Skip to main content

Scrum Shock Therapy

Last post 11:32 am June 5, 2013 by Charles Bradley
4 replies
02:34 pm May 31, 2013

Does anyone have any experience of using Jeff Sutherland's Shock Therapy approach? I appreciate the rationale behind it, and can certainly see it as being the best way forward for many teams. Unfortunately though, I can't quite square it with the expectations that my own clients typically have. Most simply don't have the appetite for very much in the way of shock.

To be blunt, if I prescribed even a fraction of the practices that define Shock Therapy I very much doubt that clients would hire me. What they want is the opposite of shock; they want a gentle agile transformation that keeps difficult stakeholders on board, and which doesn't risk upsetting the apple cart.

Reading between the lines, I suspect that Jeff Sutherland is able to "get away with" Shock Therapy because of who he is. Clients recognise the validity of his method because he is an actual co-founder of Scrum. They wouldn't accept those methods from the rest of us...or would they? I hope I'm wrong and that someone can relate their own experiences of using Shock Therapy.

Jeff's page on the approach is here:…

08:09 am June 5, 2013

As a nobody and no proven track record it can definitely get difficult to "get away with" shock therapy.

08:37 am June 5, 2013

Hi Alice

You are right, but in my case I'm a nobody who has plenty of track record. The problem is, my track record is in helping clients using a softly-softly approach. That's where the demand is, as far as I can tell. No-one seems to want Shock Therapy, at least not in the circles I move around in. That's a shame because I think it has a lot to offer.

I suppose what baffles me is how Jeff Sutherland can get clients who have this sort of appetite for radical change. My contention is that it's because of his name as well as his track record. I hope I'm wrong and I'm just being too cynical, because if I'm right it would limit the application of a very promising approach.

11:32 am June 5, 2013

This one's a pretty good one too -- especially when it talks about autonomy:

11:32 am June 5, 2013

Please ignore my above post -- wrong thread. My bad.

By posting on our forums you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.

Please note that the first and last name from your member profile will be displayed next to any topic or comment you post on the forums. For privacy concerns, we cannot allow you to post email addresses. All user-submitted content on our Forums may be subject to deletion if it is found to be in violation of our Terms of Use. does not endorse user-submitted content or the content of links to any third-party websites.

Terms of Use may, at its discretion, remove any post that it deems unsuitable for these forums. Unsuitable post content includes, but is not limited to, Professional-level assessment questions and answers, profanity, insults, racism or sexually explicit content. Using our forum as a platform for the marketing and solicitation of products or services is also prohibited. Forum members who post content deemed unsuitable by may have their access revoked at any time, without warning. may, but is not obliged to, monitor submissions.