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Dealing with SCRUM Implementation Obstacles

written by: Ronda Bowen • edited by: Michele McDonough • updated: 5/15/2013

This article describes some of the obstacles that may be encountered when implementing SCRUM as a project management process.

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    SCRUM is a type of Agile project. Recently, I discussed reasons why Agile projects might fail. In addition to these reasons for failure in Agile projects, there are additional reasons that projects, especially when utilizing the SCRUM methodology, might be met with obstacles during their implementation period. Below you will find a list of common obstacles to implementing SCRUM for your project management needs.

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    Holding a Meeting Daily

    picture courtesy of Kiwi Flickr Possibly the biggest obstacle to implementing SCRUM into your project management tool is the daily SCRUM meeting. Holding a daily meeting can seem to many as a tedious, time-wasting obstacle. It doesn't have to be. Using a specific agenda - answering three basic questions about what was done, what will be done, and what is blocking future progress - can keep the scrum meeting to no more than 15-30 minutes of your daily work time. In addition, the entire meeting could be held as a virtual meeting thanks to many of the new web-conferencing tools available.

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    Two Types of Backlog

    You may be afraid that the SCRUM backlogs will take over your life. If you recall, however, if you've read the quick SCRUM tutorial I gave some time back, there are two backlogs - the product backlog, a list of constantly prioritized tasks, and the sprint backlog.

    The product backlog serves as a place to catch all of the to-dos that arise during the Sprint. The sprint backlog, however, is a list of the top priority items to be completed during the thirty-day sprint. During the sprint, no new items will be completed. This helps keep the threat of scope creep down in your SCRUM project.

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    The Team Resists Change

    It is possible that you are attempting to implement SCRUM with a team that resists change. Perhaps they are accustomed to using Six Sigma methodologies or Lean Six Sigma methodologies in project management. Whatever the reason for resistance in your company, be sure to institute a carefully drafted change management plan to implement SCRUM in your company. Also, look into some of the great options for SCRUM project management software. By automating processes, it can help ease many of the team members into the methodology.