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What is Agile and Scrum? 
3rd-Mar-2007 02:34 am

Originally published at Paul Henman at henman.ca. You can comment here or there.

Given that (I anticipate) a lot of my posts will relate to Agile and Scrum, I suppose I should start by explaining a little about them … or at least pointing you at some helpful resources, because there’s no point in me reinventing the wheel.

Agile is a family of (mostly iterative) development processes; a manifesto and some principles were documented by the founders of Agile in 2001. The term Agile came from Martin Fowler (of ThoughtWorks) but in total there were 17 people who created Agile; fortunately (for me, at least) some of these people frequent the online forums and discussion groups / mailing lists, imparting their views.

Scrum was one of the early agile methods along with Crystal Clear, Extreme Programming (XP), Adaptive Software Development, Feature Driven Development, and DSDM. It was first described by Takeuchi and Nonaka in “The New New Product Development Game” in which they noted that projects using small, cross-functional teams historically produce the best results, and likened these high-performing teams to the scrum formation in rugby.

For an overview of scrum, check out Mike Cohn’s description and frequently reproduced diagram … which I can’t help but reproduce just once more :)

Scrum processes

Once you understand scrum/agile, there’s no going back to waterfall – at least that’s how my fellow scrum masters and I feel! It just makes so much sense – short iterations with close customer involvement, which reduces waste resulting from misunderstandings or changes in requirements.

Obviously this is a very quick overview but hopefully this blog, along with the many other resources out there, will help you (and me!) understand it and put it in to practice on a daily basis.

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