Scrum Notes 2013-20

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What is Scrum? ▶️


InfoQ: What in your opinion is Scrum (and what isn't Scrum)?

Well, literally, Scrum is the framework described by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland in the Scrum Guide. Beyond that, or rather beneath it, Scrum is a set of empirically proven work practices based on some core human values and principles that are known to create open, trusting, creative environments. Scrum is not a process. It is barely a framework. It is often implemented as a process, and this frequently causes pain. We do the What, and even the How, without knowing the Why.

Learning Scrum is a practice of unlearning bad habits picked up on (e.g.) MBA programs and from previous experience, but perhaps even more damaging—and more persistent—picked up from school as early as elementary level, where collaboration is called cheating and creative thinking is seen as subversive.

Scrum is not so much a thing, as a lack of things. It is the spaces in between. When we look at a tree, we see leaves. Less noticed is the space between the leaves—empty air, leaking light that gives shape to the leaves, that provides depth and colour. Scrum emphasizes a reflective mindset. This might be seen as space in our busy work days—space between the command and the compliance. It is the pause for thought, where we can connect with our intuition and slowly shed our learned habits. Scrum, done well, allows people to move at a sustained, even a leisurely pace, and get more meaningful work accomplished.

Response to a question in a 2014 InfoQ interview with Ben Linders, edited for clarity. The full interview can be read here.

Idaho Falls, 05/12/2015   comment