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Why Sometimes I Hate Scrum

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Introduction

In software development, Agile and Scrum are two frequently used methodologies for monitoring progress and team activities. Personally, I have worked extensively with Scrum on numerous projects across different companies and teams. I've come to realize that Scrum doesn't always yield effectiveness. Sometimes, it can even make a team less efficient. This is something I want to share through my reflections on the Scrum process.

You see, many software development teams are adopting Scrum and believe they are working effectively with it. However, implementing Scrum isn't easy if the team doesn't have a clear understanding of it, often leading to wasted time and effort for everyone involved.

Time Spent on Meetings

The most effective Scrum meetings are those that last under 15 minutes. This brief check-in in the morning allows you to understand what your team is working on, where they're at in the process, what challenges they're facing, and what's planned for the day. However, if these meetings extend to 45 minutes or an hour, it becomes counterproductive.

Imagine starting your day with a high-energy Scrum session, geared up for a productive sprint, only to be bogged down by unrelated complaints and issues from the team. This drains your energy and severely impacts productivity. Unfortunately, many managers fail to grasp this concept, making Scrum less effective in the process.

Estimation

If you're in the software development field, you know that estimation is unavoidable. However, estimations aren't always accurate. Sometimes, it can take a considerable amount of time to estimate a task or even a small feature. Estimation heavily relies on your experience and your team's expertise. Many managers fall into the trap of using tasks to create Scrum, leading to procrastination and disappointment.

There are many repercussions of overly rigid estimations, including stifling individual flexibility inherent in the software development process. This can lead to unnecessary increases in developer numbers and prolonged product development timelines. Additionally, expecting a perfect product from an inaccurate estimation only makes a team less effective.

Management

Scrum is intended to manage the product, not the people. Many managers have misused Scrum to manage individuals, creating significant pressure on each person's development. For instance, if you're assigned to fix bugs in a week but can't complete them within that timeframe, it can lead to unhappiness and demotivation. Instead, focusing on the product's progress and what needs to be done to improve it is crucial. When features or requirements exceed the team's capacity, it's time for mutual support and discussion. Furthermore, many managers mistakenly believe that Scrum enables them to manage people, leading to its misuse. Personally, I believe this is something we should avoid.

We're transforming ideas into a product through collaborative teamwork. That's something I always prioritize when working with a team. Progressing the product is the key to driving a strong development team forward.

Change of Plan

Scrum becomes ineffective when you change the plan daily based on conflicting and unsubstantiated discussions. This leads to wasting time on conflicting opinions that don't contribute significantly to the team's product goals. Scrum is truly beneficial because it helps achieve product progress, not for constantly altering daily plans. Therefore, committing to plans for sprint tasks is crucial if you want Scrum to be effective.

Conclusion

Scrum is excellent when followed and understood properly. Don't let it become ineffective and cause developers to waste time and lose focus. While Scrum makes the software development process more flexible, it can also lead to inefficiencies if not applied effectively. Be someone who understands Scrum and applies it most efficiently.

I've found that product development is a complex process and not always straightforward. However, adjusting the value direction towards the product and focusing on collaborative development, enhancing personal knowledge during teamwork, greatly increases efficiency compared to rigidly applying Scrum. This is what I've observed in my own experience. The only thing I find useful is how everyone in the team can work together and align towards product development. That's what matters most.

Our team is on the same boat, keep your team happy and productive. That's the key to success.

I particularly enjoyed this related article and would recommend you to read it as well: Project Management at Big Tech

I warmly welcome any contributions from you. If you have any comments, please leave them below. Thank you for reading this article.