Project Management

SCRUM Methodology

For project managers who are training in SCRUM agile, here is a reference.

In SCRUM user stories are added to a product backlog, which are organized and prioritized by the product owner into a sprint backlog. The work that needs to be done is in that sprint backlog and is worked through and checked on daily through the daily scrum (usually conducted by a scrum master).

In traditional project management, the project manager would be responsible for planning the work to be done and would meet with stakeholders, they would also ensure the work is moving along.

Scrum Agile Methodology and Agile Software Development

  1. User stories (and tasks, features, etc.) are written and added to the product backlog. These can be written by the team, the project manager, project owner, or any other stakeholder.
  2. The Product Owner (or project manager) organizes the product backlog.
  3. During a sprint planning meeting, user stories are selected for design and development and implementation and prioritized into the sprint backlog by the product owner.
  4. The team works on the items in the sprint backlog with the Scrum Master helping to unblock team members.
  5. Every day the team meets for a daily scrum meeting where they discuss what they are working on and if they are blocked or stuck on anything.
  6. At the end of a sprint, there is a retrospective to see what went well and what needs to change.
  7. Then the cycle begins again with new user stories added, existing user stories selected for development and so on.

What is the Product Backlog?

The product backlog is the list of potential user stories that can be worked on. The list can contain tasks bugs and features as well.

It can be organized by priority, by estimated dollar value, by urgency, by number of customers who would be happy, or by some other criteria.

What is a User Story?

In contrast to traditional project management where work packages are worked on, in agile you have a user story.

Each user story includes the user persona or actor. It also includes what they would like to be able to do in the system.

Examples of user stories

  • As an author, I would like to write a book (for a word processor)
  • As the system administrator, I would like to view all performance metrics of our active systems
  • As an educator, I want to create a course outline
  • As an teacher, when creating a course outline, I want to include PDF presentation files and images

Varieties of SCRUM Meetings

There are two major SCRUM meetings:

  • Sprint planning meeting
  • Daily stand up meeting

These are the SCRUM meetings that every company that says they are agile uses to plan, execute and monitor the work.

There are other meetings too, such as the SCRUM Retrospective. This meeting is, unfortunately, not seen very often. Sometimes it is called a post-mortem, and sometimes they are conducted only after disaster strikes. Sprint retrospectives can be seen as “closing a project phase” in project management.


The typical tools used for SCRUM Agile planning are: