Can you use Scrum outside software development?

Submitted by Andreas Schliep on 09/07/2013

"Since Scrum is usually used in the field of IT and software development it would be interesting to know whether this method would also be suitable for a larger construction project?"

The roots of Scrum lie in knowledge management, in particular in the context of new product development. Scrum in its core is not an organizational method but a framework for the continuous expansion of the organizational knowledge about its product and itself. The organization of work - or production - certainly follows similar laws, but has a different focus. This is not mainly about innovation but about coordination. Of course, there are several components of Scrum, which are reflected in organizational methods such as Lean / Kanban, which have their focus in production, such as:

  • Self-organizing project teams or working groups
  • Focus on the people who create value
  • Reduction of waste
  • Continuous improvement
  • Completion of products rather than production of parts

Because of these features it appears that Scrum may well be used in the design phase of a larger construction project. In the construction phase, the Scrum team should persist in order to carry out any plan changes. The trades can benefit from the knowledge exchange, even if another planning and organizational model is required. Realistically one can say: the smaller and more individual the construction project is, the closer the planners and the doers can follow Scrum together.

Andreas Schliep

About the author

Andreas Schliep

Andreas Schliep is a founding member and executive partner of DasScrumTeam. He is a Scrum coach and trainer. He studied at the technical university of Bremerhaven, and worked as a software developer, project manager, team lead and group lead. Andreas has worked with Scrum since 2003. He became a full-time Scrummer in 2006.

Since then, he has helped to introduce and improve Scrum and agile practices in numerous companies all over the world. His favorite topics are quality management and scaling.

  • Experienced ScrumMaster, Product Owner, Coach and Trainer
  • Introduced Scrum at WEB.DE
  • Coaching of internationally distributed teams
  • Transition from RUP to Scrum at UOL Brazil
  • Scrum Trainings and Coaching in Germany, Switzerland and Austria
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