How to fix scrum anti patterns?

Scrum has become one of the most popular project management frameworks, but like any methodology, it’s not without its challenges. Scrum anti-patterns are common obstacles that teams may face, leading to decreased productivity, low morale, and project failure. Let’s explore the most prevalent Scrum anti patterns and provide practical solutions to overcome them.

Lack of clear definition of done

A lack of a clear Definition of Done (DoD) can cause teams to struggle to deliver shippable increments at the end of each sprint. It can be due to a lack of communication and transparency. This ambiguity leads to rework and dissatisfaction among stakeholders.


Collaboration is key to establishing a robust DoD. Scrum team members should work together to define clear criteria for completing each user story. These criteria should encompass all necessary steps, from development to testing and acceptance. The DoD should be regularly reviewed and refined to adapt to evolving project needs and ensure stakeholder satisfaction.

Overcommitting in sprint planning

One of the common anti patterns is overcommitment during sprint planning meetings. It sets unrealistic expectations, leading to compromised quality and missed deadlines.


Base sprint commitments on past performance and team capacity rather than wishful thinking. Focus on realistic sprint goal setting to ensure the team can deliver commitments consistently. Emphasize the importance of transparency and communication in setting and adjusting sprint goals.

Micromanagement by the scrum master

Micromanagement stifles team autonomy and creativity, leading to disengagement, lack of trust and reduced productivity.


Scrum Masters should adopt a servant-leadership approach, empowering teams to self-organize and make decisions autonomously. They should foster a culture of trust and collaboration where team members feel comfortable taking ownership of their work. They should provide support and guidance when needed, but avoid dictating tasks or solutions.

Lack of product owner engagement

Disengaged Product Owners fail to provide clear direction and effectively prioritize the product backlog, leading to confusion and inefficiency.


Encourage regular communication and collaboration between the Product Owner and the development team. Ensure that the Product Owner is actively involved in sprint planning, backlog refinement, and sprint reviews. Establish clear channels for feedback and decision-making to ensure alignment with project goals and stakeholder expectations.

Failure to adapt and improve

Failing to embrace a mindset of continuous improvement and adaptation leads to stagnation and inefficiency.


Prioritize retrospectives and experimentation to identify areas for improvement. Encourage a culture of learning and innovation where team members feel empowered to suggest and implement changes. Emphasize the importance of feedback loops and iterative development to drive continuous improvement and adaptation.

Scope creep

Allowing the project scope to expand unchecked during the sprint leads to incomplete work and missed deadlines.


Define a clear product vision and prioritize features based on value and feasibility. Review and refine the product backlog regularly to ensure that it reflects the most valuable and achievable items. Encourage stakeholder collaboration and feedback to validate assumptions and manage expectations.

Lack of cross-functional collaboration

Siloed teams hinder communication and collaboration, leading to bottlenecks and inefficiencies.


Foster a collaboration and knowledge-sharing culture across teams and disciplines. Encourage cross-functional teams to work together towards common goals. Implement practices such as pair programming, code reviews, and knowledge-sharing sessions to facilitate collaboration and break down silos.

Inadequate Sprint review and retrospective

Rushing through sprint retrospective and review meetings results in missed opportunities for feedback and improvement.


Allocate sufficient time for thorough discussion and reflection during sprint review and retrospective meetings. Encourage open and honest communication and ensure that all development team members have a chance to share their insights and observations. Based on feedback and retrospective findings, prioritize action items for continuous improvement.

Unrealistic commitments by the product owner

Product Owners making unrealistic commitments disrupt the team’s focus and cause delays.


Establish a clear process for managing changes to the product backlog. Encourage collaboration between the Product Owner and the development team to negotiate realistic commitments and minimize disruptions during the sprint. Prioritize backlog items based on value and effort to ensure the team consistently delivers on its commitments.

Lack of stakeholder involvement

Limited involvement or feedback from stakeholders leads to misunderstandings and dissatisfaction with the final product.


Engage stakeholders early and often throughout the project lifecycle. Solicit feedback and involve stakeholders in key decision-making processes. Communicate project progress regularly and solicit input to ensure alignment with stakeholder expectations and requirements.

Ignoring technical debt

Neglecting to address technical debt results in decreased code quality, increased bugs, and slower development velocity over time.


Allocate time during each sprint for addressing technical debt alongside new feature development. Encourage collaboration between developers and stakeholders to prioritize and tackle technical debt incrementally. Invest in automated testing and refactoring to maintain code quality and reduce technical debt accumulation.

Lack of continuous integration and deployment

Failing to implement continuous integration and deployment practices leads to integration issues, longer release cycles, and reduced agility.


Establish automated CI/CD pipelines to ensure that code changes are integrated and deployed frequently and reliably. Invest in infrastructure and tools that support automated testing and deployment. Encourage a culture of automation and DevOps practices to streamline the development and delivery process.

Daily scrum meetings are inefficient

Daily scrum meeting is usually used synonymously with daily status meetings. This loses its focus on collaboration and decision-making. Sometimes, team members don’t find any value in these meetings leading to disengagement and decreased motivation. 


In daily scrums, the focus should only be on talking to each other about what’s the most important work to get done that day and how to do it. Encourage team members to collaborate to tackle problems and achieve sprint goals. Moreover, keep the daily scrums short and timeboxed, typically to 15 minutes.

Navigating scrum challenges with confidence

Successfully implementing Scrum requires more than just following the framework—it demands a keen understanding of potential pitfalls and proactive strategies to overcome them. By addressing common Scrum anti patterns, teams can cultivate a culture of collaboration, efficiency, and continuous improvement, leading to better project outcomes and stakeholder satisfaction.

However, without the right tools, identifying and addressing these anti-patterns can be daunting. That’s where Typo comes in. Typo is an intuitive project management platform designed to streamline Agile processes, enhance team communication, and mitigate common Scrum challenges. 

With Typo, teams can effortlessly manage their Scrum projects, identify and address anti-patterns in real-time, and achieve greater success in their Agile endeavors.

So why wait? Try Typo today and elevate your Scrum experience to new heights!