Scrum – an agile software development framework – has become so popular in the software industry as flared pants in the hippie scene. Which is great, of course. However, what is not so great is how some people are getting fanatic about it.
Sometimes one can get the impression that Scrum wasn’t developed by normal people like you and me, but inscribed by God on two stone tablets and given to Moses in a rainy day. Scrum should be a tool and not a religion. Instead of getting fanatic about Scrum, embrace it, use it and change it according to your needs.
If you haven’t been successful with Scrum, chances are that you have been too rigid with it. Companies are different all over the world and there is no framework which will fit every project. However, instead of facing this reality, people try over and over again to impose Scrum rules to their team without considering their personalities or project’s restrictions. Isn’t it quite ironic to make things so rigid when you are actually trying to get agile?
Scrum has a great potential, but only if used adequately. Adjust your work methodology to fit your team and not the other way around. First, take an honest look at your team before implementing it: is the knowledge level of the members comparable? Are they able to switch tasks? Do they want to switch tasks? How about members’ competition or insecurity? Does management respect limited time boxes?
Then take in consideration all the characteristics of your project and discuss how to implement Scrum with your team. Yes, not with your manager, with your team or colleagues. While introducing the methodology, adapt it every time that your team feels that a change is needed.
The most important is not to implement Scrum word by word, but to implement a framework where your team works more efficiently. Nobody knows better than your team what is going to work for them and bingo – involving your staff in such decisions will increase acceptance, one of the biggest problems when introducing Scrum (hey, this is why there are retrospective meetings, isn’t it? So, take it seriously!).
And please, never, ever reject a suggestion with “this is Scrum and this is how it works”. So, if you want to get agile, you must be agile (Believe me, you are still going to heaven even if you make stand-up meeting only every second day).
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