Software projects that see rapid changes or have pressing requirements can do well to adopt a scrum model. In a typical scrum framework, you have a team meeting (a planning session) wherein the goals are discussed, and followed by a review. Multiple iterations occur, which can last anywhere between a week to a month.
But the system is not free of problems. Now, let’s take a look at some issues you might face when working with scrum models.
The product owner’s role is crucial for the success of the scrum framework. If the product owner, does not understand his business needs, cannot take quick decisions, or worse still, does not even show up for scrum meetings, there can be trouble. So the product owner should be present for daily scrums and at review and planning meetings. If the product owner’s presence is also required during the work day, and he/she has to meet with stakeholders, the scrum team should look at scheduling the meeting during the later part of the day, so that the product owner can attend.
Lack of clarity in the daily scrum
It is not uncommon for the daily scrum to go off on a tangent and engage in discussions that are not necessary at that point of time. It is the job of the ScrumMaster to ensure the meeting is headed in the right direction. Make sure your meetings are short and crisp, and discuss only what is necessary. Any discussions on project bumps and dead ends can be reserved for later with the concerned parties.
Face-to-face is indispensable in a scrum team. If you have scrum team members located in different rooms or buildings then you may not be able to get the most out of the Scrum framework. On the opposite end, if you have a team with members located in different geographical locations then a scrum framework may not be the best choice. Ideally, you want a scrum team to sit in the same workspace. Else, the lack of communication and transparency will affect the team’s productivity.
Transparency in goals
Team members should set realistic goals, without stretching their boundaries or slacking off. Team members should not pressure each other to stretch their goals or over-commit/under-perform. It will just foster the wrong attitude toward completion of work vs expectations.
Given that scrum teams usually have a tight deadline, quality often takes a beating. The pressure from meeting tight deadlines, may have the team not give quality the utmost importance.
There are other problems too. Keep reading about Scrum and keep experimenting to get the most out of the framework for your team and client.