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SCRUM + UX + LEAN philosophy + Engineering practices = SUCCESS

Posted by jc-Qualitystreet on 2009/02/13

Forget SCRUM failure debate for a minute…

What is really working on Agile projects ?
What kind of activities enable your team to deliver as fast as possible an outstanding product ?
Well, I’d say SCRUM; I’d say SCRUM practices but not only…

SCRUM is (too) popular now: latest statistics (2008) from Version One  show that 71 % of agile teams are using it, with or without XP.
Great ! SCRUM is the best framework for project collaboration. It is also a simple process based on feedback and adaptation, ensuring high visibility and velocity.
SCRUM respects people and seeks to provide the highest value to the customer through powerful and mature practices: Integrated Team, Daily Scrum, Retrospective, Iteration planning, Short Iterations, Information radiators

SCRUM is for sure the agile foundation of your projects, but this fantastic framework doesn’t cover everything :

  • No recommendations on User Experience, Agile testing, Development practices, all so crucial on IT projects
  • Partial and insufficient recommendations on Process Improvements and Cultural Changes (organization level)

My conviction : ADDITIONAL KEY ELEMENTS are required to succeed (their relative importance is contextual and depends on the nature of the project):

  • User Experience activities (Interaction Design, Usability, Information architecture have proved their efficiency to support Team work and to facilitate project progress); and UX is directly linked to business value !
  • Appropriate Agile Testing strategy, based for example on Brian Marick,  Agile testing Quadrants (a great model)
  • Lean thinking  (Long term Philosophy and other management principles from the TPS or LSD, eliminate waste, amplify learning, deliver fast, …) applied to processes and organization
  • XP Development best practices (still extreme in 2009?)

Anything else for you ?

  • Robert Mansperger said,

    Depending on the environment, some integration of RUP or AMDD can better enable larger teams to function. I find this is especially useful when a project includes multiple vendors that need to coordinate to deliver on milestones within an iterative delivery schedule.

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