It is difficult choosing Scrum as a project delivery method. It’s also difficult implementing Scrum in an organization that is not used to an agile way of thinking. One might think though, that after a year working with Scrum and successfully delivering a new system, Scrum should be at least considered as a viable option for maintenance delivery.

In my opinion Scrum offers a number of advantages in maintenance:

  • reliable financial forecasts, both for customer and supplier;
  • reduced overhead in change management procedures and overall management costs;
  • self organizing team with a lot of knowledge of the customers domain (which is crucial with a small team);
  • fast delivery;
  • last but not least; dealing effectively with unpredictability.

Actually, the advantages from a project point of view are also fully applicable to maintenance.

Strangely it seems that people revert to old habits. Scrum is applauded for the project’s success, but now ‘things can go back to normal’. I would argue that unpredictability still remains in the maintenance phase of the product’s lifecycle. I think this is where it goes wrong. People think that now the project is finished the problems are resolved and changes are small and can be managed effectively and cost friendly in the old manner.
That wouldn’t be my prediction 😉