The hype around Scrum has lead people to think that Scrum equals Agile Software Development. And vice versa. I’m rather happy about that. Well I’m not happy about the fact that Scrum is getting all the attention. I’m happy that after 10 years people seems to have accepted that agile ‘methods’ is something to consider, to actually try.

Wider adoption, more adaptations

While we see more and more adoptions of Scrum, we see more and more acceptance. With more acceptance there is more adoptions and after some time every company seems to be doing Scrum. But … they have their own implementation.

Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with adaptations of methods and practices That’s questioning of what you do. That’s evolution. If it’s done properly. What bothers me is the adaptations that really aren’t. All those teams that never try doing Scrum, XP or whatever as described before losing practices that doesn’t fit in their world. That’s not questioning. There’s no evolution going on there. I think you should try things first, as described and then evaluate the outcome before discarding anything. Like TDD or pair programming for instance.

When people discuss this and an agile proponent hears giving up on practices. Comments like ‘You’re not doing it right’ or ‘Your doing ScrumBut. You missing a whole lot’.

For those of you who knows the ins and outs of Scrum knows that if you remove something, out of Scrum, there’s not a whole lot left. If you’re doing ScrumBut you have at best picked the low hanging fruit.

What’s wrong with that then. I don’t know. What’s wrong with doing things as you always do them? Wouldn’t you be interested in getting more out of your organization? Yourself? Wouldn’t you at least try ‘all of Scrum’ … or something better.

Something better

I really like ‘… or something better’. I think it was Esther Derby who introduced that phrase to me. The ‘something better’ can be illustrated with a simple example, or exercise. I like doing it as an exercise when talking about improvements. It works really well and I’ll try to explain it as easy as I can. Something like this:

Imagine you and a friend planning a party. Every reply to each other starts with ‘Yes, But …’

- How about having a party at Friday.
- Yes, but everybody is usually very tired on Fridays. How about Saturday.
- Yes, but then there's all these other parties we have to consider ...
  let's look at the calendar again.
- Yes, but ...

I’m getting all, ‘I don’t want to plan this way’ only from thinking about this conversation. Not very productive, right? So, what’s the alternative then? Well, it’s as easy as starting every sentence with ‘Yes, And …’

- How about having a party this Friday
- Yes, And if we start early the ones that are tired can leave early
  without feeling they're missing out on something.
- Yes, and if we prepare some food on Thursday maybe the
  guests won't be so tired after all.
- Yes, and we can prepare some activities as well for the
  guests to engage in.
- Yes, and that ...

What do you think? I believe it’s a completely different climate. And it forces you to think about alternatives when you disagree.

Although it’s easy to explain, it’s really hard to practice. You try it yourself, in your next discussion.

How about ScrumAnd then?

I believe ScrumAnd already exist. Under a different name though. It’s called eXtreme Programming. It’s Scrum and programming practices. Now you might say. ‘Well, Scrum deliberately says nothing about programming practices. You can use Scrum to plan and execute anything’.

Yes, that’s true and that’s the problem. People are now cranking out crappy code at least twice as fast as they used too.

Go ScrumAnd.

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About Ola Ellnestam

Agile Coach, Systems developer, Agile Practitioner and father of three.

4 responses »

  1. My version of ScrumAnd is Scrum and XP and Lean: Vision, Values and Execution for all levels of the organization.

    Where life gets interesting is when the customer wants to do Scrum and Waterfall. We know what that’s called…

  2. Ola Ellnestam says:

    I like that and that’s how I look at things as well. I mean the combination of vision, values and execution. Not the scrummerfall stuff 😉

  3. […] posting frequency it will be sometime next year). Please read about the party planning exercise here and think about how it relates to the dampening/amplifying […]

  4. Hi,

    I have worked on similar thought and created a decision matrix to identify whether it’s a ScrumBut or ScrumAnd.

    Please find below the URL of my paper:
    http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/search/freesrchabstract.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6139625

    Vinay

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