Agile development principles insist that the customer takes control and constantly participates in the development process in a collaborative partnership, which is based on daily interaction between the developers and the customer (Highsmith, 2002). Conboy described the Agile project management in Information system or software development as “the continual readiness of an information systems development method to rapidly or inherently create change, proactively or reactively embrace change, and learn from change while contribution to customer value (2009).

Before embarking on Scrum, let briefly look at the traditional project management execution methodology. Traditional approaches to project management focuses on thorough planning upfront. The belief is that if you plan well upfront, execute the plan, and take corrective measures or actions on deviation from plan, you would have high chance of success. Once the project scope has been established and all work details have been registered in the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), and most problems and risks are identified and assessed before the project begins, the project success would be very high. Traditional project management requires a fairly high degree of prediction and certainty to be effective. So, for a plan to be executed effectively, managers have to have strong idea on what is to be accomplished. In figure 1, in the project uncertainty curve, the more complex a project scope is, the more uncertainty it is to execute the project. Technology can be another source of uncertainty. The higher the technology involved the less likelihood that the project would meet a desirable schedule and cost.  The main point is that traditional PM techniques were developed to operate in the key predictable environment where the scope of the project is objectively well defined and the technology to be used is well established. So even with a proper planning of software projects, we see many software failures.

The table below establishes the differences between a tradition and nontraditional approaches to project management, such as the execution of new software development.


Nontraditional or agile

Fixed Scope

Flexible scope

Each steps focuses on deliverables

Focuses on features or requirements

Designs are made upfront

Continuous design through iteration

Freezes design as early as possible

Freezes design as late as possible

Low uncertainty

High uncertainty

Avoid change

Embrace Change

Low customer interaction

High customer interaction

Uses convention project teams

Uses self-organized project teams

Benefits of implementing Agile practices.

The studies conducted by Rally Software Development Corporation found that an average of 37 percent decrease in time-to-market and 16 percent increase in productivity). Findings from several individual studies show that 67 percent average increase in productivity, 65 percent average increase in quality, and 49 percent improvement in cost
The establishment of Agile programming or project management help combat project uncertainty where the final project design is not known in great detail and is continuously developed through a series of incremental iterations over time. The iteration process is usually a short time frame that usually last from one to four weeks. The purpose of the iteration is to produce