I'm working on a software development project on a team with only two persons and it's not an option to consider hiring more people.

This appears to be a case where one has to respond to change over following a plan because the team is small in comparison to the ideal 5-6 people.

Do you happen to know successful cases in such conditions? If so, how was the team organized and how were they able to deliver the project with success?

  • Do you mean two developers or two people altogether? – nvoigt Mar 7 at 11:54
  • Two people altogether. – Tiago Martins Peres Mar 7 at 13:04
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    XP has many practices that are effective even on small teams, including customer collaboration and pair programming. You may want to start there, instead of trying to adopt a framework meant for larger teams. – Todd A. Jacobs Mar 8 at 14:11

You can adopt agile with any size of team as it is an approach to doing software development. As you mention in your question, one of the key aspects is to favour responding to change over following a plan.

It gets a bit more complicated if you are talking about using agile frameworks.

The Scrum Guide suggests a minimum team size of 3. This is because with very small teams synchronisation is rarely an issue and so the benefits of Scrum are reduced.

Kanban doesn't really have a lower team size limit although you could argue again that the benefits may be slightly reduced in a team of two.


The same rules apply as for a bigger team:

  • Make sure the stories are well defined

  • Estimate the work as good as possible

  • Have a planning session and plan the sprint according to the capacity

  • Do the work during the sprint

You could argue if it makes sense to have all the SCRUM related meetings because there are only two of you and you work very closely together.

Hopefully there are customers, stakeholders and product owner to show your work to. If that is not the case then maybe just doing the things I mentioned above would be enough and you do not follow scrum to the letter with all the meetings that belong to it.

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