How Scrum’s core is useful and incorporates the essence of Agile

This post continues my series on Getting Back to the Original Scrum.

Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland captured several key concepts of what The New New Product Development Game (TNNPDG) suggested how product development teams should work. I believe these core roles, practices, events and rules are the core reason that Scrum works. These include:

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Getting back to the original Scrum

This post begins my series on Getting Back to the Original Scrum.

I understand why people think I don’t like Scrum. I have been struggling with this myself. I have used Scrum for almost 2 decades with great results. But I teach it differently and base it on a different model than the Scrum Guide.

I’ve been realizing what I love about Scrum comes from The New New Product Development Game and what I don’t comes from its redefinition.

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How Scrum creates ScrumBut and what to do about it

 

What is ScrumBut?

Scrum org defines “ScrumBut” as “that Scrum has exposed a dysfunction that is contributing to the problem, but is too hard to fix. A ScrumBut retains the problem while modifying Scrum to make it invisible so that the dysfunction is no longer a thorn in the side of the team.”

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Why I hate the term ScrumBut

Scrum org defines “ScrumBut” as “that Scrum has exposed a dysfunction that is contributing to the problem, but is too hard to fix. A ScrumBut retains the problem while modifying Scrum to make it invisible so that the dysfunction is no longer a thorn in the side of the team.”

Scrum assumes that people doing Scrum stay within the confines of Scrum’s immutable artifacts, roles, events, and rules. However, when problems arise there are times that they can be solved with methods outside of Scrum. Sometimes, the cost of accommodating them is lower than the cost of fixing them. If you want to be doing Scrum you can’t do the first and Scrum gives no guidance on the second.

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Getting to cross-functional teams

Self-organizing, cross-functional teams are good when it is possible and advisable to achieve them.

The question is how do you create them? I tend to look at the edge conditions because I believe that when you learn to handle difficult cases you also learn how to manage and teach the easier cases even better.

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Presumptions I Do Not Believe In

This blog was originally written in August of 2014. I’ve added a few items today. And will continue to add items as they occur to me.  When I first wrote this I called them ‘myths’ but now call them presumptions since that is more indicative of what they are.

The difference between science and religion is religion can’t abide being wrong science seeks to be wrong. Neil Tyson

One of my frustrations in the Agile industry is that so many people continue to propagate ideas which have never been truly explored and which I do not to believe to be true.  One of the foundations of the scientific method is “scientific skepticism.” Scientific skepticism means both that one does not accept something as true without evidence. And even when accepted as likely true, we keep looking for evidence that it is not.

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Challenging the Assumption That One Must Get Teams to Work First

This post was originally written 2014-03-15

As some of you may have seen, Ron Jeffries put forth a blog on SAFe that assumes something I don’t agree with – always get teams doing Agile before starting to scale. By Scale, I don’t mean making projects larger, but rather having Agile extend across the entire project.

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The Implications of Systems Thinking and Complex Systems

This was originally written 2013-12-30 22:56 by Al Shalloway

I have just started writing a new book and there is a section in the introduction that I thought would be interesting to people. It’s called “Systems Thinking and Complex Systems.” Here is an early version.

I keep hearing that because we are working on complex systems we cannot have full coverage of what to look for. I think it is just the opposite. Because we are working on complex systems we must have complete coverage.
Systems Thinking and Complex Systems[1]

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We shouldn’t be surprised by Dark Agile. We should be surprised Agile works as well as it does

Our Agile at scale methods are often like driving on the wrong side of the road in reverse during a rainstorm. While the driver’s are well intended, and may even appreciate that at least they’re in a car, that are better ways. Here’s a list of things we must do that are usually not done when attempting Agile at scale.

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How Successful Pilots Often Actually Hurt an Organization

Originally posted October 3, 2010

It is seductive to think about scaling Agile up from teams to the enterprise. It seems the correct path to take because you can almost always find a team or two where Agile methods lead to great improvements over Waterfall methods. But what works for a few teams at the local level often obscures the bigger picture: creating enterprise agility. Enterprise agility is the ability of an organization to deliver value quickly when needed. Sadly, I have seen many organizations achieve many successes locally – team agility – and move even further away from enterprise agility.

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