Scrum is one of the most implemented frameworks among Agile Methodology. Many organizations have adopted Scrum as it is lightweight, easy to understand, and very helpful in developing innovative and complex development projects. In the 14th State of Agile annual report, it was revealed that almost 36% of the respondents use Scrum as their project development framework which is the highest among other Agile frameworks. Scrum helps people, teams, and organizations to create value by adapting creative solutions for complex issues. Scrum is a framework rather than tools and techniques and contains values, philosophy, theory, and structure which helps the Scrum team to achieve their goal. Scrum encourages developers to proceed with the next iteration rather than trying to figure out the detailed instructions at the beginning of the product development. Several tools and techniques could be used in Scrum which aids the team to visualize their efficacy of current management and working techniques. In this article, we focus mainly on the pros and cons of Scrum and understand what are the Scrum Methodology advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of Scrum
1. Adaptability and Flexibility
Scrum framework is one of the most flexible frameworks which is always ready for changes and can adapt to any type of situation. Taking the example of the pandemic where the work had to be carried on remotely, Scrum already had the idea of remote working which made adapting to the remote product development process easier. Scrum is most suitable for situations or environments which are uncertain and where the requirements cannot be defined accurately at the beginning of the work. It believes that as the work is carried on, the feedback and other factors would lead the way for the process of product development. Flexibility allows the developers to design innovative products and come up with creative solutions for complex problems that the product has to solve.
2. Innovation and Creativity
When there is a competitive world out there, it is the best company that brings out the most innovative products according to the needs of the customer, that survives. Everybody wants the best product for the price they pay and the company must fulfill the needs of the customer and satisfy them. This requires a great deal of creativity and innovation which the Scrum team has to display by coming up with excellent ideas. Scrum promotes an Agile mindset and an environment that encourages ideas from everyone on the team and helps them discuss the ideas such that the business value can be maximized and the best products can be delivered.
Scrum creates product increments in Sprints which is about 1-4 weeks. This helps the Developers stay relevant to the market and develop products that are trending. Sprint also ensures the Product Increments are created and implemented incrementally and iteratively which results in a shorter time-to-market. When a portion of the solution is offered to the users, they start building trust towards the company and give feedback that could improve the software.
4. Lower Prices
Implementation of Scrum in the organization helps the company to reduce costs in the project in various ways such as:
- Unnecessary documentation and control requirements help to reduce overhead significantly.
- Enhanced productivity of the Scrum team
- The team does not face “feature bloat” frequently as it uses the incremental development strategy and prioritizes the requirements of the users. This approach informs the team when the project reaches a point of diminishing returns where incremental value does not exceed the incremental development cost.
5. Better Quality
Quality has always been the main priority in Scrum as the products developed using Scrum framework display high value. The Developers in the Scrum Team take full ownership of the product being developed and work in a self-organizing team. This makes the environment where free thoughts and ideas can roam which makes the Developers build excellent products.
6. Customer Satisfaction
As Scrum involves customers throughout the process of product development, the product quality is superior and is liked by the end-users. The product increments that are added to the product are based on the feedback of the users, this makes a high chance that the end version of the product that is delivered is accepted by the customers leaving them satisfied. The inputs and feedback also help the developer get an idea about what the customer is expecting, and would save them from creating a wrong product.
7. Employee Satisfaction
Scrum approach takes the decisions of the Developers into account and gives them a chance to manage their team and come up with innovative solutions. This becomes much more satisfying for the employees as it gives them a space to think and create which is in contrast to the traditional method of “command and follow.” An Agile environment gives the team to take up ownership of their work and also helps them collaborate to curate quality products.
8. Enhance the Organizational Synergy
The organizational barriers could be broken down by the Scrum approach as it encourages the team members to build trust among each other and be transparent about their work. This affects positively the organizational goals and aids the company to build a trustworthy team that can uplift the standards of the company.
Disadvantages of Scrum
As there are two sides to a coin, there would be disadvantages of Scrum which one needs to know before implementing Scrum in their organization. Here are few disadvantages listed below:
1. Scrum requires skills and training
A considerable amount of training is required to understand the process in Scrum such that the companies successfully implement it. Companies tend to save money on the training and do not train the employees at all about Scrum which could cause chaos in the later stages. They do not understand the importance and do not put the adequate amount of effort required for the workers to fully run the process. Hence, many Developers mechanically develop products without fully understanding the principles behind the framework which becomes ineffective in the long run.
2. Scrum requires transformation at the level of organization
If a company has to achieve success by using Scrum, the changes are required from an organizational level. This requires the business users to work together and collaborate with the Developers in the spirit. This requires the organizational barriers to be removed which is difficult or impossible to occur.
3, Difficult to Scale large and complex projects
Scrum is meant for medium and small-scale businesses and there may be instances where it cannot be implemented in large and complex projects. The scalability of Scrum is an issue for enterprises adopting it at organizational levels. However, there are other models of Scrum such as Scrum-of-Scrums, LeSS, and SAFe which could be used for large-scale project management strategies. But all of them are more difficult to implement when compared to Scrum and require extreme training and skills.
4. Not Suitable for Plan-driven Approach projects
Scrum is designed for products that do not require more planning and strategies before the development process. It believes that customer feedback and other factors could be used and the process of the product development could be figured out. However, Scrum may not be the best solution for a plan-driven approach to complete projects. But, there are considerations that an integrated approach that includes both the Scrum approach and plan-driven approach could be used in such circumstances.
5. Other Disadvantages
- Scrum does not have a definite end-date which can lead to scope creep.
- When individuals in the team are not committed, there are high chances of project failure.
- It becomes a challenge to implement Scrum in large organizations
- Sometimes, the Daily Scrum and other meetings may frustrate the team members
- If a member of a Scrum Team leaves a project mid-way, there would be a huge negative impact on the project.
- An aggressive testing process must be done for the quality to be implemented.
Every software framework has a few pros and cons and the same goes with the Scrum framework. It depends on the company to see whether implementing Scrum benefits their company as compared to their present framework. When the advantages and disadvantages of Scrum are weighed and compared, one should adopt Scrum when the pros outweigh the cons. This means that if the disadvantages of Scrum could be handled and it does not cause much of an impact to the company as compared to the benefits the company receives, implementing Scrum would be a wise choice. Also, Scrum requires discipline and full understanding which the company has to train the employees. Hence, a proper Scrum framework implementation would drive an enormous amount of business and quality products are produced to enhance the business value of the company. Register for the fundamental course on Scrum Master certification and get certified to lead as a successful Scrum Master in an organization.