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Mar 17

Why so serious?

expert-2Scrum has been around for almost 18 years now. Scrum was introduced in a research by Ikujiro Nonaka en Hirotaka Takeuchi at the beginning of 1986 in a Harvard Business Review and it was further developed by Jeff Sutherland in 1993. He, together with Ken Schwaber published it in 1985. So you could say that it has been around for while now. More and more companies adopt this way of working into their daily routines. And scrum teams all over the world don’t want anything else anymore. In order to provide al those companies and teams with the correct knowledge, various trainings are provided by certified trainers al over the world. Various books are written and all over the Internet more then enough blogs and whitepapers are published everyday.

Because of the popularity and high demand the balance between scrum experts and these demands is now almost four to one. There are four job-vacancies against every expert. This is huge but also a big concern. As more companies want to grow and adapt to the Agile approach it is very difficult to find good experts. The only ways to solve this is by training internally or hire anyone who claims to know a little bit about the subject. It is true that organizations like the Scrum Alliance and Scrum.org hammer on the fact that it is vital to have good certification. The Alliance is a bit more demanding in this then others but it may be clear that it is important that good scrum knowledge is vital to the success of it. But why is it so serious. Why not just buy a book. Go to a scrum course at you local training facilitator and be done with it.

We seem to forget that Scrum isn’t just a game you play. It is not about sitting around the table and toss some cards around. It is all about change. Change on all levels of a company. I wrote a few blogs about what can go wrong if you don’t do it well. And what might happen if you just do it half. You can almost compare it to the building of a house (although I hate comparisments like this). If you leave the design to someone who only read a book about building something, you can imagine that cracks will emerge. It is not something you do. After all, building a house or office costs a lot of money and you want the best. So then why are we so lightheaded about change that involves our own companies? As if there is now serious money involved. You need to take it very serious. You need to ask for a high level of quality and knowledge. It is not just a fun development thingy; it is a very powerful tool not to be taken for granted. So stop appointing the one guy who just did a scrummaster course as the senior change manager and demand more. It is good to start somewhere, better to try and fail then to never have tried it at all. But with so many people who claim to be knowledgeable about the stuff, you might consider some degree of measurement to make sure you get the best.  Developers have a saying. “Crap in is crap out” this is not just for writing software with crappy functional designs. Don’t settle for less but take it very seriously. Why? You company success might depend on it!

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