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Critical Factors for Agile Scrum and Expert Opinions to Make It Successful

The scrum implementation method is the most popular and very quickly growing among agile methodologies. This is one of the essential factors in the project work of any Software Development company. According to the report, 56% of agile practitioners use scrum in their projects. Scrum implementation in IT Project helps agile practitioners in flexible project planning and execution. Scrum implementation gives special importance to constant contact with customers that leads to higher customer satisfaction. In the scrum, the method customer-defined all requirements at the beginning of the development process. Scrum method excludes the sequence of phases in the project and focuses more on relationships with the customer.

Table of Content

Critical Success Factors

1. Category of Project Team

Contiguous factors relate to the workspace of the project team members. If you talk about the localization of project team members then it is directly related to the organizations. Some team members have their workplaces in the immediate nearness, and the other in a remarkable distance from each other. If project team members do not locate within a short distance from each other then they face communication difficulty. The distance between the project team members can restrict the freedom and prevalence of communications, as a result, unfolding of individualism, which would be a threat to the successful scrum implementations and project management concepts.

2. Cultural and Psychological Aspects

The Self-reliance of team members, associated with low skills in team working and the hesitation to share problems. These kinds of negatively affect the creation of a cooperation-oriented, harmonious, and encourage disinclination, which is opposite to the idea of scrum implementation in IT projects. Always being late in meetings and absenteeism at meetings and the lack of information about having to be absent at meetings.

3. Process and Method

As we all know that the commitment of the scrum master in the Scrum team, as well as the role of the product owner, who had detailed knowledge of the business needs and product backlog, is very significant. In absence of scrum master during the scrum meetings or his/her finite efforts in helping the development team were major problems that come up with many problems in the scrum implementation. The understanding problem of project principles and values by all the scrum members in the scrum team.

4. Environment

Sometimes overlapped entire organization appointments with project meetings. Stiff adherence in the organization to the adopted schedules and plans, dependencies between the teams and limited communication with customers.

5. Technology

Sometimes the use of innovative technologies that the scrum team did not know and had to learn, lack of competence of team remembers, may create uncertainty and risk which adversely affected the success of the Scrum implementation.

Expert Views to Optimize SCRUM (Agile) Implementation

1. Actually Follow Scrum Process and Iteratively Improve Process

“I've seen it too many times where a team says they are going to follow Scrum for their team, and then proceed to no follow any processes that are even remotely Scrum. Just because you say you are implementing Scrum, doesn't mean you are. Others take the idea of "make it work for you" too far and twist it into something completely not Scrum.

Instead teams, should start with true Scrum methodology and iteratively improve over time. If you start with a solid foundation and improve it from there through actual practice, you will have a high chance of success. Do not start from some contrived form of Scrum you came up with and try to run a project that way.

The key point is Actually follow Scrum process and iteratively improve process. You can't forget to improve process.”

- Tim Harrison, VP of  SQA²

2. Collaboration Between the Team and Product Owner

“The biggest mistake most organizations make when implementing Scrum is thinking that becoming Agile is easy. As the Scrum Guide says, “learning Scrum is easy, mastery is hard.” Being Agile is adopting a new mindset built around self-organizing and empowered team. The Scrum practices are the scaffolding that helps a team become Agile and deliver incrementally and iteratively. But the magic is collaboration between the team and product owner working closely together to deliver products of the highest possible value.”

- Alan Zucker, Founding Principal of  Project Management Essentials LLC

3. Listen to Your Team

“Listen to your team about how often and when to have the Daily Scrum, but keep the Scrum itself crisp.

The Daily Scrum is a short check-in meeting that happens at the same time every day. The problem is that not all teams are moving at the same pace, so daily might be too often — or not often enough. When teams don’t have much new progress to report, daily Scrums become tedious and create a sense of stagnation rather than progress. For these teams twice or three times a week might be better. But no matter how often a team Scrums, the structure of the meeting is the same: three questions (What did I do? What will I do? What help do I need?) and two answers (Thank you! - or - I can help with that!).”

- Katherine Radeka From  Rapid Learning Cycles Institute

4. Plan for the Team, Optimize for Individuals

“The highest priority any scrum master should seek is to optimize each and every developer resources (Time, knowledge and experience), That's what I call "Plan for the team, optimize for individuals". Events should be planned for the team and to serve the team goal through iterations (sprints), however, on each retrospective, the main question to ask as a scrum master, are we optimizing the process for each and every individual? if any event is a waste of time for any team member, then you, as a scrum master, have some serious problem to tackle.

Another thing to keep in mind, as a scrum master, you are a servant to the team, not manager. Your ultimate goal is to empower the team itself (through the team members abilities and experiences) to be able to remove any roadblocks with the least amount of help from you or other external sources. Micromanaging the team in a way that you are the main roadblocks remover won't scale and won't allow your team to glow. Micromanaging the team in a way that you are the main point of contact for problems isn't scrum, but a very classical approach of managing. Your ultimate goal is not to remove the block, but to provide your team members the best process to remove the block.”

- Fady from

5. Magic Power of Buy-in

“When implementing Agile frameworks and Scrum, in particular, many organizations go one of the false ways – either imposing it as a law from the top management, neglecting the people’s opinion, seeing it as a team level toy in order to please the demanding customer; or viewing it simply as a short term experiment that is destined to decay very fast. All of the abovementioned is the result of lack of communication and consensus between involved parties or, in short, absence of buy-in.”

- Andrew Romanukha, Scrum Master at  Symphony Solutions

6. Keep the Customer Involved

“The customer is an often-overlooked player in the Agile/Scrum world, but is a crucial component to the success of any Agile project. One of the essential challenges that a scrum master faces is to keep the customer involved and engaged throughout the development lifecycle.The key principles on which Agile is founded depend on constant feedback from the business customer.

In Agile, we accept, and even welcome, changing requirements. We strive to deliver value early and continuously. We acknowledge and understand that the customer’s personal vision of the software is often different than how it is initially implemented by the software team. In my experience, a partially finished product is often a great catalyst to spark a conversation that helps a developer understand where the customer is coming from, or for the customer to realize that what they need is actually quite different than what they asked for.

Without a customer present, the software team is unable to react and adjust to the customer's needs. Without a customer present, the team is not Agile.At a minimum, the customer should be represented at all end-of-sprint demos, and ideally, should be able to interact with working software every sprint. Whenever possible, the customer should participate in planning sessions, as well as any backlog grooming meetings.

The customer should review and approve all acceptance criteria and be responsible for UAT signoff on each completed story. It's the responsibility of the scrum master to make sure the customer attends the appropriate ceremonies and to conduct those ceremonies in a way that they are actively engaged. The scrum master should always ensure that the customer understands their critical role as an invaluable member of the team.”

- Steven Baylor, Senior Engineer and Partner of  Applied Logix

7.Commit to the Process

“You have to commit to the process. Companies that have difficulty implementing SCRUM tend to implement a hybrid of SCRUM and their current project management processes. Secondarily, understanding, and adhering to the time boxes allotted for each phase of the SCRUM process is paramount. If you don't adhere to the time boxes, you'll find yourself having more meetings than necessary and become burned out and feel that SCRUM does not work.”

- Laura Fuentes, Operator of  Infinity Dish


A Scrum team should be focused on flexibility, creativity, and productivity. The project team factors have a significant effect on the establishment of an involved scrum project team, Separate areas of competence of the team members is an important factor associated with the specific competences of project team members. The appearance of casual relations made people not want to disappoint each other.