Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition

Schwaber on Scrum

Ken Schwaber helped create the agile software development practice called Scrum about 10 years ago. Since then, it has exploded in usage and is now becoming common at many small development shops, as well as teams within companies such as Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google. The latest buzz on Scrum is that it's being adopted heavily by video game makers. I have been a huge fan of Scrum for the past two years and had the opportunity to utilize the methodology on a few different projects.

Ken recently spoke at Google and the hour-long presentation is now available on Google Video [via Signal vs. Noise].

Watch the Video

An hour of Ken Schwaber talking about Scrum is normally a lot more expensive than free, so I highly recommend you check it out.

Here are the three things I love about Scrum:

1. Scum is extremely powerful in its simplicity. The basics can be explained in less than 30 minutes. The features of Scrum are regular, short iterations or releases (typically 30 days), complete visibility of the project's status through short, daily meetings and simple charts, and a regular evaluation of priorities based on what's been accomplished and business/market changes.

2. Scrum is cheap even though the benefits are huge. Buy a book and you have nearly everything you need. There is no expensive software to buy (an Excel spreadsheet will do in most cases), but if you want something more slick, there are two free options: ScrumWorks and VersionOne. I actually recommend Excel or a homegrown solution. If you see the need down the line, you can become certified for approximately $1000, but it's not a requirement.

3. Scrum can be used outside of software development. Many of the Scrum principles work with any team project, from video projects to writing to graphic design.

Other Scrum resources: ScrumMaster, FAQ, Scrum Alliance, Ken's two books, and my favorite book on agile and scrum development.