Skip to main content

Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we have paused all purchases and training in and from Russia.

Can Scrum be applied to teams that do not develop software?

Last post 05:03 pm December 9, 2020 by Ian Mitchell
9 replies
12:07 pm December 1, 2020

As I see it the original goal of Scrum was to improve the process of software development. Nowadays a lot of companies that are not at all involved in software development have started using Scrum. Can Scrum work for teams that do not develop software? I can imagine that teams working on a product might benefit for Scrum, but how about teams rendering services?


04:52 pm December 1, 2020

Hi Bert, most definitely Scrum is used well beyond software development. As a matter of fact, the 2020 version of the Scrum Guide points to that exact point. We have several articles and case studies on Scrum used in many areas including hardware development, home use for helping children with ADHD, marketing, HR and much more


05:21 pm December 1, 2020

I can imagine that teams working on a product might benefit for Scrum, but how about teams rendering services?

In Scrum product delivery might be rendered as a service. The application of Professional Scrum with Kanban may help service level expectations to be met.


06:16 pm December 1, 2020

In answer to the question "Can Scrum be applied to teams that do not develop software?" my answer is an unequivocal yes.  I spent the lst 3+ years of my consulting career working with Internal Audit departments who used Scrum effectively. I'm also aware of a number of other non-software organisations using Scrum.

In answer to the question "I can imagine that teams working on a product might benefit for Scrum, but how about teams rendering services?" the Scrum Guide says 'yes' because of the way it defines product : "A product is a vehicle to deliver value. It has a clear boundary, known stakeholders, well-defined users or customers. A product could be a service, a physical product, or something more abstract."

That said, I agree with @Ian - Professional Scrum with Kanban can be a great approach to realise benefits

 


11:39 pm December 1, 2020

Scrum originated from the original best practices around Product Development. Those product teams were developing physical items, like copiers, vehicles, etc. So Agile can be traced to Scrum which can be traced to Product Development and Management.


05:28 pm December 2, 2020

I worked with a company whose Human Resources (not politically correct but at the time that was their title) used Scrum for much of their work.  Another company I worked for used Scrum to manage the entire business. Even the C-level staff operated in 4 week Sprints. I've also helped introduce some Scrum practices into a medical lab environment.  I helped a parochial school use Scrum for their self-guided educational practices.  And to go full nerd on you, I used Scrum at home when we were upgrading our patio area in the backyard of my house.  

Yes it can be used for areas other than software development.


09:55 am December 4, 2020

Eric, could you please point me to the case studies from the marketing area? I cannot find them in the case study database when searching with the term "marketing". 


04:13 pm December 4, 2020

@Dennis, here you go: https://www.scrum.org/resources/avanade-uses-agile-accelerate-its-digital-and-business-transformation.  Here is some other information as well:

 

  • https://www.scrum.org/resources/blog/scrum-marketing
  • https://www.scrum.org/resources?search=marketing&field_resource_tags_target_id=All&type=115

04:33 pm December 9, 2020

Thanks @Eric.

The case study itself says nothing about how Avanade puts Agile and/or Scrum into practice in their marketing activities.

The blog post is very helpful. It mentions some points which I really see as a roadblock to true agile transformation: too many dependencies, too many stakeholders having a say in too many things at once. Although the video of Dave Dame from Scotia Bank still felt so far away from my reality in the marketing environment, despite being a comparable bank to UBS. It sounds more like he describes IT-Teams which are developing solutions for marketing teams, but not like marketing teams using Scrum in their day-to-day work to get marketing campaigns and communications out.


05:03 pm December 9, 2020

It sounds more like he describes IT-Teams which are developing solutions for marketing teams, but not like marketing teams using Scrum in their day-to-day work to get marketing campaigns and communications out.

My advice is to consider where marketing fits in the value stream. You are rather more likely to see Scrum Teams making use of analytics to help their Product Owner manage value. Developers on such a team will comprise IT and marketing specialists, as well as others. Your sweet spot for case studies may lie between analytics and digital services, e.g.:

http://www.digitaltrainingacademy.com/casestudies/tag/analytics