Adapting Scrum for Writing Environmental Documents
I’m very new to Scrum and have some questions. I am an environmental planner for a federal government land management agency and am on an interdisciplinary team (archaeologist, botanist, soil scientist, wildlife biologist, etc.) that writes environmental documents like environmental impact statements and environmental assessments for proposed actions on federal lands. The basic process is to develop a purpose/need statement (what’s wrong and how do we think we can fix it), develop descriptions of the proposed action and alternatives including a no action alternative. The no action alternative is the baseline to which the impacts of the other alternatives are compared. The proposed action describes those tasks that would be done (I.e., remove a dirt road, pull out the clogged culvert, install a new culvert, and rebuild the road over the culvert) to satisfy the purpose and need. Following those stages would be the identification of projects that are, or will be, occurring in and around the proposed project area (the cumulative projects), and then finally the analysis of the impacts (including those cumulative impacts) caused by the proposed action, no action, and any other alternatives. It’s a fairly linear process; you can’t analyze the impacts if you don’t have a proposed action and you can’t describe your alternatives if you don’t know the problem you’re trying to solve and the potential solution to that problem (purpose/need). The team can’t meet its deadlines so we are looking for other ways to manage our projects and we’re thinking about adapting scrum to this process of writing environmental documents. I would appreciate any insight anyone out there has for how we could do this.
From the workflow you describe, do you think there would be an advantage in trying to establish empirical process control?