What Makes Scrum Projects Fail?

Scrum is popular mainly due to some of its specific key advantages. It promotes quick product delivery, transparency and improved workforce management among other things. Of course, the advantages depend on how successfully a Scrum project has been implemented and also on the commitment levels of the team during the entire process.

Even though Scrum has its set of advantages for businesses, it can also fail miserably in numerous cases. Here are some of the top reasons why a Scrum project might fail.

Reorganizational resistance

Scrum is a methodology which demands a change in the thinking, team management, project management and overall approach. Hence, the implementation of a Scrum project in a large organization might not be successful as parties may not be willing to make such changes, especially at the executive and middle management levels. In fact, the Scrum team members themselves might be resistant towards the process.

In the case of established companies, Scrum is challenging to deploy. So when does Scrum actually work? Scrum works best when organizations are open to changes. Also, even though disruption could be good, it could also be quite risky. Hence there is resistance.

Poor leadership

A Scrum project means that the team is essentially self-managed. However, a project will ultimately still need strong leadership so as to deliver the desired results in the best possible way. When it comes to Scrum teams, there is a sort of self-organization and management quotient in the equation; but they still need adequate guidance and support to work, especially from executive levels.

Bad technology decisions

An organization might follow Scrum, but still has to make good technological choices, i.e. framework, programming languages, hardware, operating systems etc. These choices also need to be made in the initial stages of the development process because these elements are needed to make anything and everything work.

Just because you have adopted Scrum, it does not mean that all these choices are right. A poor choice could lead to damaging consequences. Hence, poor technology choices could be a major cause for the failure of Scrum projects.

Blaming the method

It is important to remember that Scrum is merely a framework and not a magic wand which will solve all production problems. Scrum has the ability to quickly highlight issues. The issue might not be related to the process; rather it might be related to the project itself. This means whatever it is that you’re trying to develop is vague, unrealistic and overambitious.

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