Autism and Scrum

Last post 04:54 pm March 31, 2022
by Daniel Wilhite
2 replies
10:11 am March 31, 2022

We are transforming the working of the teams from a small waterfall way of working to following the scrum guide more strictly. Previously, the developers got quite complete technical information from a few (senior) technical people. After a handoff the developers job was to implement the pseudocode and add tests. While now, the developers get a lot more 'creative' freedom, both technical and functional. At the sprint planning not everything is clear, and the things that are clear are not as detailed described as before. Thus it is the developers job to adapt his work based on information that is getting discovered throughout the sprint by stakeholders, devs and the PO.

The problem that we encountered is that someone on the team, that is diagnosed with autism, says he is unable to work like that due to the way his brain works. He says that he needs all the puzzle pieces in advance (read, at sprint planning) before he is able to start working.

I was wondering if other people have been in similar situations and how you tried to handle that. And maybe how it turned out. Thank you!


03:17 pm March 31, 2022

During this transformation, to what extent have employees been encouraged to self-organize into their teams?

04:54 pm March 31, 2022

Yes, I've been in a similar situation and I did nothing at all.  The Developers and the Product Owner discussed it with the individual and they came up with solutions as needed.  It wasn't a single solution but one that was adapted as the work from the Product Backlog was being addressed.  That is what self-managing, self-organizing teams do.