The Scrum framework is often confused with project management methodology. Scrum is a way of working through which you can easily and quickly create a more effective product.
Why use the Scrum framework?
I have already faced several times a situation in which our customers know what they want, but later, after a product has already been delivered, it turns out that it is not exactly what they imagined and our product does not work for them and will not use it. Reference: “When and why to use Scrum for your projects“, https://medfd.org/when-and-why-to-use-scrum-for-your-projects/
This, in turn, leads to a waste of resources, time and money. This is one of the reasons why an organization would decide to use Scrum. It is this problem that Scrum emphasizes and addresses from the very beginning – understanding that the client will change or may change his opinion and accepting this fact. In addition, the Scrum team invites the customer to periodic meetings where changes may be requested and the team is expected to receive feedback on the product.
Another reason for introducing Scrum is that the Scrum team can be self-managing and have all the technical skills it needs to get the job done. In essence, Scrum teams work autonomously and this allows them to be extremely efficient. Reference: “Why use the Scrum framework for your project and organization“, https://stc-montreal.org/why-use-the-scrum-framework-for-your-project-and-organization/
Having all the technical skills, the team does not depend on someone telling them what and how to do – each participant knows what to do and is responsible for the product from start to finish.
When a software product is under development, businesses are under increasing pressure to deliver on time. Any omission in the schedule is seen as a failure, and in an attempt to make sure delivery is on time, managers often feel pressured to exclude things from the development cycle.
I have come across such a project. The result of all this pressure on the programmers leads to an exceptional technical debt of the project. Software maintenance becomes more difficult because the code is not optimal and more complex than it should be. Reference: “Why do you want to be a Scrum Master?“, https://www.mu7club.com/why-scrum-master/
This poor quality leads to a greater workload for the support team, which in turn places more demands on the maintenance team, which is already too tired to handle poor quality code. Scrum handles this by requiring the scrum team to state their quality criteria in advance (referred to as the ‘ready-made definition’) and by requiring them to meet this criterion for each iteration of the product.
An element of Scrum that I value is the daily standups. Each morning, each member of the team says what they did the day before, what they will be working on the current day, and whether they have any obstacles they can’t handle.
Another reason to use Scrum in the organization is the early detection of weaknesses and problems and dealing with them before they have a detrimental effect on the whole product. Reference: “What are the responsibilities of the Scrum Master?“, https://www.businesspad.org/what-are-the-responsibilities-of-the-scrum-master/
Adopting Scrum can improve team performance for many reasons. The team has the tools, the environment, and the power to produce a great product and all distractions have been removed. Thus, improved performance is a given.
Productivity increases because team members are focused on their work and because they spend effort on only the most important features, as decided by the customer. This is of course in the perfect scenario, which does not happen in most companies. Mass meetings are a reality for programmers and unnecessary features and characteristics are constantly added to projects with a requirement for fast delivery, although modestly implemented in the company.
There are many reasons to use Scrum, as I have already described and there are certainly more than I have not thought of yes, Scrum gives freedom of action, but old habits die hard and sometimes it is almost impossible to fight with them. The important thing is not to give up and continue to develop, hoping that we are going in the right direction. Reference: “Scrum Master and their relationship with the team and stakeholders“, https://www.islandjournal.net/scrum-master-role-relationship-team-stakeholders/
What are the reasons not to use Scrum in your production processes?
“And the product team is not about a reporting relationship – it has an intentionally flat organizational structure.” This is a quote from my favorite book and is one of the main reasons why a company should not include scrum in its processes.
In an organization that is run by many levels of senior management, it may not make sense to promote even the idea of Scrum. I have worked in such a company and their decisions are made very slowly and by many people for many and long meetings. Reference: “When to use the Scrum framework in your projects“, https://www.muzonet.com/when-to-use-the-scrum-framework-in-your-projects/
The project is required to be approved by many people, and in the end, the requirements are so many and even detailed that a modest team would not have any autonomy and voting rights, which makes it impossible for the entire management. It also depends on the type of production process. Reference: “Scrum Master explains the roles to colleagues in the Scrum project“, https://securityinformationeventmanagement.com/scrum-master-explains-the-roles-to-colleagues/
A construction company would hardly benefit from Scrum because even if a problem arises while a building is being built, it has certain rules and ways to deal with it. In the scrum teams, everyone knows what to do and even if he doesn’t know, he will manage and understand on his own.
In ordinary teams, it is often observed that the team is waiting to be told what and how to do it. Not every team is adapted to work on the principles of Scrum, and in that case, if the change is not desired by the participants, it makes no sense to start implementation. Reference: “Why do you want to be a Scrum Master?”, https://ossalumni.org/why-do-you-want-to-be-a-scrum-master/
The participants need to understand and be willing to change, if the top management does not see the benefit of this maneuver and this change, then it is a good idea to avoid the targeted use of Scrum.
Difficulties in implementing Scrum
The first reason I can think of is resistance to change on the part of the teams. The fact is that not everyone loves change, especially big changes. This can lead to insecurity in people about their professional future and development and not be seen as an opportunity for growth, quite the opposite. Fear of the unknown can lead people to seek professional development in another company, which could be a serious problem for the company. Reference: “Scrum Master instead of project manager”, https://60yearsnato.info/scrum-master-instead-of-project-manager/
Transparency of work is also a stress factor for most people. Frequent inspection of the work, even with good intentions, worries most people and puts them under additional pressure, which can lead to unwanted side effects. Reference: “Reasons for using the Scrum framework for the organization’s projects“, https://customer-service-us.com/reasons-for-using-the-scrum-projects/
Another problem may be a lack of knowledge and training. As with anything else in an organization, all Scrum practitioners need to be well trained.
This does not always happen; most of the time it is assumed that the team will understand the process at work, but since this is not such a common project management framework, it is good to offer appropriate training to the team, which will lead to a full understanding of what is scary. and what are the advantages of its implementation? Reference: “Scrum and Kanban: Differences and Similarities“, https://www.powerhp.net/scrum-and-kanban-differences-and-similarities/
Lack of understanding between the Scrum team, suppliers, and stakeholders can also be a problem. To get suppliers and stakeholders in line with our new ways of working, they need to understand how the iterative approach works and be part of it to give feedback at regular intervals. Reference: “Why apply Scrum to your company projects“, https://www.worldforgemagazine.com/why-apply-scrum-to-your-company-projects/
Here I want to emphasize that the problem may be the lack of understanding of the difference between being part of the process, and not dictating how the team itself works. This could also be a problem if participants outside the scrum team are trying to gain leadership roles.
No matter how well Scrum is used, it is a simple framework that, even if included in the organization, will still have to implement its work processes. There is no manual with technical practices or troubleshooting guide. It would also be necessary to design best practices for Scrum according to the wishes and needs of the team.