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Isn't scrum supposed to be easy?

Last post 07:36 am May 10, 2014 by Michael Owen
2 replies
10:28 am May 9, 2014

Isn't scrum supposed to be easy? I have been on scrum/agile teams for about 8 years as a developer/architect consultant. There have been many flavors, some successful, some not. Along the way there has been research, training, intense debates and theoretical discussions. Somewhere along the line I have gained a high level of confidence on what it takes to be a solid scrum/agile team, and it all comes down to simplicity. I love the fact that we do our sprint and release planning up front, and then we get heads down, get the work done and then demo at the end of the sprint. Easy, right?

One of the aspects that make this process easy is that in sprint planning, we COMMIT to what we will get done. We don’t COMMIT to what we can’t get done. And if we accidentally COMMIT to what we can’t get done, we spend the time to get it done. I have been having a problem with this lately. Less teams are willing to make the commitment, and task get moved from sprint to sprint causing a nightmare with TFS because there is no easy way that we know to move a task from sprint to sprint while keeping the metrics that we need. There is a push to customize TFS, or move to Github in order to accommodate moving tasks and code from sprint to sprint. If we just stick to our commitments that will solve everything, and life will be good and simple. The way I see it, the chickens are not committing to what they need, and the developers are not committing to what they can produce, and the scrum master is too eager to please all. If we just get to a point where our sprint planning is efficient, and our commitment are real, I can get back to heads down development, and not more headaches!!!

Comments? Am I crazy??????

12:37 pm May 9, 2014

> Isn't scrum supposed to be easy?

No. As the Scrum Guide points out, although it is lightweight and easy to understand it is difficult to master.

07:36 am May 10, 2014

I agree with Ian, it is easy and lightweight and does work, but isn't easy and lightweight to get working.
Thats the big difference, for it to be work everyone has to be singing off the same song sheet.
Its when "say do" turns into "say don't do" and commitment vs interest comes into play there are blips.
Scrum as a framework has lots of external mechanics at play, that are not included but essential.
Behaviors is critical but sadly a study in all its own right, its these variables that will affect how scrum is adopted.
Everybody is different is the take away.

Ken Blanchard sums it up nicely, not scrum but you can see what he gets at, perhaps run through this.
“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in something,
you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.”


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