When is Scrum Not Appropriate?

This week we’re back with our panelists from the Agile Development Conference to ask question three, “Are there any situations where Scrum is not needed or appropriate?”

Jeff “Cheezy” Morgan: “[Situations] where they have too many interruptions, where they have unreliable backlogs, I often look to Kanban to handle situations like this.”

Nate Oster: “Scrum is an adaptive process. It helps you execute on something, learn, and then iterate again. If you’re not doing that, you might not be getting as much learning as you could.”

Janet Gregory: “Very hierarchical organizations that are used to saying, “Do this, do that, the other thing,” and… haven’t really understood what it means to be agile are the organizations that probably aren’t ready [for Scrum].”

Mike Vizdos: “Scrum is not a good situation for teams if you’re working on fixed-price, fixed-time, and fixed-scope projects. If you can’t move any of those three, it’s not a good idea to do this.”

Jeff Dalton: “Scrum is super, super productive if everyone in the value chain, starting with upper management down through your customers are on the same page and the corporate values are driven by agile values, but when they’re not, it’s like pushing a rope uphill.”

Al Shalloway: “I think Scrum’s great and you need to extend it with lean, and it’s the best when you also have the opportunity to have a cross-functional team. If you don’t have a cross-functional team, or it’s hard to start with, then it may not be the best solution.”

David Hussman: “I think more of the rub is trying to figure out what’s the least amount of process that would help people. Sometimes Scrum people can go wrong by prescribing you have to do all the practices when only a few are needed.”

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