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Scrum training usually assumes your company's been contracted to produce software for a client. For example, a business owner might hire your company to develop an application for internal business use (like accounting or submitting expense reports)

But what if that's not what your company does? Specifically, what if your company develops software for distribution to a target audience (for example, Microsoft Office)? Is Scrum automatically the wrong methodology in that case?

Intuitively, it seems you could maybe make Scrum work (albeit, perhaps with some modification) in this type of scenario. In my opinion, the "easiest" way to do so would be to hire volunteers from the target audience to collectively fill the role of the "client". Perhaps they could form a council that collectively decides what modifications should be made to the software.

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    Do you have any reference for the claim that Scrum methodology is assuming contract development? Please clarify!
    – Doc Brown
    Dec 10, 2021 at 12:49
  • @DocBrown: From what I read about Scrum, it's a process of continual improvement. The idea is for the team to deliver something to a client at the end of each sprint and get the client's feedback. I took a course on Scrum and the training materials seemed to say that the Product Owner should meet with the client at the end of each sprint, indicating the client is someone you can meet with (like a representative of a company for whom yours was contracted to write software)
    – moonman239
    Dec 10, 2021 at 19:14
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    So you had one course which explained you Scrum with examples from contract development, and now you are assuming that's Scrum, and nothing else, Seems the problem is not in Scrum, but in your course, not explaining it very well.
    – Doc Brown
    Dec 10, 2021 at 21:31

2 Answers 2

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Scrum is particularly suited for the situation where there is no singular client, because there is not really a "client" role defined within Scrum.

In Scrum, the Product Owner should be someone who has a vision on what product they want to sell, what that product should be capable of and what it should look like. This very much fits the business model of a company trying to sell a (software) product to a target audience of consumers.

It is actually when you have a single client who comes to you with a vague idea of a solution they want that you end up with a "modified Scrum" approach of listening very hard to your client rather than having a vision yourself.

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Scrum does promote reactive development as apposed to visionary development. It does not prohibit the latter per se but in practice the reactive forces will be stronger and better supported by scrum than the visionary forces. It all depends on the product owner. If you have one that just passes on whatever the client asks for (which is typically the case in my experience) you will be purely reactive and get that slightly faster horse rather than a car.

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