Thursday, June 1, 2023

7 Disadvantages When Scrum Team Consists of Many Members

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Scrum is a popular agile methodology for software development that emphasizes teamwork, collaboration, and flexibilityThe scrum team consists of , individuals with diverse skills and expertise come together to work on a project in short, iterative cycles called sprints. However, while a larger team can bring diverse perspectives and skills, it can also lead to some disadvantages that can hinder the team’s progress and effectiveness. 

In this article, we’ll explore seven such disadvantages that scrum teams may face when scrum teams consists of many members. By understanding these potential pitfalls, scrum teams can proactively address them and optimize their workflow to achieve their project goals efficiently.

What is scrum used for?

Scrum is an agile methodology that is primarily used for software development projects, although it can be adapted to other types of projects as well. It is designed to help teams work collaboratively and efficiently to deliver high-quality products or services in a rapidly changing environment.

Scrum emphasizes iterative and incremental development, with short development cycles called sprints. Each sprint typically lasts 1-4 weeks, and at the end of each sprint, the team delivers a working product increment. The product owner, who is responsible for setting priorities and defining requirements, works closely with the team to ensure that each increment meets the customer’s needs.

Scrum also emphasizes team collaboration and self-organization, with team members working together to plan and execute each sprint. The team holds daily scrum meetings to discuss progress, identify and resolve issues, and plan for the next day’s work.

7 disadvantages when a scrum team consists of many members.

  1. Coordination challenges: With more members in the team, it becomes increasingly difficult to coordinate everyone’s efforts and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal. This can lead to confusion, duplication of effort, and delays in completing tasks.
  2. Communication breakdowns: As scrum team consists of many members, communication becomes more complex, and misunderstandings can occur more frequently. With more people involved, there is a higher likelihood of misinterpretation of information, miscommunication, and even conflicts between team members.
  3. Increased overhead costs: As the team size increases, so does the overhead cost associated with managing the team. More team members require more resources, such as office space, equipment, and management time.
  4. More challenging decision-making: Larger teams can make decision-making more challenging, as it can take more time to reach a consensus. In some cases, it may even be impossible to get everyone to agree, leading to decision paralysis.
  5. Difficulty in maintaining focus: As the team size grows, it can be difficult to maintain focus on the project’s most critical objectives. With more people involved, it’s easy to get sidetracked by side projects, irrelevant discussions, or individual agendas.
  6. Increased complexity of teamwork: When the team size increases, so does the complexity of teamwork. It becomes more challenging to ensure that everyone is working cohesively, which can lead to interpersonal conflicts and breakdowns in collaboration.
  7. Limited participation: In a large team, not everyone can be actively involved in every aspect of the project. Some team members may feel marginalized, leading to reduced motivation and engagement, and a sense of disconnection from the project’s goals.

Processes of Scrum

Scrum is an iterative and incremental framework for managing complex projects. It consists of a set of processes, roles, and artifacts that work together to help teams deliver high-quality products or services in a rapidly changing environment. The key processes of Scrum are as follows:

1. Sprint:

A sprint is a time boxed iteration, typically 1-4 weeks in length, during which the team works to deliver a working product increment. At the end of each sprint, the team holds a sprint review and retrospective to assess progress, identify issues, and plan for the next sprint.

2. Sprint planning:

At the beginning of each sprint, the team holds a sprint planning meeting to determine which items from the product backlog will be worked on during the sprint. The team works with the product owner to select items that can be completed within the sprint timeframe.

3. Daily Scrum:

The team holds a daily Scrum meeting, also known as a stand-up, to review progress and plan for the day. The meeting typically lasts 15 minutes, and each team member answers three questions: What did I do yesterday? What will I do today? Are there any obstacles in my way?

4. Sprint review:

At the end of each sprint, the team holds a sprint review meeting to demonstrate the working product increment to stakeholders and obtain feedback. The team reviews progress against the sprint goals and discusses any issues or challenges encountered during the sprint.

5. Sprint retrospective:

After the sprint review, the team holds a sprint retrospective meeting to reflect on the sprint and identify areas for improvement. The team discusses what worked well, what didn’t work well, and what can be done differently in the next sprint.

6. Product backlog refinement:

The product owner is responsible for maintaining the product backlog, a prioritized list of items that need to be completed to achieve the project goals. The team is working with the product owner to refine and update the backlog, adding new items and re-prioritizing existing ones as needed.

These processes work together to help the team deliver high-quality products or services in a rapidly changing environment. By working iteratively and incrementally, the team can adapt to changing requirements and deliver value to stakeholders quickly and efficiently.


Scrum is an effective framework for managing projects, it may not always work optimally when a team has too many members. The disadvantages of having a large Scrum team include difficulty with coordination and communication, reduced efficiency, lack of focus, and increased complexity. These challenges can lead to delays, lower-quality work, and decreased morale. 

With Scrum Master Certification by Universal Agile you can  overcome these disadvantages, teams can consider breaking down into smaller groups, assigning clear roles and responsibilities, and improving communication channels. By doing so, they can ensure that Scrum remains an effective methodology for delivering high-quality products or services.


1. What is the optimal size for a Scrum team? 

The optimal size for a Scrum team is generally considered to be 5-9 members. This allows for efficient communication, collaboration, and decision-making.

2. How does a large Scrum team affect sprint planning? 

A large Scrum team can make sprint planning more complex and time-consuming, as it may be more difficult to reach a consensus on which items to prioritize and complete within the sprint timeframe.

3. What is the impact of a large Scrum team on daily Scrum meetings? 

A large Scrum team can make daily Scrum meetings more challenging. As there may be limited time for each team member to share their progress and any obstacles they are facing. This can also lead to a lack of engagement and participation.

4. How does a large Scrum team affect team dynamics? 

A large Scrum team can lead to reduced team cohesion. As it may be more difficult to build strong relationships and establish effective communication channels. This can also result in a lack of accountability and ownership among team members.

5. Can a large Scrum team still be successful? 

While a large Scrum team may face more challenges than a smaller team. It is still possible for them to be successful. By addressing the challenges associated with a large team and implementing effective strategies for communication and collaboration, a large Scrum team can deliver high-quality products or services.

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