According to the latest State of Agile Report, 87% of the companies interviewed said they are using Scrum as framework to manage projects, and for good reasons: not only Scrum is well known and established, but it also leads to excellent results.
But is Scrum the only valid solution to manage projects?
We all know - if you don't, here is the official Scrum guide ;) - that Scrum is founded on the pillars of Transparency, Inspection and Adaptation, and relies on five values: Commitment, Courage, Focus, Opennes and Respect. In addition this, Scrum establishes also five events:
- Daily Scrum
- Sprint Planning
- Sprint Review
- Sprint Retrospective
But does your team really need this managing structure / framework? Before choosing a framework to work with, we need to consider two important things: context matters, and no choice is forever.
Each organization, Sircle, team is different one from the other. So, why should we use the same framework for everyone? There are six variables that influence the context:
- Team size: is the team regular (10 people), or huge (250 people)?
- Geographic distribution of the team: is the team co-located, remote, are they in the same timezone?
- Organization: does the project involve a single Sircle, or more than one? Is the customer involved as well?
- Legal requirements of the work to be done: is it a process compliance, or life critical application?
- Technical complexity: is the project a new and stand-alone solution, or do we have to develop a multi-platform legacy application?
- Domain complexity: is the domain easy to understand, or is it very complex or chaotic?
No choice is forever
I have these lyrics in my mind, from Stairway to Heaven: "Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run there's still time to change the road you're on". What I mean is that we need to rely on Agility! Even though we may start using the Scrum framework, if we recognize that it brings no value, we still can change for a better one! We can use pure Agile, Lean, Kanban, Exploratory analysis, XP etc.
How to choose?
There are five fundamental steps to find out the best working framework - until you find out that a better one may be used!
- Analyze the context
- Based on this, select what you and the team see as the best-fit framework
- Share process goals
- Improve continuously
- Always ask yourself if the framework needs to be changed or adapted
Scrum is the most used framework to work Agile, but it's not the only one. You may find yourself in the need of changing and adapting the framework to your actual team and business requirements, and that's perfectly fine!