I had a recent talk with one of my colleagues – an academic one and we collected some ideas during our talk about the comparision between the Flexible Project Model(XPM that is) with the Scrum development framework noting similarities and differences and which one may work for the reality…
The Flexible model has a number of similarities with the Scrum Development Cycle. There is a meeting before the development period – essentially to pick up what will be done in the production cycle. Product grooming seems to be done in the initial period in flexible project model. This very much like the sprint planning session in the scrum methodology. Use of time boxing is a common denominator in both concepts. Also the notion of planning of the next development cycle is also present in all cases. Strictness of the time boxing itself is also a common denominator in my opinion as dictated by some sources I came across on the web.
These can be summarized really, into the following points:
#Both models bring a competitive approach to the project mangement process. This is importan since market changes faster and only the companies which are flexible and can react fast stay competitive.
#Both models Scrum allows the incremental and controlled development. Controlled is the keyword here.
#Both models bring confidence in the system through transparency of the processes. All the stakeholders are informed where the project is and this is a good thing for their dedication and commitment.
#They produce quality at every step. Testing is an integrative component of Scrum and XPM at every iteration whatever it is called.
#Both help to foresee risks and employ systematic risk management. Be it timeboxed or sprint regular releases, they establish the ground to recognize problems early and react promptly.
Some differences do exist however with the Scrum model; like the people who attend the meetings are defined differently to start with in the flexible model. Also, things like planning the current development cycle and recommendations about about process is time boxed in the flexible model whereas these are not time boxed in the scrum model.
These differences however subtle and in my opinion Flexible model is essential and approximation of the Scrum model for a wider perspective. Actually, I may go out boldly ( and in blissfull ignorance ) that the flexible model is actually better suited to reality than the scrum.