Scrum Project Management – Pros and Cons
Scrum is a popular framework that works very well for innovative and complex product development projects. However, it has its disadvantages too. But before we jump into its pros and cons, let’s understand the Scrum framework.
Here's a video on introduction to Scrum.
Here's an overview of the Scrum framework:
- The product owner creates a product backlog (essentially, a wishlist of tasks that need to be prioritized in a project)
- The Scrum team conducts a sprint planning session where the tasks necessary to complete items on the wishlist is broken down into small, more easily manageable chunks
- The team creates a sprint backlog and plans its implementation
- The team decides a time duration for every sprint (the most common intervals is probably two weeks)
- The team gets together every day for a brief Scrum meeting (often referred to as a Daily Standup) where each member of the team shares daily updates, helping the team and the project manager assess the progress of the project
- The certified Scrum master guides the team and keeps them focused and motivated
- The stakeholders and the product owner conduct a review at the end of each sprint
This is the cycle followed by a Scrum team in a product development project. The three roles mentioned above - the Product Owner, the Scrum Team, and the Scrum Master together play a major role in exercising this framework.
Here's why the framework is so popular today:
Scrum can help teams complete project deliverables quickly and efficiently:
- Scrum ensures effective use of time and money
- Large projects are divided into easily manageable sprints
- Developments are coded and tested during the sprint review
- Works well for fast-moving development projects
- The team gets clear visibility through scrum meetings
- Scrum, being agile, adopts feedback from customers and stakeholders
- Short sprints enable changes based on feedback a lot more easily
- The individual effort of each team member is visible during daily scrum meetings
But like every framework, scrum also has few disadvantages.
Nothing is perfect, and the Scrum methodology is no exception. In some cases, Scrum is combined with other project management techniques that can help resolve some of these drawbacks:
- Scrum often leads to scope creep, due to the lack of a definite end-date
- The chances of project failure are high if individuals aren't very committed or cooperative
- Adopting the Scrum framework in large teams is challenging
- The framework can be successful only with experienced team members
- Daily meetings sometimes frustrate team members
- If any team member leaves in the middle of a project, it can have a huge negative impact on the project
- Quality is hard to implement, until the team goes through aggressive testing process
Needless to say, proper planning and smart decision making can help you get past these disadvantages with the Scrum methodology. For example, in larger teams, each member needs to have defined roles and responsibilities with definite goals, so that there is no compromise on quality and no excuse for failure. This will keep the team focused to project goals. Plus, the ScrumMaster needs to guide the team effectively to avoid pitfalls and ensure 100% project success.
For most Agile Scrum roles, being a Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM) is an essential hiring criterion. Online Agile ScrumMaster training from a solid, reputed training provider like Simplilearn will help you learn all you need to know about Agile Scrum.
For a sample of our online training, watch our video “9 Reasons to Consider a CSM Certification.”
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