There was a recent blog on the top 10 good reasons for Scrum, so in the spirit of equality, I thought I would do one on the top 10 reasons not to go Scrum. Now, before I get started, let it be known that I am a huge fan of Scrum and agile (so much in fact that I am certified as a Product Owner), but there are definitely situations where it just might not make sense to go that route.
1. Your development team is geographically dispersed. In my opinion, this is the main reason why it would not make a lot of sense to go Scrum. Scrum (and agile) are all about communication, and even though technology has made it easier to communicate across the globe, a winky-face over MSN cannot get the same message across as a face to face conversation.
2. If you are currently meeting deadlines and release dates. I’m a big believer in the adage, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Why would you want to mess up something that is working for you? Short answer…you don’t…
3. You cannot get complete buy-in or 100% commitment from management, development, PM, etc. If a PM cannot actively attend meetings, or management wants to make rash decisions outside of the team, then it just will not work…don’t even bother trying.
4. If people need complete clarity about the solution before even starting the project. The very nature of agile/scrum lends itself to this just not happening.
5. You have a fixed deadline, with a fixed set of requirements. This happens all the time…perhaps you have specific functionality planned for a big event, or a big customer. If this is the case, then it might make sense to manage this using more traditional project management methods.
While the original blog that inspired this had 10 reasons, my time this iteration is up, so I will only provide 5. If you have others you’d like to share, feel free to leave a comment.