are secondary to the ability to deliver the right product, or any product, by the required date.
But the question was if there is a Room for a Project Manager in an Agile like environment such asSCRUM?I say only yes and I say that cautiously. The whole purpose of the SCRUM or any of the Agile tools is notto get rid of Project Managers or try to create an obstacle for them or prevent Project Managers tobecome unemployed ever again.I actually think Project Managers are more suited for the role of the SCRUM Master given their set ofskills personalities as well as their experience. The one thing Project Managers need to do is to learnSCRUM’s rules of engagement and be able to apply it and not try to change SCRUM.I think been able to learn SCRUM is another added value and set of skills that a Project Manager canbring to the table.Personally I think it doesn’t really matter what tools or methodologies you us as long as you use itcorrectly, it can help the organization and it adds value to the overall process. Most importantly theupper management and the rest of the company must be on board in implementing the methodologyappropriately and correctly.
References: 1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agile_software_development 2. http://agilemanifesto.org/ 3. http://www.scrumalliance.org/ 4. Several other references from internet