Scrum Agile Project Management

Scrum… Really

Scrum has long been the most popular of the Agile approaches for software development. But what is Scrum really about? What does a great Scrum team look like? Is Scrum really the flexible, free-spirited collection of ‘frameworks’ that are so often believed to be able to be tailored to suit what works for us? In our attempts to be ‘Agile’, have we forgotten the benefits of structure and discipline? Do we bend Scrum too much to suit us, and what is the impact of this?

I’ve worked with many Scrum and Kanban teams, including those that sit within a heavier Agile methodology such as SAFe and RUP as well as those working in isolation of a surrounding Waterfall organisation. However, every time I work somewhere new I see the same problems over and over again that contribute to teams failing to meet their potential to be high performing. The same applies when I visit Agile meetings and conferences and talk to people about how they have tried to ‘go Agile’, but it doesn’t seem to be working for them.

Recently, I have seen a growing trend in Agile professionals coming to the conclusion that a more evangelistic approach is more likely to bring success to Businesses and teams. Management buy in is essential, however I’d like to focus my discussion on why I believe discipline, routine, structure and a thorough understanding of the Scrum process is key to a great Scrum team, and also explain that this doesn’t mean the team are stifled creatively, nor are their environments controlling, it’s actually quite the opposite…

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