Apr 10

To Scrum or not to Scrum

hamletA good colleague of mine came up with a good idea. Or better said, a good mindset. For a while now in Scrum there is something known as Scrumbut. It’s like the Pino in Prince2 (Prince in name only). We Scrum….but.. and then the excuse why you are not fully doing Scrum.  “We are doing Scrum but only do the daily standup, the planning is done by the project-manager” . I know of a lot of companies and teams who do Scrumbut. They only do a little cherry picking and avoid the more challenging parts of Scrum. “Yeah we do a weekly standup” or “We do sprints of six weeks” and so on.

A lot of people are doing Scrum but only do a few things. They think that it will work. Scrum has only nine basic things you need to get it running. These nine things (three roles, three artifacts and three meeting) are needed to get it to work. Every single one of these nine scrum things has a purpose. It is there for a reason. If you leave them out, your Scrum-process might not work and you get Scrumbut. Now why is this dangerous? When a company is doing Scrumbut and it does not work, they immediately blame Scrum. “Yeah we did Scrum but it did not work for us.” But when I ask such a company why it does not work, I get all the wrongs and hear the stuff they did not do. So that’s why my collogue said. You either Scrum or you don’t. And even if it looks a bit like you are doing it. Don’t name it Scrum. Call it something else.

It is all about an image and a mindset. If you do it right you can name it what it is. If you are doing it just partially it is something else but not Scrum or scrumbut or scrum-almost-doing-it.

So ask yourself the question. Can you say the words with you head held high. To Scrum or not to Scrum, that is the question.

Thanks to Rien Walraven of Centric, credits paid where credits due.

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