Friday, October 30, 2009

The "Double Standard of Scrum" Myth

I frequently hear the following concern about Scrum from developers considering it:

"We hear one of two things about Scrum. Either Scrum was successful or if the project using it failed, it did so because they weren't using Scrum correctly."

This double standard creates justified skepticism on their part. This is a reaction to the Silver Bullet Myth.

My response is that Scrum can't be blamed for failure or even credited with success. Teams succeed or fail due to many factors: technology, capability, vision, communication, collaboration, talent or even the underlying idea of the game. Scrum creates transparency into how well these elements are working, often in a measurable way, but that's all. It doesn't prescribe what to do when sprints repeatedly show the game isn't fun or the velocity of the team is low. In some cases, the best you can hope for is to "fail fast".

Success is challenging. The reason is that everyone shares the same goal of success and that raises the bar. It demands talent, passion, diligence and focus if you hope to make a better game that will stand above in the competition to capture sales. For this reason, there will never be a predefined process for creating successful new games.


Mike Burrows (@asplake) said...

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Clinton Keith said...

I love it! Thanks!

Michael Dubakov said...

I think it is even more complex than that. If we define team success as just a public release with good feature set and acceptable quality, still Scrum can fail. It may fail just because team is not ready. If most people in the team does not believe in Scrum and will not change their mind in 1-2 months, Scrum will fail. It is so much about people in software development. Methodology is just a tool from that perspective.

Clinton Keith said...

Thanks Michael,

I agree that "methodology is just a tool", and as the saying goes "a poor craftsman blames his tools"!

Scrum isn't even a methodology. It's framework for one. Blaming Scrum or even giving it credit makes no sense.

Ken Schwaber, in his Google Tech Video says something about this. Fast failure due to a team that is a bad match is actually a sign of success. I agree.

Teams fail or succeed.


Windows Application Development said...

Very much right views about scrum,its just a frame work...not a success or failure key standard