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Jan 29

You’re doing it wrong

Wrong way ScrumI often encounter people who use Scrum according to their opinion as it is supposed to be done but when I ask certain questions it seems they are not doing it at all. I often wonder why that is. Scrum isn’t so difficult but in order to get it to work it is important to at least try to keep some basic rules.

For example a product owner who runs twenty plus projects simultaneously for various customers. And who tries to give all of them the same priority. Together with the scrum master she divides the work amongst the teams. She also changes the priority during the sprints and adds extra work. The scrum master does not protect the team and sets the velocity for the team.

I encounter a team that used six week sprint to do everything. There was no burndown or velocity so they just pick user stories and worked late to get everything done. The scrum master just wend along with this and just operated as a project manager.

I have seen company owners who, despite of the use of scrum, occasionally push their own small project forward. Ignoring al advise and the product owners in doing so and pressuring the development teams in just doing it or else..

In almost every situation I stumbled upon IT managers who where responsible for the servers and release management who didn’t want to work with anyone outside their department but who where responsible for QA en testing.

The situations are not unique, I’m sure you can come up with a dozen more. But I wonder why this happens. Why is it so hard for people to simply try to get Scrum to work the way it is designed. Why is in most cases the excuse that it will not work at their company or department? As if they are so special. Often the lack of knowledge is the case but with a short training this can easily be solved.  People often tell me that they think Scrum is just a fling. Something that will pass by and that it is just something management came up with. It makes me sad sometime to hear that. As if it is just a movie of the week. It is not I can tell you. In our fast moving and demanding world, Scrum might be the best way to get things done. It is feared for no reason and some people think they might lose their control and even worse, they think they will loose their jobs. I wonder if they ever really understood this agile way of working. In most cases I just give the advise to read a book about it and to get more insight and to start talking with experts. Get yourself trained and make sure everyone really understands how scrum is supposed to be working. Involve as many people as you can. And don’t be afraid.

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