I Did Scrum and All I Got Was This Lousy Shirt

So this came up a few days ago: “Why Scrum Should Basically Just Die In A Fire”.

My first thought was: “Of course scrum is failing him, he’s not actually doing scrum.”

Second thought was: “He doesn’t understand agile at all, does he?”

Third thought was: “Gil, you’re an idiot.”.

Because I have been saying this was going to happen. Last time was on the “why agile is declining” sequel.

No Surprises

We shouldn’t be surprised that people are struggling with scrum or agile, because change is hard.

Bad experiences, coached or self-inflicted, guide our decisions. We connect the results to the experience, because if there’s a name on it, even better. Replace scrum, with kanban, SAFe or XP and I’m sure you’ll find people with similar experiences, who won’t touch agile again.

We know they are “doing it wrong”. That if only had the right coaching, everything would be better. It doesn’t matter.

Here’s a shocker: scrum never succeeds.

When you hear about successful scrum implementation from the people who went through it, they are no longer talk about bare-bone scrum. They talk about a working process that has similarities to scrum. The process is working for the team, and they are using “scrum” as the name they know. Scrum is a toolbox, and a small one at that. It can’t do the work, and it needs to be adopted to the team, the organization. To the people.

So regardless to what coaches may tell you, scrum can’t work, because it’s only a starting point. And we don’t declare wins and losses at the beginning.

The Conflict

On one hand, we deserve this. If scrum doesn’t deliver, and blows up in the face, regardless of where the fault lies, it’s because we, the agile community are responsible to explain scrum. If we communicated expectations better, and did not make it seem so simple, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

On the other hand, we, or should I say I, know that it works. Not as prescribed, but adapted specifically, gradually to how a team works.

It’s easy selling scrum as a silver bullet, because everybody is doing it. Just not the same.

For some it’s a miserable experience, and they call us on it.

The last thing we should do, is blame them for “not understanding agile”.

 

 

Image source: http://agile.logihelgu.com/category/agile/scrum/page/2/

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