Sprint to Success with Scrum for Dummies (Book Review)

When it comes to project management methodologies, the Agile methodologies reign supreme especially for projects that involve a lot of uncertainty. Traditional management methods are tossed out the window for practices that allow for both execution and innovation. Scrum is an offshoot of this strategy, and it's summed up quite nicely by Mark C. Layton in Scrum for Dummies. Read this book review to get a quick look into one of the top project management books tackling Scrum and Agile.

Summary and Book Review of Scrum for Dummies

The Scrum definition can be defined as an Agile framework, which means it involves a series of steps and work cycles (sprints) to make project management more efficient and effective. The word originates from the rugby strategy (also called scrum) that is used to restart play and involves all sorts of head-butting and kicking.

There are no aggressive physical plays in the office though when it comes to Scrum methodology. When it is applied to project management, teams start with a master list of tasks. They then select a few tasks on that list during sprint planning and spend the remaining sprint working on those tasks. In the daily Scrum meeting, team members check in on progress and continue working to meet a deadline. By the end of the work cycle, the project should have moved closer to completion. And the teams perform a review before finalizing the undertaking, which might mean publishing the piece, sending out the product, or working on an iteration to improve it.

While there are plenty of advantages to becoming a Scrum team, transitioning from traditional project management methods to this new Agile methodology has its challenges. Scrum for Dummies presents this process in an easy-to-understand way and guides readers in implementing its strategies with their teams.

Author Mark C. Layton has both a Scrum certification and years of experience leading Scrum teams, so he discusses not only the principles of the methodology but also provides experienced insight on activities, best practices, value, implementing Scrum in various industries. End result: project management teams not only understand Scrum's influence in the workplace but also learn techniques for applying the tactic to everyday life.

Key Takeaways from Scrum for Dummies

The book gives readers a comprehensive picture of Scrum methodology, and we couldn't possibly fit all the takeaways in a single book review. However, Mark C. Layton does outline Scrum artifacts in his Scrum for Dummies cheat sheet. These must be integrated into the production plan:

  • Product backlog: Just like a book review hits the main points of a work of literature, the product backlog should touch on project priorities. List them in order of importance.
  • Release plan: Scrum for Dummies emphasizes the importance of creating a timetable for completion of project goals.
  • Spring backlog: This has to do with the segment of work at hand. It should list the chunk of tasks taken from the product backlog as well as goals and user stories.
  • Increment: Decide what the product will look like after each sprint (cycle of development).

Become a Scrum Project Management Team

Much of Scrum methodology involves working on a schedule and setting both short- and long-term goals. To keep track of this information in a complex scope of work, you need a quality project management system like Wrike, to help stay on top of your projects and tasks. Our online project management software allows teams to track workflows, collaborate on projects, get status updates, and more, all within one system.

Sources: Forbes.com, Amazon.com, Wikipedia.com, ScrumAlliance.org, Dummies.com

For more on the Scrum methodology, read this blog post.

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