Top 8 Mistakes in Scrum and How to Avoid Them

Scrum is used by companies worldwide for effective team collaboration and building complex products. It is lightweight and simple to understand but difficult to master. This is the reason why companies tend to make a lot of mistakes while implementing Agile and Scrum. Some of these common mistakes are:

  1. Practices Without Principles

Implementing Scrum meetings, filling the Scrum roles, and using proper artifacts are easy, but these practices alone won’t make it complete. These practices work on the basis of Agile principles which make them sustainable in the long run. These are much harder to incorporate than practices. Implementing techniques without a proper understanding of how it actually works is the reason why many companies fall short. A proper Agile and Scrum certification is required for the in-depth knowledge of these principles. After all, Agile is about people, culture and interaction, not tools, processes, and practices.

  1. Lack of Proper Product Backlog

Sprint failures happen mostly due to undeveloped product backlogs. This causes demotivation among the teams, leading to low delivery velocity and less value. The Product Owner is responsible for developing and maintaining a product backlog that has high-level features prioritized according to business value. Most of them are not ready to be productive on their own which is why good Agile and Scrum training is a must. They should ensure that the product backlog is created well ahead of the next sprint. Teams should always have work at hand which is of the highest value for that particular time.

  1. Confusing a Scrum Master with a Project Manager

A project manager or any kind of a leader assigning tasks and dictating the team is anti-Agile. A great Agile team is self-organizing and not under command and control. Scrum Master is a servant leader and teams work together and become better, delivering greater values each day. Scrum teams make mistakes and learn from them, eventually becoming productive and carrying out their tasks efficiently.

  1. Communication through the Scrum Master

This is a common mistake committed by new Scrum teams. Team members may send an email to the Scrum Master to extract information from other members or the product owner. This time could have been effectively utilized to solve the problem had they communicated directly. Face-to-face communication is a key principle of Agile. But the cubicle life of technical people has led many of them to be afraid of directly talking to people. This personality issue may lead to miscommunication and wastage of time, which is why it should be tackled as soon as possible.

  1. Product Owner not Available

New Product Owners are not ready for such a time-consuming role and its commitments. Collaboration is the key to Agile and Scrum. Developers and business heads need to work together to produce the highest quality products through constant communication, collaboration, and feedback.

  1. Lax Daily Stand-ups

Though daily stand-ups are brisk, they can’t be neglected. These are crucial as it forces people to communicate every day, face-to-face with other team members, bringing in collaboration, visibility, and transparency. These key meetings should focus mainly on the three questions, my accomplishment yesterday, work for today, and obstacles in my way. Side conversations, problem-solving, and discussions are not to be allowed during stand-ups. This helps individuals to respect the time of the team and its members.

  1. Obstacles not Raised Early Enough

Scrum Master’s main function is to remove obstacles that the team faces. SM can’t help anymore if they are not raised on time. In fact, daily stand-ups are meant for raising these obstacles and team members should be accustomed to doing so. Even potential obstacles should be brought to light so that the necessary action can be taken and sprint commitments may be realized.

  1. Lack of Retrospective Meetings

Agile is all about learning from experiences based on reflections. These reflections are carried out at regular intervals as Retrospective Meetings. This helps the team to tune and adjust its behaviour and finally become more effective. Unfortunately, in some cases, this means that continual improvement is seldom performed. Agile and Scrum only work if we pause to find out where alterations are required.

Following are a few frequently asked questions in Scrum masterJob Interview.

Implement Your Learnings With Scrum

“Learn from your mistakes, move on to the next Sprint and do better”

We hope that you will keep these common mistakes in mind and make your Sprints more successful.

If you have any questions, please ask below!