BIREME Bulletin nÂș 88

BIREME projects: Agile and Scrum methodology

BIREME/PAHO/WHO continues to develop scientific and technical health information products and services by formalizing agreements and technical cooperation projects with the countries of the Region. PAHO/WHO, the Brazilian Ministry of Health and the countries’ national government institutions are BIREME’s main institutional partners throughout its 57 years of existence.

In line with BIREME’s 2023-2025 Strategy for its digital transformation, project developments are in the process of adopting the Scrum framework, one of the most popular within the Agile methodology.

The Agile methodology is a set of principles and values designed to improve flexibility, collaboration and efficiency in software development. Its main elements include short iterations or sprints, which divide work into cycles of two to four weeks to allow for frequent adjustments; promoting constant and collaborative communication between team members and stakeholders; valuing continuous feedback to adjust development as necessary; focusing on the continuous delivery of functional product increments; and being prepared for changes and adjustments throughout the development process.

Scrum provides a specific framework for implementing Agile principles. Its main elements include: (i) defined roles, (ii) artifacts, and (iii) events, all aimed at ensuring the continuous provision of value and the continuous improvement of the development process.

Projects and Agile methodology

Thus, project management and monitoring at BIREME/PAHO/WHO are being aligned with the Agile development methodology, considering its continuous components:

  1. Drawing up, formalizing and developing costed proposals;
  2. Releases to counterparts and BIREME teams;
  3. Operation of the internally customized DotProject system for recording technical progress and monitoring by focal points, including external ones;
  4. Periodic follow-up meetings with the actors involved;
  5. Preparation and publication of periodic results reports; and
  6. Effective communication at all stages and dissemination of results.

This set of actions makes it possible to monitor the progress of projects to achieve results. Periodic meetings are held to update the progress of developments and share any issues that may interfere with achievements and need support to continue, as well as project proposals that are being formalized and reflect efforts to mobilize financial resources. The related acquisitions adhere to the Organization’s policies and procedures.

In recent months, as part of the strategy to implement the Agile methodology for project and software development, the BIREME team has been obtaining certifications in the Scrum framework, to enable the development of skills and the strengthening of its intellectual capital. This action is in line with the ongoing PAHO principles.

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