Do you Scrum?

I have never called myself a project manager.  While over the course of my career has required a certain degree of project management, I have always just tried to learn enough to get by.  In college, the main project management style that we were taught in our senior software engineering class was waterfall (not that I cared what it was called back then, I was just trying to survive college.)  Since it was what I learned, as I entered the workforce, I brought that way of thinking with me.  Little did I realize that the baggage of waterfall would haunt me.

Waterfall on the surface looks fine.  Define the requirements, figure out how to design the system, build the system, test the system, BAM… Software!  And for small projects taking only a few weeks with simple requirements, waterfall works fine.  But as soon as a complex system shows up, waterfall begins to break down.  Weak requirements, unknown market conditions, long running development times, and breaking changes turns the dream of waterfall into a nightmare.

For years, I have been hearing about Scrum as a alternative practice to waterfall.  It fits well with software development.  I have watched the 10 minute intro to Scrum, investigated Scrum and agile specific software, and read about companies that adopted Scrum. Having experienced two very large projects fail, I knew that I needed an alternative way of building software.

Long story short, I took a two-day course to become a Certified ScrumMaster.  I learned about the roles, meetings, and artifacts that makes up Scrum.  I learned about agile and its differences to traditional project management.

As I now take what I have learned and try to match the knowledge with practice, I look forward to starting my first Scrum venture.  As a consultant-based business, there are some obsticles that I will need to overcome.  How to get clients onboard with the idea/benefits of Scrum, contracting, fighting the waterfall and project management mindset.  My first Scrum-based book is “The Scrum Field Guild” by Mitch Lacey.  It is filled with real-world examples of incorporating Scrum.

Anyone out there using Scrum in their day-to-day lives?



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About Author

Trey Gourley

I was born-and-raised in Muncie, Indiana where I obtained a degree in Computer Science from Ball State University in 2005. Aside from my various web development activities, I enjoy music, playing the guitar, singing, exercising, reading, and relaxing in-front of the television. I still live here in Muncie with my wife, Jena, and Australian Shepherd, Mik Dundee.