I call myself a Scrum Caretaker. I aspire inspiring people using Scrum. I prefer showing that I care by sharing positive experiences and cases that demonstrate how amazing working with Scrum can be, what problems can be tackled and how to, the level of excellence we can build into our products, how Scrum can engage people. Ultimately I hope to help people employ Scrum to re-humanize their workplace.
But then it regularly dawns on us — the many, many misconceptions that exist over Scrum. We feel provoked to try to correct the recurring and worrying interpretations of Scrum that are out there. Sometimes that is fun. Often it is not. It can be energizing. In general it drains us. A few lifetimes can be spent fighting that battle. We limit the energy spent fighting to make room for constructing.
A good place to start is reminding people of what ought to be in place according to Scrum. It provides clarity over what is mandatory in Scrum (and therefore, what is not).
Unlocking the benefits of Scrum requires however a lot more than just knowing what Scrum consists of. Scrum is the foundation to a complex adaptive system (‘CAS’) producing results that cannot be attributed to its individual components separately. Unlocking the benefits of Scrum depends more on the way the whole of Scrum is being used, through the rules that bind its constituent parts together. Unlocking the benefits of Scrum depends even more on what the people practicing Scrum do, more than what they know or say in the name of theory. It depends on how people interact within the framework, the conversations they have.
Here are 10 questions to help you assess what you do with the 11 elements of Scrum. Can you say ‘yes’?
- The accountabilities of Product Owner, Development Team(s) and Scrum Master are identified and enacted?
- Work is organized in consecutive Sprints of 4 weeks or less?
- There is an ordered Product Backlog?
- There is a Sprint Backlog with a visualization of remaining work for the Sprint?
- At Sprint Planning a forecast, Sprint Backlog and a Sprint Goal are created?
- The result of the Daily Scrum is work being re-planned for the next day?
- No later than by the end of the Sprint a Done Increment is created?
- Stakeholders offer feedback as a result from inspecting the Increment at the Sprint Review?
- Product Backlog is updated as a result of Sprint Review?
- Product Owner, Development Team(s) and Scrum Master align on the work process for their next Sprint at the Sprint Retrospective?
Minimally, make sure that you remain aligned (6) and that you regularly check what else might be needed (10). Upon that foundation, grow towards saying ‘yes’ to all questions, meanwhile collaboratively exploring different If you don’t overthink your way of working along that road of evolution, you might find Scrum to be of a bare essence actually.
Minimally, make sure that you remain aligned (6) and that you regularly check what else might be needed (10). Upon that foundation, grow towards saying ‘yes’ to all questions.
If you don’t overthink your way of working along that road of expansion and evolution, you might find Scrum to be of a bare essence actually. Do know that understanding that Scrum requires 11 elements to be in place is only the beginning. My 10 questions might help you better understand how they relate to each other. Find yourself at the beginning still. Understand how all of them serve empiricism, the act of regular inspection and adaptation, and how inspection without adaptation makes no sense in a world of Scrum. Separate rules from tactics to play the game. Use empiricism also to explore different tactics
My Scrum Gameboard not only represents the 11 mandatory elements, but also 3 principles underlying Scrum. Understand how the Scrum Values drive behavior.