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OSCRUM: A Modified Scrum for Open Source Software Development

Sheikh Shah Mohammad Motiur Rahman, Saiful Alam Mollah, Shikha Anirban, Md. Habibur Rahman,
Mostafijur Rahman, Md. Maruf Hassan, Md. Hasan Sharif

Department of Software Engineering

Daffodil International University
Dhaka, Bangladesh,,,,,,

Abstract - The Open Source Software Development (OSSD) is a movement, challenges many traditional and commercial theories of
software development. A group of developers, programmers, and other community members develop the Open Source Software
(OSS) in a collaborative manner. Community and contributors provide great support to make the source code of the software
easily understandable and modifiable. However, there are insignificant such standard model or methodologies for OSSD has yet
been established. Currently, researchers are proposing methodologies in this area. This paper proposes a new model, OScrum by
modifying the scrum to make it applicable for OSSD. The proposed model has been constructed after analyzing the key metrics,
pillars, and values of Scrum and OSSD. The model has been evaluated through comparing implementation process and working
procedure of OSSD. The result shows that the implementation process of OSCRUM has a very close relationship with the process
of OSSD and therefore, it fits well in such software development.

Keywords - Open Source; Scrum; OSSD; Comparison Metrics; Agile.

I. INTRODUCTION software development industry is Scrum [7,8].Scrum was

originally designed for use in small team members of whose
Open Source Software Development has become rapidly are collocated, face-to-face working [9,10]. Open Source
growing and widely preferable term in the field of software Software [11] is developed with multiple teams or
development. Open Source Software has become much contributors distributed to several geographical locations.
popular among developers, organizations etc. There are During the adoption of the scrum in the field of Open Source
various kinds of places on the web in which Open Source Software Development [12,13] there are much more
Software has hosted such as Source Forge, GitHub [1,2], similarities found between the process of Open Source
Google Code [3], Bitbucket [4] etc. Some of those platforms Software Development and the Scrum. Some conflicts also
have the power of version control management. From all of happen with the time-boxed concept of Scrum and some
those platforms, SourceForge [5], was one of the first other issues. This study proposes a scrum based model for
platforms which offer to host projects for free to Open open source software development after identifying and
Source projects. According to the official report of comparing the similar and dissimilar metrics or terms of
Sourceforge, they claimed to host millions of registered users Scrum and Open Source Software Development.
and host over 500,000 projects and also connects more than This paper is organized into six sections. Introduction and
30 million users per month to their directory. All of the Open proposed model generation are discussed in section I and II
Source projects and serves which are hosted on SourceForge respectively, a comparison between scrum and OSSD are
has more than 4 million downloads per day [6]. But now, explained in section III. Proposed model of this research is
many users have migrated their projects to GitHub because discussed in section IV where OScrum model has been
of extra facilities. Open Source Software Development create described. Implementation process and evaluation of
a community which has huge interaction and proposed model are presented in section V. The paper is
intercommunication among the world's top developers and concluded with the outcome of the study, limitation, and
also various kinds of users. That's why Open Source future work in section VI.
Software has a large number of testers, developers,
contributors also. On the other hand, Scrum also plays a vital II. GENERATION OF PROPOSED MODEL
role as an agile approach in the field of traditional software
development. Scrum has greater acceptance in software To construct the proposed model, the key metrics of open
development industry and it is also rapidly growing and source and scrum have been identified. The similarities and
widely used software development framework. In recent a conflicts between Scrum and OSSD have also compared in
research claimed that the most adopted agile approach in the

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this study. The properties of Scrum and OSSD are discussed technology neutral.
B. Pillars of Open Source
A. Open Source Software Development From above study, the pillars of Open Source Software
has derived as outlined in Table II.
Open Source Software Development (OSSD) has been
successfully implemented and has received huge attention in TABLE II. PILLARS OF OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE
the last decade. OSSD not only throws a challenge but also Pillars Meaning
threatens to develop the software faster, better and cheaper Restriction Free No restriction to use, to share, to update or to
than the traditional software development [14,15]. The term modify the software according to specific
Open source is not only just limited to the access to the
Open Participation Open for all. Anyone can participate.
source code, but also follows some criteria. A software will
be termed as an open source software if it complies with the Openness Completely open for academic research, peer
review, participate, contribution and so on.
criteria of Open Source Definition (OSD), provided by the Collaboration Collaboration means collective engagement
Open Source Initiative (OSI) which derived from the Debian and sharing knowledge.
Free Software Guidelines (DFSG) [16,17]. Modularity Modularity characterizes the Open Source
The criterion or the conditions of Open Source Definition Development style such as peer review control,
limited information hiding to another developer
outlined in Table I [18]. etc.
Community Communities bring together diverse ideas and
TABLE I. CRITERION OF OPEN SOURCE DEFINITION. share work. A community can create beyond
Criteria/Conditions Description the capabilities of any one individual and
Free of Cost The license of the software or project will be multiplies the effort.
given with full rights to reproduce, redistribute Transparency An Open Source company or individual should
and sell the software or project to any party, be transparent that means frank, honest and
either free or for a fee that means reproducible, operating with integrity.
redistributable and also sell-able without any Early and Often Making the information available with the
restrictions or fees to the users. earliest period of time so that others can check
The source code must The distribution of the software of projects will and review.
be open to all users. include the original and runnable source code Releases Versioning To maintain a versioning for every milestone
of the all released versions or the latest stable of releases.
versions, and the source code must be available
publicly so that users can download the codes C. Scrum
No restrictions are Modification of the software or produce the Scrum is not just a definitive method or technique but a
allowed to modify and derivative works will be permitted. Distribute framework in which various techniques and processes can be
derivative works the derivative works under the same conditions applied. Scrum helps to achieve a clear view of the relative
or license as original software has must be efficacy of various techniques and product management [19].
allowed. It is a framework which consists of roles, events, artifacts,
Restriction of source The license may have the restriction to the
codes from being source codes from being distributed by the
and the rules that bind them together. Scrum is an iterative
distributed may be form of modification only if the license or and incremental process for developing any software. Scrum
allowed if the terms of the program or project allows the concentrates on how the team members should act in a
distribution of "patch "patch files" distributions with the source code constantly changing environment in order to build the system
files" with the author’s for modification purpose of the program during flexibility. Scrum helps to make a real-time decision based
source code for build time. The terms must openly permit
modifying the distribution of the software which is built from
on actual events and information. This requires teams which
program or projects at modified source code. To use a different are well-trained, specialized, and capable of self-
build time software name or version number the license management, communication, and decision-making [20].
may require derivative works. Key metrics of Scrum practices are outlined in Table III
Discrimination against The license must not discriminate against any
any individual, group individual, group of individuals. Even also TABLE III. KEY METRICS OF SCRUM PRACTICES.
of individuals or field must not apply any restriction to anyone from
of exertion are not making the use of the program in a specific Scrum Roles Events Artifacts
allowed. field of effort The Product Owner Sprint Planning Product Backlog
The license The license distribution of the software or The Development Team Daily Scrum Sprint Backlog
distribution of the projects should not be product specific also not The Scrum Master Sprint Review Increment
software or projects restricted to the other software which is Sprint Retrospective
criteria distributed along with the licensed software.
The license must not force to all other
programs or software or projects which is
D. Scrum Theory and Scrum Values
distributed on the same medium must be open According to the founder's guides of the scrum, Scrum is
source software. founded based on empiricism or empirical process or
The license must not The license must not apply any limitation on industrial [21] control theory.
be any specific any particular technology or any styles, it
technology oriented should be technology independent or

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are present in open source projects [26]. He considers the

main principles of agile and open source development like
highly skilled individuals in a self-organizing development
team, continuously changing environment based on feedback
or review, frequently release a working version of software,
integration, and collaboration etc. There is a comparative
study of similarities and conflicting issues or terms during
applying scrum in OSSD. Considering the key metrics,
pillars and values of the scrum from scrum guides provided
Figure 1. Three pillars of Scrum. by scrum founders and the key metrics, pillars and values of
open source software development gathered from Open
Empiricism possess the knowledge comes from Source Initiative and from Raymond's description [27], the
experience and based on the known knowledge makes similarities and conflicting issues are compared.
decisions. Scrum ensure an incremental and iterative
approach to optimize the ability to predict and control the A. Similarities
risk. For the implementation of empirical process control,
there are three pillars [22],[23] exist transparency, The terms "Scrum" and "Open Source" are based on a
inspection, and adaptation (See the above Fig.1). similar set of pillars and values or principles such as
The pillars of scrum come to life and build trust for openness, early and often, transparency, collaboration etc.
everyone when the values of commitment, courage, focus, Scrum has a milestone of sprints which also exist in Open
openness, and respect are lived by the Scrum Team. The Source Development as a milestone of versions. Scrum has a
team members learn and explore those values as they work small team of Open Source core contributors or core
with the Scrum roles, events, and artifacts. developers. Scrum team and contributors of Open Source
Successful use of Scrum depends on teams becoming project both are self-managing. The key similarities are as
more proficient to the line in five values. outlined in Table IV.


Scrum Open Source
Collaboration between a team and A collaboration of contributors and
business persons users
Transparency among the Transparency among main
developer's team, organization maintainer, contributors, and users.
and product owner
Milestone of sprints Milestone of versions.
Scrum Team Developer Team or Contributor
Team members are highly skilled Contributors are highly skilled
individuals individuals
Figure 2. Key values of Scrum. Team members are self- Contributors are self-motivating
Continuous Feedback Gathering Continuous Reviews and Issues
from Users
Requirements Changing Features change based on user
SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT Environment demand.
Scrum Master Main Maintainer
A study expressed Scrum as an "Agile based software Acceptance Testing (Sprint Customer Reviews
development process design or develop to add strength, Review)
attention, evidence, visually, and transparency to Product backlog Feature Lists
development teams during developing the software Sprint Backlog Release-wise Feature Separation
systems"[24]. The Scrum processes follow the agile
Community consisting product A community consisting the main
approach principles. The principles of Agile approach mainly owner, scrum master, developer maintainer, contributors and anyone
focus on: ensure customer satisfaction through early delivery team, management and for a short period of time who
of the software, changing requirements are welcome, the stakeholders wants to be
developer and customer collaboration, release working Sprint burndown chart Progress chart, Commit Chart
software after every milestone as a customer can visualize
and measure the progress, simplicity, making the B. Conflicting Issues
development teams more effective during the development
In Open Source perspective, there are some conflicting
[25]. An analysis found that at least partially agile principles
issues exist in traditional Scrum methodology [28,29].

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Generally, Scrum methodology has sprint lengths around 2-4 in case of implementing scrum in open source software
weeks [30]. But in Open Source development sprint lengths development. However, modification of some rules in scrum
is based on an assumption. In Scrum, the development team can be adopted in OSSD.
should be physically located close to each other. But in Open The modified Scrum methodology is defined as the
Source development the core developer team may locate proposed model named “OScrum”. OScrum is described by
close to each other or may not. In Scrum, there is a comparing with Scrum in Table VI.
community consists of a product owner, scrum master,
developer team, management and stakeholders which are
fixed. But in Open Source development the community is Scrum OScrum
not fixed and may engage for a shorter period of time. In Product Backlog Product Feature Backlog
Requirements list which should be Feature list from main maintainer
Scrum, acceptance testing is done by the specific implemented and core-contributors. It can be
community. But in Open Source Development anyone can from others which are approved
do it. In Scrum, "Product Backlog" has a timeline for by the main maintainer. It includes
implementation. But in Open Source Development it may requirements and design
have or not. documentation if possible.
The key conflicting issues are as outlined in Table V. Sprint Planning Sprint Planning
A meeting for selecting features Same. The main difference is
TABLE V. CONFLICTING ISSUES BETWEEN SCRUM AND OPEN which will be done during the “This should be public for extend
SOURCE SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT upcoming sprint team who has skills and interest”.
Sprint Length Sprint Length
Scrum Open Source
Sprint length is time bounded Sprint length is not fixed.
Sprint Length is fixed Release Length is counted based on an
usually 2-4 weeks.
Sprint Retrospective Sprint Retrospective
Team members physically Contributors may locate close to each
A meeting with the product owner, Same. A meeting which performs
located, close to each other other or may not
scrum master, developer team and by main maintainer and core-
Community member are Community members are not limited or management about the previous contributor about the decision of
fixed ex: product owner, fixed. Open to All.
sprint developed features of the previous
scrum master, developer
team, management and
Product Owner Main Maintainer and Core-
stakeholders Contributor
Community and Community and stakeholders are not A responsible person for the product Basically, this role is filled by
stakeholders are specified specified. Everyone is allowed to backlog main maintainer and core-
for acceptance testing participate. contributor.
Face to face Communication to each other may be face Scrum Master Main Maintainer
communication(Scrum to face or distributed using an electronic The responsible person for tracking This role is performed by the main
events) medium. daily update maintainer
Fixed timeline for Fixed implementation timeline may have Scrum Team Core-Contributors and Extended-
implementation or may not. Contributors
The short meeting daily Daily basis meeting may happen or not. Developers team Core-contributor and Extended-
basis But still, happen for commercial open contributor including the main
source development. maintainer
A review is basically A review is performed by the community Stake-holders Community
performed by stakeholders as accepting and bug reporting of the Stake-holders are targeted users or Open to all
including product owner features. consumers who are not directly
for accepting the involved but support the
completed features whose development process
are fixed Story Story
Stakeholders are targeted Anyone can be a part of stakeholders. Describes the features of the Same.
users or consumers who Open to all. software.
are not directly involved Sprint burndown chart Sprint burndown chart
but support the Progress chart of the sprint. Same.
development process Sprint Backlog Sprint Feature Backlog
Product Owner is one The main maintainer, contributors, and The features which will be done in a Same. But sometimes it may
individual, not a committee users also can be classified as a product sprint committed by scrum team update if new contributions are
owner. Mainly main maintainer and accepted by main maintainer or
contributors have performed this role. core-contributors.
Almost all activities are All activities may be time-boxed or not, it Daily Meeting Daily Meeting
time boxed depends. Short meeting about the daily May happen or not. But it should
progress of the development happen for commercial Open
IV. PROPOSED MODEL Source projects.
Sprint Review Sprint Review
It is basically performed by Performed by the community as
From table IV and Table V, the proposed model has been stakeholders including product accepting and bug reporting of the
constructed. From Table IV, it identifies the similarities owner for accepting the completed features
between scrum and open source software development. From
table V, all possible conflicts are identified that may happen

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sprint length and activities which are

create sprint described by using a
features backlog story of the
which is called activities of OSS
sprint planning development from
meeting. planning to release.
Release Plan They will complete The activities of Similar
and Status the sprint features OSS development
backlog. are listed in release
Features During this sprint, There are so many Similar
Update if any new features alternative solutions
get approved by are founded by the
Figure 3. Overview of OScrum the main contributors. They
maintainer or core choice reliable
contributors, the solutions and when
In figure 3 A, B, C, D are an assumption of product sprint features get approved by all
features which are defined as product features backlog in backlog will be then it’s being
OScrum. For selected features for one sprint will repeat in a updated. updated.
loop. A sequence of sprints including fix and acceptance Source Code The main The contributors Similar
Test maintainer and start coding to a
testing and also sprint review after each sprint retrospective core-contributors local copy of the
in which stakeholders or consumers are including for will review the source code in his or
feedback that happens after the end of the Sprint. The completed features her own
flexibility of changing requirements during development is which are called environment. And
sprint retrospective after completion of
also including. After one sprint completed there is an option and publish the their tasks
for next sprint planning meeting. project with committed to the
It represents Main Maintainer and core contributors as a documentation or main maintainer and
product owner and sometimes users also can be the part of screenshot on the core contributors
web. using a continuous
product owned as user satisfaction is a primary priority here. integration and
The main Maintainer will also act as a scrum master. version controlling
platform like
Gitlab etc for
review. Once the
solution is tested
Evaluation of the proposed model of OSSD has been and approved by the
conducted after comparing the implementation process of main maintainer, it
will be published to
OSCRUM and the OSSD process. the web.
Error Report The community By this time if users Similar
the project and solution and get any
Criteria OScrum Open Source Status review the features problem then they
Problem The main Started with an idea Similar and will create an create an issue or
Discovery maintainer will by an individual or a issue if find any bug report under the
and Finding generate an idea small group and bugs or error in the project .
volunteers and write a published a short project which is
description of that story on the web for called sprint
and publish to the self-motivated and review.
web for gathering self-interested Independent to By this time Contributors can Similar
the core- contributors [4]. Join extended make interest to join
contributors. contributors will be any time but the
Communication Arrange a meeting The main Similar added to the main maintainer
with core- maintainer and core project and will decide to add.
contributors contributors use obviously
through the mailing mailing list. approved by the
list or VOIP tools main maintainer.
like Skype for Fixing The created issues The contributors fix Similar
generating product or errors are fixed the issue or bug and
features backlog by contributors. commit to
and publish on the publishing on the
web. web.
Initial Release After generating Open source Similar Approval After committing By solving bugs Similar
Planning product features software the solved features, contributors will
Meeting backlog they will development the community will commit and main
decide about the consists of various recheck and accept maintainer will

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