Empirical Process Control

Empirical Process Control in Scrum Projects

There are three elements to just about every process control. These elements are input, process (the structured set of activities which are designed to achieve a set objective) and the output. If both the data and processes are within control and are reliable, then it is possible to get stable outputs (which are mostly true for the Waterfall model).

by Pete R.

Empirical Process Control in Scrum Projects

However, the problem arises when both the inputs and processes are not under control as rigidly as required. This leads to the outputs being unreliable for the Scrum/ Agile scenario. Hence, in such a situation, one needs to look beyond the waterfall model.

Empirical Process Control

This is where the focus needs to be on Empirical Process Control. It means that the outputs should be looked at more frequently. If the outputs are not to your liking, then you need to go back to the inputs and processes to teak them accordingly.

In Scrum, the decisions are mostly based on experimentation and observation as opposed to detailed upfront planning. The Empirical Process Control is based on three main ideas. These are transparency, inspection, and adaptation.

Transparency

Transparency is one of the essential components of the Empirical Process Control. It allows all of the facets of the Scrum process to be inspected by anyone. This creates a transparent and easy flow of information within the organization. As a result, more open work culture is ensured. Transparency is depicted as the following in Scrum.

Artifacts
  • Project Vision Statement
  • Release Planning Schedule
  • Prioritized Product Backlog
Meetings
  • Daily Standup Meetings
  • Sprint Review Meetings
Information Radiators
  • Scrum Board
  • Burn Down Chart

Inspection

The following perfectly depict inspection in Scrum.

- Inspection and acceptance of the Deliverables by the owner and the Product Owner during the demonstration and validation Sprint process. - Collection of the feedback from the customer and all the stakeholders that attend the develop epics. Creation of a Prioritized Product Backlog and conducting Release Planning processes. - Using a common Scrum board, along with other information radiators.

Adaptation

Finally, the last element is an adaptation. It happens as the Scrum Core Team, along with the Stakeholders, learn through the transparent work and inspection, and then they adapt to what they have learned. Improvements will be made at this stage in work done. The following help depict Adaptation in Scrum.

  • Retrospect Project Meeting
  • Retrospect Sprint Meeting
  • Scrum Guidance Body
  • Change Requests
  • Constant Risk Identification
  • Standup Meetings

Conclusion

The main reason why Scrum works is due to its adherence to the underlying principles of Agile and not because of its three artifacts, five elements, and three roles. The Agile principles are of iterative, value-based incremental delivery. They help by frequently gathering feedback from customers and embracing change. This, in turn, leads to a faster time to market and better delivery predictability, while increasing customer responsiveness.

The ability to change direction is achieved by managing the changing priorities, improving risk management, and enhancing the software quality.


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