Use Agile Method for Ongoing Maintenance?

A programmer friend of mine told me that his ongoing maintenance projects didn’t really require the Agile Method.  He said that he liked the idea, but his small team was just working on short, simple updates to an existing program.  He didn’t need a methodology to assist him on that.

We discussed the fact that the Scrum method was light, but still injected some measure of oversight into projects.  But he insisted that his ongoing work needed no such oversight.  He knew what he as doing, and didn’t need a babysitter.

Knowing this guy, I tend to believe him.  He’s been doing C++ programming for two decades, and knows exactly how to get a project done.  But the idea still bothered me.  Isn’t Scrum for everyone?

I believe the answer lies in the size and competency of the team.  Small, highly competent teams, who perform known work, can bypass the methodology.  Just like my friend said, they know what they are doing, and don’t need any “process” help.

But this guy is a rare beast.

Most engineers face a large number of unknowns, and need a simple system to guide the project team to success.  Scrum does that.  If you are unfamiliar with the method, consider getting a little help from these folks: or these guys