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7 June 2010

Can scrum stand alone as a project management framework?

A couple of times I have made the statement that Scrum is a complete and fully integrated project management method. I’ve also said I don’t think there are any significant contradictions between scrum and the PMBOK.

I've been asked to explain myself and in a couple of upcoming posts you'll see my attempt.

To start with I mapped my opinions on how well Scrum covers the integration management processes described in the PMBOK.  This is just a first pass and I'll elaborate later.  I am very interested in your views, so help me out and add a comment below.

The first thing I want to highlight is that my view of what scrum delivers and the range of integration activities seem to more or less reconcile.  

Each sprint can be a mini project and can potentially be self contained or can be followed up by further investment.  

The first sprint in a larger project will start with some product envisioning and ramp up work.  And a sprint review can be a sufficient closure.

Lastly, this little graph says to me that the most important tool in scrum is the project backlog - thus the goal is still a customer who knows what they want.

The second thing to note is the emphasis on monitoring and controlling.  Work is monitored and measured at every step and you get early insight into problems.  There is also a strong emphasis on directing and managing the work.  These two aspects are fairly tightly lined, because scrum, like other empirical approaches value the utility of the feedback loop.

These are my first thoughts.  What do you think?  I'll add more in a couple of days.