Are we missing the mark when we go into clients and simply deliver a product utilizing Scrum? Meaning, are we simply using Scrum to deliver software and forgetting about the core principles and values on which Scrum was founded? As quoted on my t-shirt, “Scrum is simple, but not easy.”
Often times I think people come in with the mentality that we are going to be more effective and efficient utilizing Scrum to deliver our product. While statistics have proven this to be true, can one simply come in, have a backlog, do a daily standup, hold a demo and a retro and expect success? This seems to be the common misconception which is really starting to creep into the minds of individuals. To be quite honest, if you simply implement a framework (the “what”) without understanding the reason behind it (the “why”), you may accidentally reap some rewards from this, but in the long run, will be no better off in bringing your teams from good to great.
I don’t mean to sound cynical, but it seems like the motivations behind Scrum implementations have moved away from focusing on the team and its efficiency to more on the “when will my backlog be done” mentality, or “do what it takes to ensure this amount of work gets into this release” mentality. Is this no different that implementing a constraint for both scope and time, which rarely leads to success?
I just would like to see a revival of the actual values and principles brought forth by the Agile Manifesto. When making decisions within your organization, see how they align to what the originators of Agile had to say. There is a reason that these are the foundation pillars on which these frameworks were built. They were not intended to be implemented blindly. This is another reason why the ScrumMaster position should not be viewed as an entry level position. These individuals are critical to a successful implementation and continuation of Scrum. They are not project managers, they are not senior developers, they are ScrumMasters. A dedicated role with dedicated responsibilities.
Trust me, I know how tedious it can be when individuals start off their presentations with the Agile Manifesto, but there is a reason for it. We are assuming that everyone already understands these and the framework is just a given. I do not believe to be the case and often times I believe people are treating Scrum like a off the shelf product that you can just plug in and be effective.