Sources of Interruptions Experienced During a Scrum Sprint


  • Maureen Tanner
  • Angela Mackinnon


Keywords: Scrum, Sprint, Sources of Interruptions, agile software development, Scrum Teams


Abstract: Scrum, a form of agile project management methodology, comes with many benefits derived from the iterative form of software development. Various organisations within South Africa have implemented Scrum within their development teams and are fast receiving positive benefits from it. While Scrum, in many aspects of the methodology, is highly effective and successful within different organisations, there are always going to be pitfalls and negative attributes associated with the adoption and use of a new methodology. The purpose of this research is to determine the factors leading to interruptions in the middle of a sprint while using Scrum. Case studies were conducted which included 3 companies in Johannesburg and Cape Town that have implemented Scrum. In particular, data was collected through the following methods: 12 face‑to‑face, one‑on‑one interviews with participating Scrum team members; and 1 group discussion with 8 participating Scrum team members. After analysis, five theoretical statements were formulated pertaining to: poorly understood and defined objectives from clients, managements lack of understanding of Scrum processes, high workload, ad‑hoc requests mid‑sprint, and low interdepartmental communication. Results from this study reveal the need to conduct possible future research on: ways to prevent these forms of sprint interruption from having negative effects on the Scrum team and the project; and the effect that these interruptions have on the relevant stakeholders involved. The results of the study thus provide managers with the opportunity to take a deeper look into the sources of their Scrum problems and provide them with an understanding as to how they may prevent these interruptions from causing long term, negative effects on the project and the team.



1 Jul 2015