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Insight Newsletter

Insight Newsletter Archive


INSIGHT Newsletters

Our INSIGHT newsletters share seasoned advice and fresh insights about many business and strategic delivery topics. We invite you to spend some time learning more about how to make your projects a success.

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February 2013

Risk blocksDear Colleague:

I am a risk taker. Some say that as an entrepreneur you need to be. All I know is that as a risk taker, I've learned that I am okay with trying things out and being willing to throw them away if they don't end up working.


There may be waste along the way but that's the downside of risk taking. The upside is the willingness to act fast and adjust when needed in order to come up with the optimal solution.


It goes along with my work philosophy ... "better to ask forgiveness than permission." I would rather take a risk to drive to a more positive outcome than play it safe and maintain the status quo.


The Agile project management methodology may be viewed similarly. If you are more accustomed to a waterfall approach to project management, then the tenets of Agile development may seem too risky for your portfolio. But does it make sense for your organization? Is it truly a risk for you?


To help answer these questions, in this issue, Pat Dugan takes on Agile methodology ... when to consider it and how the benefits outweigh the risks involved.


Businesspeople in motionOn another exciting note, Peritius Consulting is growing and we now have a Chicago Loop address. Look for other announcements when we revamp our website soon.


Please note our updated information:

Peritius Consulting

560 W. Washington, Suite 330

Chicago, IL 60661



Best regards,


Laura Dribin Werner

President & CEO
Peritius Consulting, Inc.

Peritius consultants like to stay on top of the trends impacting our clients and business partners. Here are some recent articles of interest to our team:

Build a Winning Team Dynamic

How to Sell Your Ideas

3 Companies More Innovative Than Apple

Getting On Board With Scrum Methodology

Try this rugby-inspired approach to project management.


by Patrick Dugan, PMP
Senior Manager


Superior teamwork. Ultra-fast problem solving. Maximum productivity. Welcome to the world of Scrum, a rugby-inspired approach to managing software projects. As a 15-year veteran of project management, I know firsthand that the switch to Scrum - which shifts most play-calling power to team members on the ground - can seem a little wild at first. But it doesn't take long to see advantages.


Here's a basic breakdown of how things work ...


The Scrum system has three key forces:

  • The product owner, who maintains a "product backlog" of prioritized requirements
  • The scrum master, who is Scrum's version of project manager
  • The development team, a group of six to nine software developers, analysts, and other experts

Rugby scrumScrums and sprints

Action starts with a planning session where team members choose product backlog requirements to complete during their first two- to three-week push or "sprint." The team then breaks down each requirement into individual tasks; team members may choose only one task to work on at a time. Progress on delivering each requirement is measured during a daily scrum - the rugby term for a pre-play team huddle. The scrum master uses tracking tools to manage backlog, track sprints, and report daily status.


Benefits: Breaking down tasks eases the looming stress that often comes with a big project. Meanwhile, eliminating multitasking improves focus. Both factors boost productivity and work quality.



The scrum master won't assign tasks or dictate how work should be done. At daily scrums, each team member reports on the tasks he or she completed the previous day and what will be attempted in the new day. They also highlight any roadblocks impacting progress.


Benefits: Counterintuitive though it may seem, when team members choose their own task and pace, they typically get more done in less time.


Business huddle around tableDemos

At the end of each sprint, the team gathers to show stakeholders what was completed. They might present new lines of code, exhibit newly installed hardware, or give a live demo of new product functionality.


Benefits: When team members demonstrate accomplishments themselves, it fosters greater pride in their work and increases focus on their work quality. The demo allows earlier and more frequent participation by stakeholders to capture requirement changes sooner; it also tends to make stakeholders feel more satisfied with the end result.


So here's my advice: When transitioning from project manager to scrum master, try to be open to change and give the method a chance to work its magic. Encourage team members to do the same. Going through the experience together will make you an even stronger team. Scrum values progress over processes, and is more focused on responding to change. At first, having no set project plan can leave you feeling unprepared. But once you start, you will see faster and more focused task delivery that you will love.


Further questions on Scrum methodology and supporting tools? Contact me at, and I would be happy to share my experiences.

About Peritius

Peritius Consulting is a management consulting firm that helps its clients execute their strategic plans. For over 23 years, Peritius has helped its clients navigate from vision to reality, allowing them to realize their strategic ROI. Please contact us to learn more about how we can help you deliver strategy in the most effective, cost-efficient manner.   |   |   312-605-8400


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