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Is Scrum difficult?

Last post 01:16 pm June 26, 2019 by James Moffat
8 replies
10:55 pm June 24, 2019

​​​​Genuine question to the forum: if someone asked ‘Is Scrum difficult?’ what would be your answer.

It’s not a trick question. Look forward to responses (if I get any :) )

03:33 am June 25, 2019

Would you agree that Scrum is lightweight and simple to understand, but difficult to master?

09:58 am June 25, 2019

Yes, simple to understand and hard to master. And for me, if you truly adopt inspect & adapt on yourself, if you retro yourself ;), it is a never ending journey

11:33 am June 25, 2019

Thanks for the answers Ian and Xander.

The crux of the question is what does excellent scrum look like?

Are you saying that simple means easy?

If it's difficult to master *what* is difficult?

11:57 am June 25, 2019

In my view, the true power of Scrum lies in true adoption of Transparency, Inspect and Adapt.

That is simple, right? And easy... to write, and read....

But it is very hard, in daily routines, to spot where transparency might be less or could be improved, where we might not have inspected properly (or at all), and where our true adapting could take place (or could have taken place).

I see it myself as well. So many things that could easily be overlooked, so many things I did overlook. So many consequences of actions or inactions that accidently hampered or hindered transparency or adapting.

From wrong assumptions to limiting beliefs, gossiping, form misinterpretation of the Scrum Guide to organizations who say Scrum but do something else. And the true devel is in the details....

There is much to miss, so much do...

Good scrum is to take these concepts and spot them. Excellent Scrum is take these concepts by heart, and actively pursue them in all aspects. Perfect Scrum is an utpia. So on that scale, I would say, it can be quite challenging and difficult to reach or surpass the level or Excellent Scrum ;)

01:24 pm June 25, 2019

If I could like your comment Xander I would have :D

03:45 pm June 25, 2019

The Scrum Guide says

Scrum is:

  • Lightweight
  • Simple to understand
  • Difficult to master

The Scrum Guide provides a lightweight framework in which to work. And reading the Scrum Guide does not take long and you can get a general understanding. The first two are very much true. 

The third bullet is also very much true.  Every time I re-read the Scrum Guide I pick up something else. Look at how many different interpretations are stated in these forums. Are any of them wrong?  I don't think so and every one of them is based on the same guide. Having an organization change in order to support Scrum is not easy and is usually the reason for Scrum failure. As the Scrum Guide states(I take artistic license in this statement) if you aren't doing everything as provided in the Scrum Guide, you aren't doing Scrum.  You may get close to Scrum but getting fully to Scrum is difficult. 

In my opinion, one of the big reasons it is difficult to master is because it is a lightweight framework and it leaves all of the procedural decisions up to the organizations for which the decision is made. Those decisions are not always easy and usually require changes outside of the actual Scrum Team.  Scrum Teams can start to see the benefits fairly quickly and they also see how the outside influences are harmful or useful.  Organizations make it hard to master, Scrum Teams are usually much easier. 

12:09 pm June 26, 2019

Thanks all

12:23 pm June 26, 2019

thank you very much!

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