Every day I talk to customers who are using Scrum, and every once in a while I hear from a team on which every member is completely convinced of Scrum’s merits. Those teams are not the norm. Most teams and even individuals have some healthy skepticism about an approach so different than the traditional paradigms they’ve worked in for years.
The most common concerns I encounter are about ensuring strong risk mitigation and improving ROI. Although the metrics used to communicate risk mitigation and ROI are different, the reality is that--despite it being a lightweight framework--Scrum puts a much greater emphasis on these two areas than waterfall. (Because my discussion will focus on how Scrum reduces risk and increases ROI, I will not discuss which metrics are most valuable in Scrum. However, I would recommend interested parties consult Dan Rawsthorne’s article on EVM and EVB, which can be found here.)
But before we get any farther, it bears repeating that Scrum is really pretty simple. It’s a framework that asks teams to self-organize, develop iteratively and deliver incrementally. It employs empirical processes to inspect progress and nimbly respond to emerging business conditions. There are three roles, four meetings and three artifacts (for more information on Scrum’s roles, meetings, and artifacts, head here). It tends to