Misconceptions about the Scrum Framework

November 21, 2017

“We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it.” This is how the Agile Manifesto starts. In simple words, the way people have learned better ways of implementing Agile is by doing it and trying out things. As such, practitioners have tried out multiple things and some of those have worked and some haven’t.  However, with time, a few misconceptions started getting associated with Scrum. We will look at some of the most common ones.

Documentation – There is a belief in certain quarters that there is no documentation in Scrum. Obviously, not correct. Compared to traditional project management, there is less documentation. In Scrum, documentation is as per the requirement of the project and stakeholders and is kept to a minimum.

Planning –This is another misconception where people believe that there is no planning in Scrum. The reality is that unlike traditional project Management which involves a lot of upfront planning, Scrum believes in iterative planning because scope and priorities often change in Scrum projects. As such there is no use planning for everything at the beginning of the project.

Only meant for colocated teams –Although it is true that the principles behind Agile manifesto state that “The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation,” with teams working from all around the world, it is not possible to always have colocated teams. With globalization, you have companies with offices around the world and teams working together. Even with distributed teams, you could still have face-to-face conversations with the help of web conferencing tools. These can be as good as being in the same room.

 Only meant for Software Development – Since the Agile Manifesto was meant for Software Development and it started with Software Development, there is this misconception that Scrum cannot be applied in any other industry. That is actually not the case. With time the Scrum framework has evolved and is currently being used in almost every industry. Scrum is best suited for projects where the domain is exploratory, unpredictable, innovative and expects a lot of change.

 Only meant for Small projects: Since Scrum recommends a team size of 6-10 people with some research showing the productivity of Scrum teams going down with anything more than 6 people in a team, it is erroneously believed that Scrum is meant only for small projects. It is true that Scrum recommends small teams, but one Scrum project could have multiple Scrum teams. As such, you could easily scale up and deliver larger projects. The 3rd edition of A Guide to the Scrum Body of Knowledge (SBOK Guide) has two additional chapters detailing Scaling Scrum for Large projects and Scaling Scrum for Enterprise.

These have been some of the most common misconceptions about Scrum. Do let us know if you found the article useful.  If you liked this article, join our Linkedin Group for more such articles.



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