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.

Scrum Struggle

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 they 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 talking 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.

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

The Agile Conflict

On one hand, we deserve it. If scrum doesn’t deliver and blows up in our 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”. The secret is that everyone is not doing it the same way.

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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