The Pros and Cons of Scrum Methodology on a Nearshore Level

Mexican agency Ingenia weighs up the pros and cons of scrum, giving practical examples and advice for maximizing the benefits on a Nearshore level.

pros and cons of scrum

When it comes to Nearshore software development, one of the most widely used methodologies is scrum, an operating framework that is applied to a number of complex projects. While it is a very common approach, the pros and cons of scrum need to be considered before embarking on a new project.

For those who do not know it, scrum is a process in which a set of good practices are regularly applied to a collaborative project, and is designed to obtain the best possible results. Each part of the process supports the other, so it depends on highly productive teams.

According to the Scrum Alliance, the term was originally meant only for software development projects, but is now applicable to any work environment that needs an organized structure.

Here we weigh up the pros and cons of scrum, giving practical examples and advice for maximizing the benefits on a Nearshore level.

The Pros

Scrum Saves Time and Money

The rules and procedures outlined by scrum are designed to speed up the development process.

The method begins with the scrum master or project manager coordinating the teams so that each one performs its part simultaneously, enabling the final project to take shape on several fronts. Teams that rely on others will communicate with each other to work together, meaning that things are solved in real time.

Daily meetings keep things nimble, and monthly sprints get projects finished on time; scrum masters are there to make sure this happens.

This happens because each team informs the estimated time of hours that will invest in their activities; the Scrum master gathers it and makes a final total estimate to deliver it to the client, who only pays for the time or work, in this way all the parts save money.

On a Nearshore level, scrum works perfectly for mobile app development, as the time zone alignment ensures that communication is easy and effective. This essentially helps companies maximize their resources to improve operations and generate more profit.

Little Margin for Error

The procedures that help to have a narrow margin of error are based on the schematization of the work.

The team selects the right people for each task, so the experts deliver measurable results that can be evaluated at any time by project superiors or by the client. This means that you have high flexibility in the implemented strategies, and, in that way, the process never stops.

Easy for Team Members to Manage

With scrum, large projects are separated into easy-to-manage sections, allowing development to be reviewed with pinpoint accuracy, and highlighting the efforts and failures of each team.

When developing mobile applications, for example, Nearshore agencies will assign experts dedicated to specific tasks. You will have a scrum master dedicated to coordinating the team, which might be divided into one part specialized in Android, another in iOS, and another in quality assurance, for example. There should also be teams dedicated to the frontend and backend to keep processes in continuous revision on different fronts.

Speedy Development Projects

When partnering with Nearshore agencies that employ the scrum methodology, you gain the advantage of obtaining fast, agile changes to your project when providing feedback.

Nearshore digital agencies are adaptive, giving customers every opportunity to give and receive feedback in a way that suits them. This means constant contact with project managers, allowing the chance to individually see each of the parts implemented in your campaign or development cycle. Thus, changes can occur even in seconds, based on their nature and complexity.

In any situation where results need to be obtained quickly, where requirements are changing, and where innovation, competitiveness, flexibility, and productivity are fundamental, scrum is the right choice, but, in analyzing the pros and cons of scrum, it’s not without its drawbacks.

The Cons

Losing Sight of the Objective

With scrum, if you do not define, document, and control the scope of the project along its entire life cycle, it’s possible that the course and final objective may be lost.

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This is a sensitive issue that every agency must address at all times to prevent it from happening, ensuring that a well-defined scrum process is established. Clients should be well-aware of the steps that the agency will follow before partnering with them.

During the implementation of the project, the final objective should be presented to each team involved. In addition, each person should be given a specific goal to ensure that workflow does not lose its course.

Not Ideal for Large Teams

Scrum is more suited for smaller teams, because the project can be greatly delayed if some people on the team are not highly skilled at their function.

For larger teams, it is recommended that a scrum scheme be divided into sections, that is, where each team works under a schematic process. In this way, a project manager can combine all the work done in a final presentation or a common goal, which will give the client the same effectiveness as with small teams.

Requires Team Loyalty

The chances of project failure are high if the people involved are not very committed or cooperative. If any team member leaves the project before it is complete, it has a huge negative impact.

The loyalty and commitment of a team can be subjective, however, so motivation should be the ultimate goal of the project. A good way of maintaining this is by reinforcing the successes of each team and explaining the importance of each person in the final objective. This way, all staff members feel like a key piece in the realization of what the client requests. A win-win situation for the agency and the client.

Choosing a scrum master and ensuring proper planning and goal setting can also lessen these negative points.

Strict, Rigorous Principles

Some of the drawbacks of the scum methodology are based on the closed delivery dates set out in sprint planning. This means that a delay, or change of objectives with a section of the project, regardless of the magnitude, can stop the final delivery or even force the creation of a different work plan.

Likewise, in multidisciplinary teams it is difficult to coordinate the different members for the constant meetings that the scrum system needs, both for presentation of results and for the retrospective of the sprint. However, these are necessary since incomplete work cannot be shown.

When it comes to the pros and cons of scrum, although the scrum system may seem strict and rigorous in its principles, the creation of a friendly work environment is necessary, both within the client company and in the Nearshore agency. Each expert should understand that they are in charge of a specific task within their specialty, and reinforcing their importance in the final goal of the project is essential.


What are some other pros and cons of Scrum? Let us know in the comments below.

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