How does Scrum strike a balance between flexibility and stability?
Today almost all industries and markets are exposed to constant changes. Changes come in the
form of government policies, new tax rules, everyday advance in technology, consumer psyche,
product or service demand, media influence, social media trend, buying motivation and many
more. Whatever the reason, ‘Change’ has become an integral part of any business and Scrum helps
organizations become more flexible and open to change.
However, it is important to understand that although the Scrum framework emphasizes flexibility, it
is also important to maintain stability throughout the change process. In the same way that extreme
rigidity is ineffective, extreme flexibility is also unproductive. The key is to find the right balance
between flexibility and stability because stability is needed in order to get work done. Therefore,
Scrum uses iterative delivery and its other characteristics and principles to achieve this balance.
Scrum maintains flexibility in that Change Requests can be created and approved at any time
during the project; however, they get prioritized when the Prioritized Product Backlog is created or
updated. At the same time, Scrum ensures that stability is maintained by keeping the Sprint Backlog
fixed, and by not allowing interference with the Scrum Team during a Sprint.
In Scrum, all requirements related to an ongoing Sprint are frozen during the Sprint. No change is
introduced until the Sprint ends, unless a change is deemed to be significant enough to stop the
Sprint. In the case of an urgent change, the Sprint is terminated and the team meets to plan a new
Sprint. This is how Scrum accepts changes without creating the problem of changing release dates.
Scrum facilitates flexibility through transparency, inspection, and adaptation to ultimately
achieve the most valuable business outcomes. Scrum provides an adaptive mechanism for project
management in which a change in requirements can be accommodated without significantly
impacting overall project progress. It is necessary to adapt to emerging business realities as part
of the development cycle. Flexibility in Scrum is achieved through five key characteristics: iterative
product development, Time-boxing, cross-functional teams, customer value-based prioritization, and
Scrum follows an iterative and incremental approach to product and service development, making it
possible to incorporate change at any step in the development process.