Scrum Pilot Overview

The EPMO’s standard Project Process is based on the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). It is sometimes referred to as a “waterfall” approach.  
The EPMO is piloting another approach to managing projects called Scrum. This isn’t meant to replace our current project process. Scrum just provides us with another/different approach to use that may be more effective for certain types of projects (think of Scrum as just another tool in our project management toolbox). 
The pilot will enable us to evaluate how it's working and futher define when to use Scrum versus the traditional PMI project approach.  

What is Scrum?

Scrum is an Agile framework that was developed in 1993 by Jeff Sutherland. It was originally intended for use in software development projects, but it can be used for any type of project. Project work is prioritized and completed in one (1) to four (4) week iterations (called sprints) by small (5 to 7 member) self-managing/organizing teams.  

Why is it called Scrum?

The name scrum came from a 1986 study published in the Harvard Business Review by Takeuchi and Nonaka who compared cross-functional, high performing teams to the scrum formation used by Rugby teams.  

We like Scrum because It’s…

1. Straightforward!  
2. Effective for breaking down complex work into clear, prioritized tasks.
3. Designed for projects with changing and evolving requirements. The State has lots of those!
4. Designed to get work completed and implemented based on priority. 
5. A way to reduce project risk and increase transparency through frequent inspections of work.  
6. An approach that promotes team work and team accountability.  
7. Designed to continually incorporate lessons learned (through sprint retrospective meetings). 
8. An effective approach for getting any body of work/tasks completed. Manage an entire project using Scrum or just a subset.
9. A proven method that is widely and successfully used by Fortune 500 companies around the world (according to

Scrum Basics

How to Pilot Scrum 

1. Use Scrum to Manage a Subset of a Project.
  • Follow the EPMO’s standard Project Process for the overall project (including the minimum project management deliverables).
  • Use the EPMO’s Scrum Process to complete a defined subset of project work that could benefit from a team oriented and iterative approach.  
2. Use Scrum to Manage the Implementation of a Project’s Solution.
  • Follow the standard EPMO Project Process for the Exploration and Initiating phases.  
  • A Project Manager will manage the project through the vendor/solution procurement (i.e., through step 3 of the Planning Phase).
  • If you are open to trying Scrum for the implementation of your solution, then include language in your RFP that requests the vendor to describe how an Agile framework could be used for implementation and to comment on their company and staff experience using an Agile approach.
  • When procuring the implementation vendor, be sure that the contract includes Scrum deliverables and specifies Scrum roles.  The selected vendor must have experience with Scrum or another form of Agile project management.
  • Use of Scrum and the designation of the Scrum Master requires approval by your OPM for technology projects with estimated lifecycle costs over $500,000. 
  • Follow the EPMO’s Scrum Process to manage the project from the start of the vendor's engagement through the implementation of the solution.  

EPMO’s Scrum Process 

The EPMO has defined a step by step process for using Scrum on a State of Vermont project. Click on the picture to view the Scrum Process steps. 

Give us Your Feedback  

We welcome your feedback! Click on the Suggestion Box on the lefthand side of the page and let us know:

  • How Scrum worked for your project. Would you use it again?  Why or why not?
  • If you have comments or suggestions for improving our EPMO Scrum Workbook.
  • Any comments you have on the Scrum web content we have provided. Was there information that you wanted/needed that you weren't able to find?