Systems Engineering FAQ

Answers by Robert Halligan FIE Aust CPEng IntPE(Aus).

What are the pros & cons of SCRUM?



SCRUM is an iterative and incremental agile software development method for managing software projects and conducting product or application development. What are the pros & cons of SCRUM? Does it really shorten product development?


A comparison by Capers Jones of ten different software development methodologies including Agile/SCRUM2 was published in Project Performance International’s (PPI’s) System Engineering News Letter (SyEN), January 2012, viewable and downloadable at

The comparison is based on very extensive hard data (let me know if you need the full set of data sources).

The conclusion: agile/SCRUM2 is very good on time and initial development cost, but performs relatively poorly on software quality and software cost of ownership over 5 years. Software cost of ownership includes the cost of fixing design/coding errors and defective requirements after software release.

Team Software Process – TSP performs almost as well as agile/SCRUM2 on time and initial development cost, and comes out way ahead of the field with respect to software quality and cost of ownership. TSP is a Watts Humphrey SEI integration of facets of agile, extreme programming, formal inspections, and other approaches.


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