Book Notes #28: Agile Project Management With Scrum - Ken Schwaber

William Meller - SucceedingaBook Notes: Agile Project Management with Scrum - Ken Schwaber with Agile - Mike Cohn
One of the developers of the Scrum process describes the straightforward and easy-to-learn foundation rules and practices of the framework.


Title: Agile Project Management with Scrum
Author: Ken Schwaber
Themes: Agile, Scrum, Cases, Technology, Management, Business
Year: 2004
Publisher: Microsoft Press
ISBN: 0735637903, 9780735637900
Pages: 192

Scrum is a simple framework with simple rules and practices to build products in complex environments.

Despite Scrum's simplicity, its lack of prescription can be disarming, and new practitioners revert to old project management tools and habits.

A series of stories illustrate the responsibilities and typical problems that Product Owners, Scrum Masters, and Teams face. Throughout each section, there is a brief, concise story followed by a lessons learned section that summarizes the various points made.

Book Notes: Agile Project Management with Scrum - Ken Schwaber

As a result of his years of experience coaching companies in agile project management, Scrum co-creator, and evangelist Ken Schwaber offers this series of case studies in Scrum to help you really understand it, always remembering that this is a 2004 book.

This book covers crucial subjects to help you gain a foundation in Scrum theory and practice:

 - Rein in even the most complex, unwieldy projects
 - Effectively manage unknown or changing product requirements
 - Simplify the chain of command with self-managing development teams
 - Obtain customer feedback and clearer specifications
 - Greatly reduce project planning time and required tools
 - Avoid missteps by regularly inspecting and fine-tuning projects
 - Support multiple teams on a large-scale project from many locations

Scrum is an agile framework for managing and completing complex projects.
It is a process that helps teams work together to deliver products incrementally and continuously.

My Book Highlights:

"... The ScrumMaster is responsible for the Scrum process, for teaching Scrum to everyone involved in the project, for implementing Scrum so that it fits within an organization’s culture and still delivers the expected benefits, and for ensuring that everyone follows Scrum rules and practices..."

"... At the end of the Sprint, a Sprint review meeting is held. This is a four-hour, time-boxed meeting at which the Team presents what was developed during the Sprint to the Product Owner and any other stakeholders who want to attend..."

"... Laying out a process that repeatably will produce acceptable quality output is called defined process control. When defined process control cannot be achieved because of the complexity of the intermediate activities, something called empirical process control has to be employed..."

"... Scrum makes a clear distinction between these two groups and ensures that those who are responsible for the project have the authority to do what is necessary for its success and that those who aren’t responsible can’t interfere unnecessarily..."

"... Teams are self-managing, self-organizing, and cross-functional, and they are responsible for figuring out how to turn Product Backlog into an increment of functionality within an iteration and managing their own work to do so. Team members are collectively responsible for the success of each iteration and of the project as a whole..."

"... There are three legs that hold up every implementation of empirical process control: visibility, inspection, and adaptation..."

"... The rules of Scrum distinguish between the chickens and the pigs to increase productivity, create momentum, and put an end to floundering..."

"... It doesn’t matter whether it is visible that this functionality is done if no one can agree what the word "done" means..."

"... The heart of Scrum lies in the iteration. The team takes a look at the requirements, considers the available technology, and evaluates its own skills and capabilities. It then collectively determines how to build the functionality, modifying its approach daily as it encounters new complexities, difficulties, and surprises. The team figures out what needs to be done and selects the best way to do it. This creative process is the heart of the Scrum’s productivity..."

"... Scrum hangs all of its practices on an iterative, incremental process skeleton..."

The Scrum framework includes roles such as the Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Development Team, as well as ceremonies such as Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective.

The book provides an in-depth understanding of the Scrum framework, including its principles, roles, ceremonies, and artifacts.

It also includes tips and best practices for implementing Scrum in an organization and dealing with common challenges.

The book is intended for project managers, team leads, and anyone else involved in managing projects using the Scrum framework.

Chapters of the Book:

Chapter 1 - Backdrop: The Science of Scrum
Chapter 2 - New Management Responsibilities
Chapter 3 - The ScrumMaster
Chapter 4 - Bringing Order from Chaos
Chapter 5 - The Product Owner
Chapter 6 - Planning a Scrum Project
Chapter 7 - Project Reporting— Keeping Everything Visible
Chapter 8 - The Team
Chapter 9 - Scaling Projects Using Scrum
Appendix A - Rules
Appendix B - Definitions
Appendix C - Resources
Appendix D - Fixed-Price, Fixed-Date Contracts
Appendix E - Capability Maturity Model (CMM)

These topics will help you learn how to use Scrum to solve complex problems and deliver better results.

There is only one chapter in the book devoted to the theory of Scrum. The rest of the book adheres to the author's opinion that knowledge of Scrum cannot be gained by studying theory, but by putting it into practice.

Ken Schwaber, a 30-year veteran of the software development industry, is a leader of the agile process revolution and one of the developers of the Scrum process. A signatory of the Agile Manifesto in 2001, he subsequently founded the Agile Alliance and the Scrum Alliance. Ken authored Agile Project Management with Scrum and coauthored Agile Software Development with Scrum and has helped train more than 47,000 certified Scrum Masters.

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