The Inspiration for the Book on Agile Project Management, “Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions” | Part 1
08 March 2019
The Inspiration for the Book on Agile Project Management, Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions
Scott M. Graffius, CEO of Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™, helps companies achieve their strategic objectives and business initiatives through project management leadership. A fantastic agile transformation outcome with a client organization in the entertainment industry was the inspiration for Scott's award-winning book, Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions. This is the story behind the book—told by Scott. Identifying details have been changed and certain elements are not included.
This article is the first installment of the eight-part story.
Agile Transformation at an Entertainment Company | Part 1: The Call
The assistant to the executive vice president (EVP) of technology for a division of a global entertainment company contacted me by phone. I was told that I was referred by someone who knew me and thought I would be a good fit for contract work. A one-hour consultation with the EVP was scheduled for the next day. I then received an email with several attachments including a non-disclosure agreement which needed to be executed and brought to the meeting.
I brought the documents to the session. The EVP explained that his division of the company was experiencing an alarming trend of problems with project management. He reported that deliverables were not meeting expectations, there was a marked decline in satisfaction, and—this was characterized as "the straw that broke the camel's back"—a highly skilled and very well-respected team member quit, citing the problems as her reason for departure.
After an hour with the EVP, we agreed to extend the meeting (initially, my complimentary consult) an additional hour (billable time). I learned that this division of the company previously used a traditional plan-driven/waterfall approach for development and delivery. The EVP explained that things worked reasonably well then and that they were "close enough" to being on-scope, on-budget, and on-time that team members and stakeholders were satisfied.
The EVP explained, however, that he wanted to adopt a model (Scrum) employed by some of the other divisions of the company. The EVP said that he conducted a search for a value-added reseller (VAR) to help his group move to agile. A VAR-partner of a popular software solution was selected, and the VAR transitioned the group to Scrum. Reportedly, very few problems surfaced during the VAR's contractual engagement, which ended two weeks into the first sprint (then, the duration for sprints was four weeks). Many problems surfaced subsequently, however. The VAR had been gone for two months at the time of my meeting with the EVP.
The EVP asked me to make things right. I explained that change depends on many people and multiple factors and that a specific end result could not be guaranteed. I suggested, however, that I'd be honored to work with his group in the first step—an assessment—which would help inform the subsequent work of foundational planning. The objectives of the assessment include working closely with the EVP, the Scrum Team and stakeholders to understand their goals—and the environment, roles and practices. He asked me when I could start. I asked him when he needed me, and he replied "immediately." I agreed to start the next day.
The Inspiration for the Book on Agile Project Management, Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions continues with Part 2: The Goals.
About Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions
A fantastic agile transformation experience and result with a client organization in the entertainment industry was the inspiration for Scott M. Graffius’s multi award-winning book, Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions (ISBN-13: 978-1533370242).
Here's an excerpt from the book: "Shifting customer needs are common in today's marketplace. Businesses must be adaptive and responsive to change while delivering an exceptional customer experience to be competitive. Traditional development and delivery frameworks such as waterfall are often ineffective. In contrast, Scrum is a value-driven agile approach which incorporates adjustments based on regular and repeated customer and stakeholder feedback. And Scrum’s built-in rapid response to change leads to substantial benefits such as fast time-to-market, higher satisfaction, and continuous improvement—which supports innovation and drives competitive advantage."
With clear and easy to follow instructions, Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions helps you:
- Implement and use the most popular agile framework―Scrum;
- Deliver products in short cycles with rapid adaptation to change, fast time-to-market, and continuous improvement; and
- Support innovation and drive competitive advantage.
Hailed by Literary Titan as “the book highlights the versatility of Scrum beautifully.”
Winner of 17 first place awards.
Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions is available in paperback and ebook/Kindle in the United States and around the world. Some links by country follow. Get your copy today!
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© Copyright 2019 Scott M. Graffius, Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the express written permission of Scott M. Graffius/Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™.