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Don't Learn Scrum from Jira

June 23, 2022


Robb: So last week we put out something about, “Don't learn Scrum from a tool”, and I'd love to clarify a little bit more what we mean by that. So, Greg, have you ever used Jira?

Greg: Yeah, I have used Jira.

Robb: Fantastic tool. Isn’t it?

Greg: Complicated, but potentially fantastic tool. Yeah.

Robb: It is, and you know one thing I noticed in there is they have epics and they have user stories, but what's weird is that's not in Scrum. And they call it, what an agile template, or is that a Scrum template? I can't remember.

Greg: Yeah, I think they do have a Scrum template, but not all the components of Scrum are necessarily accounted for?

Robb: I didn't see anything about Product Goals or Sprint Goals in there. There might be Sprint Goals, well certainly not Product Goals.

Greg: Sure, and I think that comes up a lot when people say well we don't have a place for a Product Goal, and especially when the Scrum Guide says the Product Goal lives inside of the Product Backlog and everyone freaks out, like, how is that even possible? That doesn't work with my tool.

Robb: Yeah. I can't explain it myself, but what I have noticed is like you really should learn the way you want to work and then choose the tool that supports you. Right? And if your tool doesn't support you, configure the tool.

Greg: I can't help but think of construction environments, right? And I worked with a lot of different trades. There's no way you're going to go up to a framing crew and say, ‘I'm going to help you out but I refuse to use any of your tools. I'm just going to use my plumbing tools because these are my favorite.’ And I’m like well, you're going to have to adjust. You could do it but tell you what, roofing or putting up walls with a pipe wrench doesn't quite do it. You know?

Robb: You got to fix the tools, but the tools got to work for you. Right? You got to use the right tools, and if they don't work, you got to make them work for you. Don't change the way you work for a tool, and certainly don't learn Scrum from Jira. Jira doesn't know Scrum. Anyway, well great tip. Yeah, look forward to sending a few more.


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