An Analysis of the Benefits and Pitfalls of the Scrum Methodologies

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On this paper, we discuss the benefits of using the scrum methodology, we also discuss the pitfalls that a company may encounter using the scrum methodologies, when the proper steps of integration, have not been taken. We will look at how the scrum methodology can be used, for hardware development in order for a company to finish their hardware while meeting deadlines, and cutting costs. We are going to base our critique on the results of papers, which examined the scrum methodology, in order to determine the best way to use Scrum. We are also going to discuss the scrum process, during the test protocol of a product, in order to measure the quality of the test process, which followed the scrum model.

This paper evaluates, the benefits of the scrum methodology, when this method of software development is used, in different industries. The scrum methodology has revolutionized the software development life cycle, but a look at its benefits and disadvantages, will help us understand, the best way to implement scrum by any company, that needs this model; in order to cut cost, meet deadlines, or satisfy clients.

Keywords: Scrum, product development, software


According to Permana (2015), the speed and flexibility of software development project management are expected to increase when the scrum methods are utilized by any company. The practices of the scrum model, are few and straightforward, which makes scrum a simple agile methodology. Scrum has gained the spotlight in the software development market, as a framework that can be used to manage an agile project (Santana et al., 2017). According to Santana et al. (2017), Jeff Sutherland, John Scumniotales, and Jeff McKenna designed the scrum model in 1993. The Scrum model consists of the product owner (PO), or the person who has the need to develop the application; the scrum team, which is the development team and the scrum master, who is responsible of making sure that the scrums are running smoothly, and identifies any problems, which would prevent the scrum team, from doing their jobs correctly (Santana et al., 2017). The first paper that was reviewed, talked about the application of the scrum methods, in mechanical product development (Reynisdóttir, 2013).

The author of the thesis wanted to investigate the possibility of using Scrum during the development of mechanical products (Reynisdóttir, 2013). The thesis presented three mechanical and hardware design and development processes, which used the Scrum methodology, in order to determine the results of using the scrum model (Reynisdóttir, 2013). The scrum model has been used in many industries because it enhances the iterative and incremental, object-oriented software development life cycle, which is commonly used (Jeldi & Chavali, 2013). On another paper written by Qurashi & Qureshi (2014), they explored the use of the scrum methodology, on large size team, because the scrum methodology, is not recommended for managing large teams. A solution called a Scrum of Scrum is proposed by Qurashi & Qureshi (2014), in order to optimize team communication. The proposed solution is supposed to make sure that the system works after it has been developed; also that part of the system doesn’t always have to depend on each other, and finally that parts of the system are not duplicated (Qurashi & Qureshi, 2014).

On a paper written by Kayes, Sarker & Chakareski (2014), they studied the benefits of using the Scrum methodology, during the testing process of a product. A metric which measures the quality of the testing process, using the scrum process, is presented by the work done by Kayes, Sarker & Chakareski (2014). According to Kayes, Sarker & Chakareski (2014), improved test quality, can make sure that products are developed in high quality. Kayes, Sarker & Chakareski (2014), were able to use their developed metric, in order to assess the testing process of the development cycle of a product.

Scrum methodologies can make the performance of a business, to become much better, business profit can increase, and a better decision can be made, in order to make a smart investment, due to the increase in communication (Permana, 2015). Some projects, don’t have all the requirements up front; therefore, flexible project management methods, have to be developed, in order to deal with the harsh realities, that uncertainties can bring, into the complexity of a complex project (Rad & Turley, 2013).

Methods and Results

In order to examine the benefits of the scrum model, in the development process of mechanical products, Reynisdóttir (2013), used three case studies, which used the scrum method, in the mechanical and hardware design and development process. A mechanical development team was observed for seven months, while the team experimented with Scrum. Through observation, interview and informal conversation, Reynisdóttir (2013), was able to come to his conclusion about the scrum methodology. According to Reynisdóttir (2013), it is possible to use the Scrum methodology, in the development process of mechanical products. The scrum model can improve the communication within a team of developers; also the product is viewed, by virtually anyone who is involved, with the team (Reynisdóttir, 2013).

The only drawback that Reynisdóttir (2013), observed, was that the implementation of Scrum has to be done the right way, or else the scrum methodologies can hurt a company, and not help that organization. On the work performed by Qurashi & Qureshi (2014), the scrum methodology was evaluated on a large team. In order to assess the benefits of a scrum, Qurashi & Qureshi (2014), provided a solution called the scrum of a scrum, which created an environment with better communication and collaboration among team members of a large IT company. In order to conduct the scrum of scrum meetings, groups were divided into two or more teams, depending on how large the group was (Qurashi & Qureshi 2014).

The scrum of scrum meetings can help businesses, scale up a scrum to large project teams, which would allow teams, to discuss their work (Qurashi & Qureshi 2014). Scrums methods on large teams can also have its drawbacks though because the teams are working on the same project, and there could be a duplication of work, problem integrating different parts of the project and failing to communicate (Qurashi & Qureshi 2014).

On the work done by Kayes, Sarker & Chakareski (2014), they were able to assess the testing process of a product, which used the Scrum methods, by using a metric Product Backlog Rating (PRB). A numerical score of the testing process is offered by PRB because this metric considers the complexity of the different parts of a product, which needs to be developed using scrum; and PRB also assesses the testing process of that product (Kayes, Sarker & Chakareski 2014). A case study done at a company was used in order to test PRB, and Kayes, Sarker & Chakareski (2014), gained insights into the Scrum testing process. Unfortunately, an accurate assessment of the testing process which follows scrum methodologies, could not be obtained, due to the fact that, a lot of development-driven factors and also deployment-driven factors, may affect the quality of the product (Kayes, Sarker & Chakareski, 2014).

Discussion and Conclusion

The scrum methodology is indeed very helpful to many businesses, however, it has to be the right type of a business and the right size as well. On a large size team, there could arise many issues when scaling scrums, such as having a hard time communicating with team members and the product owner. Project time and cost estimation, cannot be assessed the right way, when the scrum methodology is used, because the product owner, may become demanding, for more functionality during the project. Demoralization and failure of the project can also occur, due to the fact, that the scrum master is too strict with the developers when the scrum methodology is used.

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