March 2, 2020

Emergence in Scrum

 

This Vlog looks at the topic of Emergence from its definition as a word and application in the natural environment. Emergence in Scrum is a key principle to delivery.

Emergence as applied in Scrum

The Vlog considers how emergence is applied by Scrum in four fundamental ways. From the emergence of the Product as it is developed incrementally in Sprints. The manner in which the understanding of Product Backlog Items emerges. How Scrum applies emergent design supporting this with emergent architecture.

The most common conversation we have as trainers on emergence is related to architecture. Although, it is the same principle and activity when we discuss incrementally developing a product. The design or the activity of refinement, we are just using different words to describe them.

The Vlog takes the view that in systems thinking, we often compare a system under review with systems from the natural environment. Using this comparison, I consider how a complex species such as the Butterfly, goes through several stages of emergence without an upfront solution design. Yet, based on triggers throughout its life cycle develops from one stage to the other. In this way, it reacts to the opportunity presented to it.

In sports a metaphor Ken Schwaber likes to use: There are those individuals and teams that stick religiously to their game plan. Yet, are no more successful than those that have an overall strategy and culture of reacting to opportunity.

To fully maximise Scrum, emergence is a principle that teams and organisations need to become comfortable with. Where the requirement is to always have a detailed plan of everything prior to proceeding with any work. Then the best that will be achieved is mini waterfalls not a full implementation of Scrum.