At this time, we are faced with a worldwide economic crisis and companies need to find ways to improve and achieve more with less.
A good manager doesn’t wake up one morning and say ˜I will cut costs’ just as he doesn’t wake up one morning and decides to breathe“ said Warren Buffett.
The emerging frameworks of Agile and Scrum allow companies to improve dramatically in all aspects, including time to market, visibility, customer’s satisfaction, quality, and more. Today SCRUM is not just another new method promising bells and whistles but a reliable management framework with a rich past of proven successes. Hundreds of international companies have adopted SCRUM to manage their major projects VOLARO (www.volaroint.com) bring Scrum to Bulgaria, and are proud to announce the first Scrum Master course.
In the middle of 2001, the high tech bubble burst and many people found themselves without jobs. Companies which still had contractual agreements with customers found themselves in an impossible situation where they were obliged to comply with their agreements while, at the same time, having to cope with a serious loss of manpower. A need for a massive and basic improvement of performance efficiency was demanded by reality.
Some months later, the Agile Manifesto was created as a powerful upgrade to classic methodologies. Agile emphasizes the need for maximum flexibility in partnership with the client and incorporates feedback by means of very short iterations (measured in weeks). The method appeared visionary at the time.
Later, the new management framework called SCRUM was introduced as the most effective way to implement Agile. Since then, the application of SCRUM has accelerated and is now consistently found at the head of lists of methodologies and frameworks for project management in the world.
Lean management is one of the spiritual fathers of Agile in general and of SCRUM in particular.
So, How Does It Work?
In Scrum, we move in short iterations, and in each iteration (Sprint) we check ourselves and assimilate the changes required already in the next iteration (Inspect & Adapt).
At the beginning of each Sprint, the team commits to the tasks it can deliver in the iteration and the team’s members work together to achieve the tasks so they can present to the Product Owner at the end of the iteration. This provides immediate and continuous feedback and allows the Product Owner to make corrections and adjustments, as well as validate that the team is working on the most prioritized items.
Scrum promotes effective and increased communications and visibility through a small number of ceremonies and meetings (such as daily stand up meeting, review meeting, retrospective and planning sessions). This new mindset leads to more committed and happy teams, removal of waste in the process and shortened timetables and increased quality.
Senior managers are often amazed by the simplicity of the method (It’s not necessary to do wonderful things to achieve wonderful results), by its results and by its ability to instill real confidence in the staff. SCRUM users have the time to deal more deeply with long term goals and not with managing immediate crises which can be handled effectively by the staff themselves.
Companies that adopted the framework report improvements that can lead to more than 100% in a relatively short time!