Scrum is a World View

15 Nov 2011 - 08:33 AM under Agile | Posted by

Guest post by Jim Kinter

I’ve been thinking about how to help a colleague get his arms around a Scrum implementation that seems to be out of control and rife with what my friend Ken Schwaber refers to as “ScrumButs”.

During our conversation, I cringed several times when reference was made to their “version” of Scrum as well as their version of “TDD”.

Yikes

I think that this is a common trap that managers fall into when trying to adapt their organizational culture to become more “Agile”. The bottom line is that if you’re adopting Scrum because of business value motivators like profitability, product turn rates, cost control, or to compress/reduce feature release windows then I would tell you that your heart is in the wrong place and that you really need to re-assess what the value proposition is for implementing Agile software development methodologies/techniques. In my opinion, being successful at Scrum requires more of a change in personal and managerial philosophy than it does any type of technical or procedural change.

You see, I really struggle when I use the term “methodology” in the same sentence as Scrum because it’s not really a methodology…nor is it a technique….framework…technique…bleh. It’s all of those and none of them at the same time.

Scrum is a Philosophy

It’s a world-view relating to managerial interaction with those involved in production.

If you want to know how to succeed at implementing Scrum, I would recommend that you start with a read of Ken Blanchard’s book titled “The Servant Leader”. Once you have your heart in the right place, you’ve put aside the “command and control” mindset, and embraced the TPS/Lean concepts of empowering and enabling the team to make “management” decisions, and finally resolved to give them the power to make those decisions, now you’re really ready to tackle Scrum.

Now it’s time to take on the hard stuff like finding, training,and getting on the same page as the Product Owner(s) and really getting on down the Scrum road. Much like political or religious world-views, If you can’t put aside, or your organization isn’t structured to let you put aside these fundamental beliefs and opinions about people, roles, and responsibilities, you really need to abandon the idea of implementing Scrum/Lean/Agile until you can come to terms with what it means to lead people versus what it means to manage them.

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One thought on “Scrum is a World View

  1. Air Max Tailwind +4 Womens

    “When you have a year where Smith & Wesson ran out of guns and they said, ‘We’ve made all the guns our machines can make and we’re sold out,’ where Americans – the FBI background checks shows – bought more guns than ever before, this is people who had one gun or two guns who are now keeping track of five or six and forget where they put them. ‘I took that bag to the gun range last week or my hunting trip, and now I’m going to use it on my trip to Florida.’ And they just don’t remember.”

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