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Friday, June 8, 2012

When should scrum be used and when should it be avoided?

There are conditions and situations encountered while the development of a software system is in process in which only one specific development methodology can be implemented! 
It does not mean that any software development methodology can be implemented any time and any where! This holds true for all the software development methodologies and so for scrum too! 
In the recent years of the use of the scrum development method, it has been observed that many developers and programmers have faced problems while implementing the scrum in the development process of their software product, project or application etc. The nature of the scrum development methodology should always be kept in mind while implementing it. 

What is Scrum Methodology?

- Scrum represents a light weight agile process frame work that primarily finds it use in the management of the software development process. 
- The scrum has been recognized under the category of light weight agile process frame works since it involves the use of very few elements, 3 core roles (namely the scrum master, development team, product owner) and three main artifacts (namely sprint backlog, product backlog and burn down chart). 
- With scrum, the rate of response to the ever changing needs of the customers is improved. 
Scrum cannot be called as a mere process but a frame work since it is composed of several concepts and practices that together can be used to build several combinations of processes.  
The iterations in a scrum process are cyclic in nature i.e. the iterations are repeated in every few weeks. 
- The requirements are supplied by the product owner as the user stories. 

When should scrum be avoided?

There are cases in which the scrum should be avoided! They have been mentioned below:
Case I: 
Implementing scrum in a problem for whose domain it is not compatible and
Case II: 
Implementing scrum in a development processes whose processes are against that of the scrum principles.
Case III: 
When the development processes of an organization works actively or passively against the principles of the scrum, then the scrum cannot be fully used here. 
Case IV: 
The scrum spirit is also threatened whenever a faux scrum is implemented by the company.
Case V:
Scrum can go wrong when the company involves too many people in the development process of so many projects! This phenomenon is called matrixing.
Case VI:
When the teams cannot commit to a fixed scope of work during a week, the scrum can not be implemented for that project since the scrum processes demand commitment. 

When should scrum be used?

There are cases in which scrum is used. 
Case I:
Scrum can be used well till the company is not bothered about the process that is being used at the team level and is not against the scrum values. 
Case II:
Also implementing scrum in a holistic way is itself an art and requires faith in scrum development process. 

Matrixing at the level of the scrum master is somewhat ok but may pose as a hindrance in the way of scrum. Matrixing is ok as far as the people involved in it have high knowledge and IQ levels. 

Usually teams like production support, network support and so on encounter this kind of problem with scrum. You should be careful while fixing the scope since if it’s too much for the team than your team can experience some serious dysfunction. In some cases if you are advocating for scrum, it may prove to be a disaster for you lest you know how to embrace it! 

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