Some observations of Scrum working

Scrum is a constant, step-by-step framework for project management often seen in dynamic software programming, a kind of software engineering.

Originally the Scrum approach was suggested for managing development projects, its deployment has been strictly focused on the realization of software development projects, and it can be used for running different software support dedicated teams or as a general project or program management lead-up.

Over last 8 years experts were helping people to adopt Scrum. And there have been some interesting plots, where Scrum works perfect and where it doesn’t work as desired. Let’s share some observations to see if they coincide with what other users experienced.

Firstly, describing the Scrum working well:

  1. Teams – Scrum users – are obviously highly professional teams; their business benefits are at least 4 times as big as that of normal teams.
  2. The firms, where Scrum is being used experienced a change in company culture to become more team organized, more value targeted, and more client oriented.

So where did Scrum work really well:

  1. In organizations, which are in deep trouble and they admit, that adopting Scrum seems will be their last chance for creating a new culture, team process and business environment where the way out of trouble could be possible. Call it Scrum for Crisis. Even the “willing to admit this fact” is extremely important part. As earlier experienced, if the heads and the team don’t admit the necessity of Scrum involving, the idea will fail. Scrum won’t be helpful.
  2. Talking about small organizations, it is obvious that if they don’t have existing basic processes for development, Scrum can be used as an effective solution to increase their competitiveness without getting into troubles with bureaucracy. Here, we have to underline that they are already in a high performance level and their goal is to stay on that stage and may be even growing at the same time. Observing quite a number of small firms, possible to say, that all they need is a good CSM (plus one or two days of practicing) to introduce and maintain Scrum. As experience showed, small firms that were not already on high level of performance and, for sorrow, Scrum has not worked as a tool for picking them up to a high-performance level.

Some examples of Scrum being inappropriate and not leading to the desired results:

  1. Management teams. At the first sight, seems like Scrum should work for team management, but it happens that managers face too much of the problems described below, to be the users of Scrum:
    • operational solutions (poor and non-creative, incorrect and non-problem-solving work)
    • urgent, legitimate, constant interruptions
    • real events or projects that have fixed date
  2. Small teams or tiny projects. Scrum is really huge for teams less than five people or for short projects less than two months in duration. They aren’t meant to be very hard and really fast, but when small teams and projects attempt to intrude Scrum they frequently end up breaking the rules partly because of the opportunity and partly because the demand. It is said, that some people have created “Personal Scrum” and other versions. Scrum Alliance unlikely officially endorses those versions.

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