Using SCRUM to open new stores

Last post 04:33 pm August 2, 2020
by Simon Mayer
7 replies
01:06 pm July 30, 2020

Hi everyone,

I'm looking to use SCRUM as a framework to open new stores. I wondered if anyone has any experience of using SCRUM in this nature, or in a none IT sense.

We take about 12 to 24 weeks to open a new store, so 1 week or 2 week sprints make sense at this point. However, I'm a little unsure regarding "increments of potentially releasable functionality" at the end of each sprint.

Technically, the store is only functional once open to the public. However, the shop needs to be built and fitted, telecoms and IT needs to be installed, the store needs decorating, and the products need to arrive and be put out, etc.

These are tasks that need doing, and are done in a logical ordered sequence (obviously you wouldn't put products out on the shop floor before you've built the store). 

Let's say one sprint was about getting telecoms and IT setup in the store. How is that a potentially releasable function?

Or am I trying to be too true to the SCRUM framework?


02:53 pm July 30, 2020

Scrum can be used when the store is operational. How about Kanban in your case?


04:14 pm July 30, 2020

I'm looking to use SCRUM as a framework to open new stores

Is this a complex challenge, where more is unknown than is known, and the empirical process control Scrum offers can be brought to bear?

08:04 pm July 30, 2020

"Is this a complex challenge, where more is unknown than is known, and the empirical process control Scrum offers can be brought to bear?"


@Ian Mitchell, are you suggesting Scrum (adaptive approach) is not appropriate in this case?  And a predictive approach would be better suited in this case.  However, the Scrum Guide says:

"Scrum has been used to develop software, hardware, embedded software, networks of interacting function, autonomous vehicles, schools, government, marketing, managing the operation of organizations and almost everything we use in our daily lives, as individuals and societies"

If we can streamline use cases like this, it would help to clarify the concept.   Thanks. 

08:49 am July 31, 2020

You can use Scrum of course. But the question is if you need Scrum and if it will be applicable.

You speak telecoms, IT, building, fitting. Will this all be delivered by ONE team or will you have subcontractors to do the fitting and others to do the telecoms?

If you have several sub teams to do certain jobs only, you cannot really speak of a Scrum Team and you will not have the complete "team" together for Planning and Review of each Sprint.


So if this is quite straight forward and with sub teams, I would suggest to take a different approach, like Kanban.

12:49 pm July 31, 2020

Hi everyone,

Thank you for your feedback, based on your advice I've concluded that this isn't suitable for Scrum, so I'm going to look at Kanban.

If anyone has any good links to Kanban, I would be very grateful. 

11:30 pm July 31, 2020

Infrastructure products (buildings, roads, automobiles, etc.) can use Scrum during the design and planning phases. But the actual work will need to be done in a logical order. You better not give me four wheels and a steering wheel and ask me what I think.

04:33 pm August 2, 2020

I suspect Scrum is not appropriate for most store openings. I'm not an expert in this area, but I imagine most of the process is known and replicable from previous store openings, with relatively few opportunities to learn before the first customers arrive.

However I can imagine it being useful for certain niche businesses who are in a position to partially open before the shop is completed. Perhaps a sports equipment shop.

Sprint 1 might just require a cash register, and everything stocked neatly in a warehouse at the back of the shop. If someone comes in for a pair of running shoes, they might wait at the front, whilst the member of staff fetches the required item. The shop would already be in a position to make money, and gain insights about what customers are most interested in.

Sprint 2 might involve building and stocking promotional stands at the front of the shop, perhaps containing the items most frequently requested (based on what has already been learned about the customers). This could also provide opportunities to see how customers respond to special offers, or different types of visual display.

Subsequent sprints might involve converting parts of the warehouse for customers to fetch items by themselves; perhaps prioritized based on the most popular sales to date, or known seasonal variance in the sales of sports equipment.