Scrum: A better way to manage projects

Delivered on 2/2/18 in Stuart, FL



Speech Script

According to a survey I sent out two months ago, out of all my areas of expertise, this club is most interested in hearing about Project Management. 

Because of that, I have a proposal for you today. After this speech, I want you to use SCRUM METHODS to better manage your projects. 

But Dalmo, what are scrum methods? Before I get to that, I want to know we’re on the same page, about what a PROJECT is, and why the traditional ways to MANAGE a project just don’t work. 

According to the dictionary, a project is... (slide)

What are some example of projects? Building a website. Moving your office from one building to another. Even throwing a birthday party! These are all examples of projects because they’re temporary efforts (the have a conclusion) and because the produce something unique (not something you already do, Day to Day). 

I want to prove that everybody in here has either led or worked on a project before. Let’s go around the room; I want you to shout out a project you’ve been involved in. I’ll start: this speech. [...]

In the business world, we need a framework to handle complex projects to ensure they’re successful. So the traditional way to handle a project is to go through this lifecycle: the project owners plan, then the designers design, then the developers develop, the quality control team tests, and a deployment team releases the product at the end. People refer to this as the waterfall method because the project cascades from one phase to the next. 

Even with a system in place, what are some things that can go wrong with a project? I’ll need your help again. Where do projects fail sometimes? [...]

In the 80s and 90s, a few project managers were frustrated with the these common issues. So they started to practice something called agile, focused on 4 principles. 

When they focused on these things on the left, 2 things happened: they relied less and less on the the things on the right and they had fewer issues. 

And all this finally brings me to scrum. What is scrum? 


#1 as you can imagine, this image represent the defining feature of scrum: Cross-functional teams. 

#2 Sprint. Here’s how the sprint is set up: you give your team a time box (for example, 2 weeks). Together, they decide how much they can accomplish in that time. And then you protect those parameters: you don’t give them any extensions and you don’t add anything else to their plate. 

At the end of each sprint, you have a good chunk of the project that you can present to the customer, get feedback on, and come back to do another sprint. In my experience, this is the most productive way to work in a group setting. 

Notice that within the sprint you’re doing planning, designing, development, everything to get to completion. It’s like a mini project. 

#3: daily scrum. If you do this right, you’ll be amazed at the results you get from this. In this daily meeting, you spend more than 5 minutes and you only talk about 3 things. This goes a long way to prevent communication issues, and you catch problems early on before they have a chance to fester. 

These are just 3 of the many components of scrum. If you’re interested in learning more about these 3 (or about the whole lifecycle), I have a handout for you and you can go to

And now I want to take your questions.