So I have to do a project for about 10 days. About the work, lets just say Im going to develop a Website with a front-end and a few interfaces between internal services. Now I have to use a projectmethod and I'm thinking of the Scrum Method. But since I'm only one person, I'm asking, if it is possible to implement the Scrum method for this project.

My Idea is, that I take the roles of the Product Owner, Development and Scrum Master and based on that, I would "do" the project.

So to list my question(s):

  • Is this still considered "Scrum"?
  • Is there any other project method I could use for this?
  • (Or) Should I build an "own" project method based on Scrum/Agile methodology?
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    @gnat I think this question is not necessarily that blatant duplicate, as there is the additional piece of information: the project is only 10 days long. – juhist Jan 9 '18 at 13:21
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    If there is only one sprint, then it it not an iterative process. It means you know all tasks in the project up front. Basically it is a waterfall process. I don't think you really need to overhead of a formalized development method for this. – JacquesB Jan 9 '18 at 14:00
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    A sprint is NOT the only unit of iteration. You are always free to iterate more rapidly. A sprint is a unit of reporting. Come hell or high water you have something to show at the end of the sprint. – candied_orange Jan 9 '18 at 15:27
  • @Brian duplicates are generally not transitive - I picked one that reads a better fit here – gnat Jan 9 '18 at 17:59
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    @JacquesB just because a project is only ten days does not mean it cannot have iterations. An iteration could be a day or two, especially if the scope is that small. Ideally, any software iteration will be however long it takes to build something worth demoing to the customer - an hour, a day, a week, whatever time period makes sense for that project. – user22815 Jan 9 '18 at 20:19

In this case I would simplify to Kanban. Kanban simply has a backlog that you work off, so there is no need to organize work into sprints. It's best not to over-complicate things. Considering this is a stretch of work that would be only one sprint, and a very limited staff, I think it matches the Kanban way more than scrum.

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    Kanban is a good call for this kind of small, low team population project. A cheap/free and effective tool such as Trello will be extremely useful for you to track and see the flow of your work if you are going to try Kanban, and gives a nice visual representation of work that's outstanding, in progress and done for when the inevitable management visitations happen. – Steve Pettifer Jan 9 '18 at 17:16
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    Surely a step in the right direction. But I hate buzzwords just for the sake of having a "modern term" for a very simple process, and I would probably need not more than a "todo" list in form of a text file (or some other kind of simple-structured document) to manage my own work for such a small project. So for me even Kanban looks an unnecessary overcomplication (but maybe I don't know enough about Kanban). – Doc Brown Jan 9 '18 at 20:07
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    @DocBrown, Kanban is pretty light-weight and works well for support scenarios where sprints really aren't a thing. You just have a prioritized backlog, and limits for how many things you can have in one column. The idea is that you have to resolve the blockage before you can pull new work in. You can use anything to drive it--even 3x5 post cards. To be fair, Kanban is decades old, coming from the auto industry in Japan. The word might be new to western ears. I first heard about it when JIRA had Kanban boards, so I dug in a little to learn about it. – Berin Loritsch Jan 9 '18 at 20:42

Why on earth are you planning to use Agile methods for such a small scale project?

Agile methods are designed e.g. to handle the risk of unforeseen absences from ruining your project, and to schedule work tasks in a large team. They work by splitting the work to small chunks, assigning a difficulty to each of them, and then by some kind of magic the developers become homogeneous, and each can to a 5-day task in approximately 5 days. Of course, this works best if all developers are skilled and their expertise is not limited to certain areas of the code.

If somebody picks a 5-day task and finishes it in 2 days, the use of agile means there will be a backlog of tasks, so it is possible to pick some other task.

I would say that none of this is required if there's only 1 person in the team.

I would also go further and say that in 10-day project, the use of Scrum may not be so beneficial. How long would your sprint then be? Presumably 10 days, as you planned. Scrum however has been designed to work in projects that have many subsequent sprints. Otherwise you miss the benefits of the sprint retrospective.

I have a method that you may use in your very small scale single-developer project. It's called TODO.txt. Use it!

As an entirely another matter, I think there are upper limits to the applicability of Scrum in addition to lower limits. So using Scrum in a 100-developer 10-year project may not be ideal. But this is soon starting to become off-topic on an answer to this small-scale question...

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    There is nothing wrong with using agile methodologies for small projects, but picking the appropriate one is key and Berin Loritsch is absolutely right that this particular scenario would suit Kanban better. Kanban is still an agile or lean process. – Steve Pettifer Jan 9 '18 at 17:17
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    Agile != Scrum. While Scrum may be overkill for a project like this, the Agile philosophy (e.g. Working software is the primary measure of progress) can help with projects of any size – user22815 Jan 9 '18 at 20:17

Is this still considered "Scrum"?

Probably not. It's definitely not by the book. Whether or not it "is" or "is not" Scrum, doesn't matter though. One of main points of being Agile is understanding that a labels is not a real thing, and only the real thing matters.

Is there any other project method I could use for this?

(Or) Should I build an "own" project method based on Scrum/Agile methodology?

Sounds like a good idea. Scrum is designed to be used with a team, so not all of it will work if you are alone. But a lot of the ideas of Scrum are very powerful and fairly universal. I would definitely steal whatever you can that you think will help you.

When I work on my own projects, what I usually try to do is having a backlog of broad stories, picking up stories and then taking a moment to break them into tasks, completing tasks one at a time, and every so often take a moment to reflect on whether I'm still building the right thing and doing it the right way.

Is that a methodology? Who cares. I sure don't, as long as it works. Take the ideas that you think will help you in your project, discard the rest. You have absolute control over how you work, so the best thing to do is build the perfect methodology for yourself. Agile and Scrum can be good starting points, but I wouldn't adhere to them if I were you.

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  • +1 for capturing the essence of agile that often seems to get lost: Value people over processes! If the process doesn't work for you adapt. (And don't care whether a label such as "Scrum" still fits your workflow.) – anderas Jan 10 '18 at 14:44

Short answer: NO, there is no reason to use Scrum for project with team of 1 developer and duration of 10 days.

Scrum is relatively heavy-weight methodology. It is a general consensus to use classic Scrum for project with 7-9 developers and duration above 6 months. Why ? Two main reasons:

  • Amount of Scrum ceremonies (meetings, demo, retro, planning) does not pay off well for small projects (5 people and less) and does not scale above 10-15 people. It's possible to scale up Scrum using "Scrum-of-Scrums" or similar approaches, but it's not possible to scale it down without incuring crazy overhead.
  • Scrum is iterative methodology, which allows team to learn its velocity to work more predicably, and self-manage by pushing slackers out (because of the shared responsibility). Given that you will only have one sprint and one developer, there would be no opportunity for "team" to learn anything.

Consider Kanban or XP, or just refer to Best Development Methodology for One Person?

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    Technically, only Nexus and a Scrum-of-Scrums are "scaled Scrum." It would be more accurate to call other systems such as SAFe scaled agile frameworks. – CodeGnome Jan 10 '18 at 15:05
  • @CodeGnome, agree, corrected. – c69 Jan 10 '18 at 19:30

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