Prior to 2011 "difficult to master" was not in the Scrum guide

May 10, 2018 — Posted by Al Shalloway

What changed?

In '00-05 I taught both Scrum & XP. More Scrum, because it was easy to teach and adopt, while most people didn’t want to do XP’s mandated technical practices.

Around ‘04 Scrum shifted from the individual development teams it was designed for to development groups, with multiple teams having to collaborate. This requires good management and a focus on overall optimization-not the team optimization Scrum strives for.

Making it harder was Scrum was designed for innovators &early adopters, but now the mid to late majority started using Scrum. Its “let them figure it out” aspect became less valid as the problem became more difficult.

Saying “Scrum is difficult to master” hides the reality that’s what difficult is to use Scrum as a transformation method. Scrum itself is easy to learn and adopt if you have what it was designed for:

  1. A cross-functional team with skill to work in small batches
  2. Management & the team have the right values to work together

Most places adopting Scrum today do not meet either of these requirements & Scrum intentionally does not provide advice on how to achieve them. It's not being Scrum is "difficult to master" as Scrum only works on part of the problem.

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About the author | Al Shalloway

Al Shalloway is the founder and CEO of Net Objectives. With 45 years of experience, Al is an industry thought leader in Lean, Kanban, product portfolio management, Scrum and agile design. He helps companies transition to Lean and Agile methods enterprise-wide as well teaches courses in these areas.



        

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