Scrum is based on velocity and using that forecast when something will be delivered, however most subcontractors charge by the hour, hence the two do not go hand in hand. In which event, I manage them using the kanban approach and measure cycle time.

Is it possible to apply Scrum to subcontractors?

  • 2
    Can you explain the problems you have? Charging by the hour should be how your own team works, too. Don't they have contracts that say (for example) 40h per week? Scrum is a framework that views work being done (=time spent) as a constant and scope as a variable. Which is exactly how subcontractors charge. For 1K$ you get fixed time, but variable scope.
    – nvoigt
    Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 3:55
  • I have found that time doesn't seem to work very well in software development, how do you quantify the time it takes to investigate, and implement something when there is a lot of uncertainty? I measure progress based on the average amount of story points completed in a week.
    – bobo2000
    Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 10:51
  • 2
    "Working software is the primary measure of progress." ;) Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 14:44
  • @bobo2000 Your estimates should include a fudge factor that scales with your cone of uncertainty.
    – Todd A. Jacobs
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 16:56
  • What is your actual problem? Charging by the hour (or sprint) is exactly what you want! Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 13:09

1 Answer 1



Scrum is not based on velocity; velocity is a technique that can be used within the Scrum framework. Hour estimation could be used as well; forecasting and execution could still be done in a Scrum or other time-boxed iteration context. However, it sounds like a Kanban (pull) approach might feel better to you.

  • If you use hour estimation, then how do you set up your burndown charts?
    – bobo2000
    Commented Aug 17, 2016 at 15:11
  • A burn down chart can be used with any system. Whether you are using relatively sized story points or estimated hours or task count, the formula remains the same. The burn down starts with the initial total of the measurements at the beginning of the iteration and tracks the changes. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burn_down_chart Commented Aug 17, 2016 at 16:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.