Why do you care so much (about Scrum)?
I am really passionate about Scrum – I see the Scrum framework as a powerful means for organizational transformation and reconnecting alienated people to their work and their peers. IMO, Scrum works because of its simplicity of roles and rituals and is transformative because it engages the imagination and creativity of the people who participate. Scrum is about self-organization, communication, visibility, accountability and what I call the Sprit of Scrum – the sense of camaraderie, common purpose and commitment – drives our actions on Teams. Where some people see weakness or omission in the framework, I see strength because Scrum relies on individuals and interactions to fill in the gaps, not process and tools that may (or may not) come with the framework.
However, over the past couple of weeks, there has been a fair amount of criticism directed at Scrum (some deserved and others not so much). There are a few specific examples that I could link to and write strongly-worded, emotional counter arguments, but that just continues the invective. What irks me so much about many Scrum critics is they want to take advantage of the large mindshare of Scrum to gain wider distribution of their ideas.
Some critics just go over-and-over-and-over-and-over again about how whatever it is they are doing is so superior to Scrum, how Scrum is so bad and how they are so right. Really? Who gave these critics the monopoly on right and wrong, better or worse? If you have a different set of principles, that lead to different set of beliefs and actions, it does not mean the other people are wrong, stupid or even misguided. Having separate ideas and principles exist side-by-side is called pluralism and is generally considered a strength.
So I ask the question of these Scrum, “Why do you even care?” If Scrum is something you do not practice any more, find value from or you have tool that better suits you and your principles, why do you have to come and leave a big crap in my pool? Why do you have to make things more difficult for the people who really care about this thing called Scrum, the people who really do care and are invested in the outcome? Why don’t you just go to your side of the room and do your thing and leave us alone and let us do our thing? It is not that I don’t like your ideas, but I’m focused on my goal and your not helping me, so I would prefer you just stay over there and do your thing.
Hi, Carlton. I feel for you. However, I think the other people can’t just leave Scrum alone, for a couple of reasons.
One, there are a lot of companies doing terrible Scrum implementations, giving a lot of people the impression that Agile is all BS. Even Ken Schawber estimates that 75% of Scrum implementations won’t get the benefits, so on average, Scrum fails. That causes any Agile fan a lot of heartburn. Me among them; I have to spend all day today, and a number of days to come, trying to clean up after a bad Scrum implementation.
Two, I don’t see the Scrum world doing much about this. The Scrum Alliance and a bunch of trainers have a chosen a very lucrative business handing out certificates that are, if the Scrum track record is any indication, somewhere between dubious and dangerous. I haven’t seen any changes that will threaten that business model, and some (like the developer certification effort) that will support it.
Basically, other people can’t leave Scrum alone because it won’t leave them alone. The dominance of Scrum, and therefore of Scrumbut, is one of the reasons I’m inclined to get out of Agile consulting altogether. That’s fine for me, as I’m ready for something new, but I can see why it’s a big problem for those who are sticking with Agile consulting.