The Scrum methodology of agile software development marks a dramatic departure from waterfall management. In fact, Scrum and other agile processes were inspired by its shortcomings. The Scrum methodology emphasizes communication and collaboration, functioning software, and the flexibility to adapt to emerging business realities — all attributes that suffer in the rigidly ordered waterfall paradigm.
InfoQ just published a brief article on Scrum Club, a group of Los Angeles-based software professionals that operates like a mix of a user group and a philanthropic outreach organization. In short, the group—which was founded by devs who connected at Agile Open California 2008—strengthens the Scrum community by meeting regularly and discussing Scrum best practices. It extends its impact by offering its services to a hand-picked group of local non-profit organizations. You can read the full text and check out the group’s Fight Club-inspired video here: http://www.infoq.com/news/2009/02/Scrum-Club
While Scrum Club’s model of a users group expands the mission of most of the ones I’ve encountered, it’s a great reminder of the value of getting together with folks who speak the same language, face the same challenges, and can share strategies for overcoming similar obstacles. There are Scrum and agile user groups all over the country—in fact, they seem to be popping up more often than ever these days. A quick Google search should help you find one in your area.
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