Skip to main content

Guerrilla Scrum

Last post 07:37 pm February 21, 2023 by Nicholas Gabrichidze
No replies yet
07:37 pm February 21, 2023

Guerrilla Scrum is the scrum project which run by the developers or other employees without consent; or even, in some cases, without knowledge of the organization whom they work for.

Why is guerilla scrum taking place, who is sponsoring and running it, when it is run and, where it is possible and what the heck it is?


Guerrilla Scrum is taking place when employees/developers are personally, in most case financially dependent on the outcome of the project they are hired to run, and are confident about Agile and Scrum - either from previous experience and education. Or if they are simply are trying the methodology as a last ditch effort to save sinking project, while management or the organization has no interest or intention to try new methodology-either because they are  too full of themselves and are out of reach for own employees; or simply because top management is being used for good-old "I order-you obey" “true grit” methods of managing business. 


It is pretty clear from the concept who are the inclinators of the Guerrilla Scrum within the organization. Just like with any revolution it’s a group of educated, motivated and active employees/developers who have personal interest about the success of organization’s project, but who aren’t high enough in the firms hierarchy to make the policy decisions.

Guerrilla Scrum would only be possible if this nuclear group of Scrum enthusiast’s will convince rest of their colleagues, that running the Scrum, even without consent of the organizations management is a best way to get the promised bonuses or to save the sinking project and avoid being sank with it.

But money is a factor in other direction-there must be costs in applying Scrum to this environment. In the most extreme cases scenario employees/developers might actually finance extra expenses themselves, by using their savings or fundraising among themselves. After all we already established that Guerrilla Scrum is taking place in the environments where employees/developers are expecting  personal financial gain or loss, depending on outcome of the project.

External funds can be allocated when possible-could be some investment angel would be interested in outcome and would invest money in the Guerilla Scrum. Or simply some charity who can grant money for experiment

Once thing for certain-just like with any revolution, if either participants themselves or some external sponsor will not raise enough money, the Guerrilla scrum is doomed to fail. But just like with any revolution guerilla scrum might provide benefits for sponsors if it wins


 The actual personal interest isn’t enough though. Guerrilla Scrum will only take place if we have three major factors within organization: one, the employees/developers who understand that things should be run differently, have personal interest on stake, but can’t change  organizations policy, two, when management cant successfully run a project old ways but is unwilling or unable to change, and three: when there is an active group of determined people within an organization who are ready to take matters in their own hands.

Of course Guerrilla Scrum is an extreme step, so even in such "business-as-usual-since-the stone-age" type of organizations employees would only be motivated to take such extreme steps if they will see clearly that project success or failure is effecting their own personal wellbeing, and that "business-as-usual” does not deliver any more.


As we already established Guerrilla Scrum is only possible in the organizations where developers-whom I will also call "plotters" further on, are depended on the outcome of the project they are working on, while management does not involve itself into employees daily activities. Dependency of the outcome can be different-employes might be threatened to lose their jobs if project fails, and in this case Scrum project arrives as a mission of merci; or, on the contrary they might count on salary increase or generous benefits if project will be successful-in that case they are come motivated by extra income and guerilla scrum is arriving as a Santa Claus.

And what, exactly Guerrilla Scrum is?

Ok we briefly established the definition, but how exactly this is supposed to happen? Who will assign the roles, run process, organize ceremonies. How legal it is after all?

First of all unless company policy or local law prohibiting employees from collecting data from end users, coming together for 15 minutes every days discussing things, using Jura or other Kanban soft on smartphones, helping each other with work, discussing things in the parking lot, what, exactly can be illegal here?

Running the time boxed ceremonies like Scrum planning, review, and retrospective can be tricky,  but plotters can run it at free time, remote, in the pub, at private home, in the park...

But who are the actual participants-developers team, Scrum master, Product owner, stake holders?

Like in any other revolution Guerrilla Scrum involves two major roles-rebels and insiders. Rebels are the employees who actually decided and started Guerrilla Scrum process while insiders are sympathetic members of the organization’s management who are not high enough to change company policy entirely, but can actually influence and control things. This sympathetic insider’s are our stakeholders, once’s who see project progress and make sure organization does not crack it down.

The employees who started Guerrilla Scrum form the developer’s team-ultimately self organized like no Scrum team in the history of Agile

As for Scrum master and product owner. There can be two different options. The external scrum master and PO can be hired , using the budget which plotters have collected. Lets call them Che Guevara’s.

Che Guevara’s should run scrum ceremonies remote from other location using video conference, or insiders should help plotters to somehow justify their access to the site

Or the employees and developers can elect the Scrum Master and PO among themselves-lets call such PO and SM "Fidels" . In that case the task is even easier, because no additional budget should be allocated and no external people should be brought to the site...

But should Guerrilla Scrum be run only within one office?

No, absolutely not, it can also be done remote, and Remote Guerrilla Scrum is even more exiting affair...


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.