Team rejects SCRUM

Last post 01:48 pm June 6, 2017
by Neelam Mehra
7 replies
07:11 am May 24, 2017


 I have strange question... First of all - the company management tries to implement scrum at the IT department. As certified scrum master I was assigned to the scrum master role. But I have a problem - the team rejects scrum at all. They said - we don't need Daily scrum meetings, retrospective and so on - just give us the tasks and you will implement them. 

 I had almost teh same problem in my previous projects - but only with 1-2 team members and the decision was pretty simple - move the member out of team. But now I can't move the whole team out, we don't have other teams. As well I can't push the team with meetings - I think it's incorrect. 

 Please, help me :) 

 Thank you.


02:32 pm May 24, 2017


You wrote that your company management want to implement Scrum for the IT department. So you're backed up by management. I only can assume that the IT department was informed by management, so they know they should do Scrum.

If they refuse to attend, you should at least try to convince them. If nothing works, speak to management.

Usually, there are 1 or 2 in a team who object against scrum. That's because people usually don't like changes. Also, the transparancy of Scrum might scare off some people, since in Scrum, every knows what everybody does. The blame game is over.

If a complete team objects, I would think there's a moral problem.

Good luck!

03:51 pm May 24, 2017

Scrum is not implemented just in an IT department, but across products. Business stakeholders must be included in an agile transformation and they must value each and every increment.

The Development Team could not apply Scrum even if they wanted to, unless Product Ownership and a clear pull for incremental value is also present. I think that's the first thing to make transparent, and to ask business and/or management sponsors what they intend to do about it.

06:54 pm May 24, 2017

we don't need Daily scrum meetings, retrospective and so on - just give us the tasks and you will implement them


So one question, as Ian pointed out, is how work is provided to the team?   Have any of those intake(s) changed as a result of Scrum.   Is there a PO?   Is there a backlog?


On another note, congratulations on becoming a Scrum Master.   Guess what?   It is hard, and you cannot simply use book-learning to solve the problems and impediments you will encounter.  

You solved 1-2 contrarian team members who were opposed to Scrum by removing them from the team.   That is one solution, I guess.   But now you have an entire team that is opposed to Scrum.   Believe me, many of us have been in similar situations.  

Learn as much as you can about organizational change and how to motivate people.   Understand why people are resistant to change (i.e. - Scrum), and what can be done to help them see things differently.   How well are you showing them the value of the Scrum ceremonies and practices?  

What are they doing right now to continually improve, if they're opposed to having a retrospective?  

How busy are they that they cannot spare 15 minutes a day to touch base with their fellow Development Team members and get alignment for the next 24 hours around sprint work?

Often, people will be open to change when they see the benefit to them, so how well can you "sell" Scrum?


Good luck!


02:42 pm May 26, 2017

If management is serious about introducing Scrum, it might be helpful to find out for what reason they want to do this. Provided their hopes and expectations are reasonable, it might be a good exercise of openness that a management sponsor shares this with the team, e.g. in a workshop. You should facilitate this workshop. It would be an excellent opportunity to bring the concerns to the table and find ways to address them -- or stop the attempt.

IMHO it is foremost a management responsibility to set up an organization. As Scrum Master you can advise and coach.


10:01 am June 1, 2017

Provided the people engaged welcome Scrum it is your job only to facilitate the implementation. It is not your job to convince people to use it. What you could do is: seek contact to an organization that uses Scrum where the developers have embraced it and are willing to share their experience. make a field trip with the team. let one dev speak to another, that is often way more useful than having a management guy telling them what needs to be done.

02:12 pm June 1, 2017

Very good suggestion! To drive change consistent messages are essential. If developers experienced in Scrum honestly tell your team about their positive (and negative) experiences and if a management sponsor communicates reasonable expectations, offers support and demonstrates an agile mindset himself, it's more likely to be successful.

But unfortunately I also experienced management that is opposed to self-organization, that does not accept the decisive role of a product owner and that responds with threats and punishment to the transparency of Scrum. In such an environment I would even not try to introduce Scrum because the failure would fall back on me. Yes, courage is a Scrum value, but - as a former boss of mine used to say - choose your battles.

11:54 am June 6, 2017

Hi Vadim ,

I know it's a tricky situation but we as SM needs to manage this . 

 I am just wondering if enough Agile training has been done in the organisation or not . If no , plan for it or may be more detailed training can help. If yes, plan for a agile workshops ,focus on activities which shows the benefits of daily stand ups , how actions being tracked in retrospective ,  how sprint reviews helps in early feedback etc.  You may found plenty of such games online . As you said , transformation is done through out the organization so I assume there would be an Agile coach to guide you through . You may think of inviting Agile Coach in your ceremonies so team might take them seriously . Also , deal with people on individual basis as this might not be Agile specific problem . Change one thing at a time , slowly , get yourself involved with the team so that they consider you part of team .Appreciate their work . 

Hope it helps !!