Scrum is dead … or… maybe not really

It is still modern to talk about Scrum and how great it is but at the same time there is another tendency to write how obsolete it can be. 

So… is it good or not really, is it applicable to a variety of different projects and companies or it’s restricted by the capabilities of each product?  

Everything is based on the interpretation and point of view, I think. Do you want Scrum to work for you and your specific needs or you want to go exactly by the books?  

I’m choosing the first one and may be because I love to experiment I believe Scrum can be very helpful and can work for everyone. I’m using it at home from time to time, having fun with my kids when “playing”  Planning Poker for organizing our daily tasks:) 

If you are new to the framework, if you feel those many meetings are taking you away from your “real” work, if you think that much bureaucracy stopping you from being really productive … well, maybe you need a person who can help. Someone who will show you how to make this works for you. Find a Scrum Master/Couch/Guru and don’t be afraid to try. Exactly, the key is To Try. 

Scrum Guide, Scrum Manifesto – great ideas combined together – just use them as a foundation to build your own working system. Learn from the working practice of others, take what is applicable for you, twist a little what is not, remove things that are making you nervous and try. If it is working – great, if not – bring back the uncomfortable elements and try again, harder and longer. But first of all – find explanations, find reasons for everything you are doing. And “this is written in the Scrum Guide” is not a reason in case you are not absolutely aware why it is there, why it is stated as a good practice, how it works. 

Some time ago I was working with distributed teams in several different countries and the daily meetings were Stand-ups. Well, we had colleagues who were working from home so it was really peculiar to see one person standing in-front of his/her computer only because it says so in the books. We changed our daily to match our needs – decided to go over the board, focus our discussion on how to achieve the Sprint goal and stopped noticing if we are seated or standing.

The good practice may not work in a specific case if you try to copy and paste it as it’s described but in general the idea that stands behind is what matters.

 Other example again from the daily meetings : 

“Some Development Teams will use questions, some will be more discussion based. Here is an example of what might be used:

  • What did I do yesterday that helped the Development Team meet the Sprint Goal?
  • What will I do today to help the Development Team meet the Sprint Goal?
  • Do I see any impediment that prevents me or the Development Team from meeting the Sprint Goal?”

Again it is a matter of interpretation and the Scrum Guide is giving us the options to experiment. Most of the teams I worked with at the beginning were taking those recommendations literally and were just answering the 3 questions.  What I noticed is that they were doing it just because they have to, people were reporting, answering those 3 questions and that was it. No real connection to the goal they have, no real conversations, questions, nothing. Again we took the idea of having a catch-up meeting, the need to see how we are going, do we need help, will we be able to achieve our goal and changed a little bit  the format. Instead of looking to each others bored faces we started to look at the sprint board, and to go ticket by ticket commenting on the status, dependencies and priorities of each. That helped for several reasons – people became more engaged, all the dependencies were cleared, follow up conversations were arranged when needed, team was bonded. We all took the good idea and made it work for us.


Scrum would work for everyone who wants to understand and is not afraid to be creative in the implementation using the good and learning from the things that are not applicable for this particular teams/projects. 



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