By Mark Engelberg, TimeLinx Software
Agile project management. Send it to the SCRUM master. Let’s do it in the next sprint. All of these phrases may sound like gibberish to anyone who is not versed in SCRUM methodology, and if you aren’t, then where have you been?
In today’s working world, being able to be agile is essential. The benefits of agile project management are self-evident, especially as today’s corporate environment is more flexible than ever before. SCRUM is most often used in software development, but the actual principle can be used across all project management. Essentially, it is simply a set of tools, meeting structures, and roles that allow a team to complete a project in a set time. The main difference between SCRUM and agile is that one is a framework, and the other is a way of thinking. Applying a comprehensive Project and Service Management (PSM) solution to the actual SCRUM framework makes the entire process more effective.
Benefits and Drawbacks of SCRUM in project management
As with any system, SCRUM has its benefits and its drawbacks. It’s not a framework for everyone, even though it is adjustable and can be enhanced with the correct PSM software.
Benefits of SCRUM:
- Project deliverables can be completed quickly and efficiently making the most of your timeframe and budget.
- Bigger projects can be broken down into smaller, more manageable sprints which work particularly well for fast-moving projects.
- Your entire team knows exactly what is going on at all times with daily SCRUM meetings. These meetings additionally allow individual efforts to shine, appreciating your top performers.
- Particularly due to the shorter sprints, feedback is implemented more efficiently with much greater speed.
Drawbacks of SCRUM:
- As projects can evolve and change on the fly, scope creep is a real issue.
- The input of individuals is essential to project success. If people don’t commit or co-operate, you can experience serious setbacks.
- The larger the team, the more difficult it is to implement the SCRUM framework.
- Inexperienced team members can cause the entire project to drag.
- Daily meetings can become frustrating.
So SCRUM may not be for everyone. Before any company scraps the system due to the cons, they need to implement it along with a great PSM software solution, which vastly negates most of the drawbacks.
Good Scrum Masters are artists in their own right
A true SCRUM master is an artist. They are like an orchestra conductor, keeping every element of a constantly moving framework in perfect harmony at all times. It’s a skill, and not everyone can do it. Sounds like a project manager, doesn’t it? Of course, it can be learned, but as with every craft, having the right tools makes your job so much easier. You wouldn’t ask a woodcutter to chop down a tree without an ax, so why should a SCRUM master be without a great PSM solution to back them up? If your SCRUM master is good despite not having the tools, imagine how great they could be with the right ones?
Getting your team all together with the right software
In today’s world of remote teams, your SCRUM team could be situated anywhere in the world. Of course, it is always easier to have a team in a central location, but what if that isn’t possible? Creating a cohesive working environment with open channels of communication is at the very heart of agile project management, and can only be done well with a software solution that allows you as a leader to keep an eye on everything. As mentioned, an individual’s experience and commitment could mean the difference between project success or project failure. So, being on top of everything at all times is crucial.
SCRUM is a great way to increase your company’s agility. If you aren’t practicing the framework, then perhaps you should look into it. SCRUM can be applied to the management of pretty much any project even though it is most often used for software development. If you do decide to go down the SCRUM route, be sure to implement an integrated PSM solution in concert with your SCRUM teams. If you are operating a SCRUM framework, how good is your PSM solution? Imagine how good you could be with the right tools to make your SCRUM master’s job even more effective.
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TimeLinx delivers innovative project & service management software as a complete solution that perfects the sell-track-manage-support-bill cycle that services organizations must have to delight their customers; TimeLinx brings the cycle together in a single application that offers less frustration, better project management, complete reporting, and improved profitability – all specially designed for Infor and Sage.