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The Value of Scrum to Organizations

A Case Study

12 November 2014

Dr. Dave Cornelius

The Scrum practitioners' adoption of the Agile practice indicated a promise of a new way forward for software development management and delivery predictability. However, despite numerous anecdotal claims of Scrum successes in many parts of the world, a lack of empirical evidence exists. The problem has been to close the knowledge gap of the value of Scrum to organizations, to evaluate the value of Scrum to the organizations, and to identify change management activities necessary for effective adoption of Scrum, as perceived by experienced Scrum participants.

The purpose of this qualitative multi-case study was to achieve greater understanding of the value of Scrum to organizations by examining the lived experiences of 32 study participants. Guided by the systems thinking theory, which holds that balancing and reinforcing feedback loops are central to continuous improvements, this study examined the perceived value of Scrum as experienced by the 32 study participants. The respondents came from software companies in 17 industries in which software professionals practiced Scrum and Scaled Agile Framework methods.

The two research questions guiding this study were:
  1. The perceived value of Scrum to organizations
  2. The role of organizational change management in implementing Scrum in the organizations
The study findings include:
  1. Scrum provides a higher level of team empowerment and collaboration.
  2. Scrum implemented using a formal organizational change management process informed the two research questions about the positive contributions to the study participants' experiences.
The results of this study will inform existing and future business leaders, Scrum practitioners, and professional development organizations about the value of Scrum to organizations.

Research findings

Perceived value of Scrum:
  • Enabled a higher level of team empowerment and collaboration
  • Supported efficiency and waste elimination
  • Allowed the software product teams to achieve strategic alignment and transparency
  • Enabled the delivered software to improve customer experiences
  • Supported satisfaction of customer demands with finished software faster to market
Scrum framework implemented:
  • By using a formal OCM (organizational change management) process
  • By leaders providing external coaches and trainers
  • By using limited or no OCM processes
For more information about this study and its findings, read the full paper here:

Opinions represent those of the author and not of Scrum Alliance. The sharing of member-contributed content on this site does not imply endorsement of specific Scrum methods or practices beyond those taught by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers and Coaches.

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