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Sunday, June 10, 2012

What are the strengths and weaknesses of scrum?

Even though a lot of programmers and developers have been opting out for using scrum for the development of their projects, they had always faced some problems when implementing the scrum processes. These problems more or less are a consequence of the weaknesses of the scrum development method. 

However, in comparison to the weaknesses, the scrum has more number of strengths or plus points and this is what that makes the scrum so popular among the programmers and developers in spite of its weaknesses. 

According to a research, scrum was find to be weak in scrum training and certification. As we all know the scrum has always been looked up on as one of the best ways to implement the agile principles in the development process. All these modern agile software development processes like the waterfall, spiral and iterative models are quite different from the traditional approaches to software development. 

Problems and Misconceptions faced by Scrum Methodology

- One thing that really makes the scrum implementation weak is that programmers and developers think that implementing scrum itself is equal to agile implementation which is absolutely wrong! 
- Any software development process on a whole cannot be considered to be a complete agile process until and unless all the disciplines and rules of the agile management have been incorporated in to the development process.
- When one takes the scrum process to be equal to the agile process, then the agile disciplines go missing from the development process without the knowledge of the developer. 
- The developer thinks that he had implemented all the aspects of the agile management via the scrum which is a very false perception. 
- Many people do not understand that scrum is a software development process meant to achieve the goals of agility. 
- Scrum is a means and not a goal in itself. 
- Implementing the scrum without knowing about it in depth is like drawing up an empty process which takes you nowhere except that your time and efforts are wasted.
- When the scrum is simply thought of as a process so many formal activities that are carried out are a total waste. 
- There is another aspect to this weakness! This weakness in some cases becomes the strength of the scrum process making several problems visible to the developers. 
- But this is not the usual case since some developers may identify the problems found, themselves. 
- Plus if such problems are discovered during the implementation of the scrum then one more thing is obvious that the communication between the team members is not fluent and effective. 

Some developers and programmers may also blame the scrum for such problems. Here below we have summarized all the strengths and weaknesses of the scrum:
        1. Strengths:
a)  Encourages team work.
b)  Maintains transparency of the development process.
c)   Breaks down hierarchies.
d)  Keeps a focus on user features. (this is a weakness also in some cases)
e)  It is adaptive.
f)   Encourages visibility of the development.

a)  Keeps a focus on user features: Focus on user features to some extent is ok but what if the process is totally in to it? A slow and clean approach always seems difficult to a team! Non functional requirements can be ignored since they don’t have any direct impact on the user.
b)   With scrum every team member needs to forget about his/ her area of expertise.
c)   Scrum is more useful to the companies that are product based rather than other aspects.

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