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The Foundations of Scrum: Beyond the Mechanics

October 24, 2023

When working with a brand-new Scrum Team, whether it's a new member joining or a Scrum Master guiding the team, the challenges often stem from preconceived notions. It's not about the tools or techniques they think they know; it's about the foundational understanding of Scrum's essence.

In my experience, when teams or individuals claim they've mastered Scrum, it's often a sign that there's a lot they might be missing. On the other hand, those who acknowledge their gaps and seek guidance are often on the right track. They've reached that crucial point of recognising what they don't know.

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Many teams believe they need to follow certain tools or techniques, like user stories, planning poker, or burn downs. While these might be useful, they aren't the core of Scrum. They're strategic choices, not intrinsic parts of the process. The real challenge is helping teams differentiate between these mechanics and the true essence of Scrum.

At its heart, Scrum is about empiricism. It's about the scientific method: trying something small, getting feedback, analysing, and then adapting based on that feedback. This empirical loop is what many teams miss. They get caught up in the mechanics without understanding the foundational elements.

The goal isn't to mechanically follow Scrum but to leverage its principles to shorten the time to market and close the feedback loop. Whether you're focusing on Kanban, Lean, or any other approach, the underlying foundation remains the same. It's about understanding and implementing the core principles, not just the surface-level mechanics.

In essence, Scrum is about building on solid foundations. And if you've already built a house without understanding those foundations, it's going to be a challenge to retrofit them. But with the right guidance and understanding, it's a challenge worth taking on.

NKDAgility can help you.

These are the kinds of issues that lean-agile practitioners love and most folks hate, and if you find it hard to get started with Scrum, my team at NKDAgility can help you or help you find a consultant, coach, or trainer who can.

If you have issues that are undermining the effectiveness of your value delivery, it's especially important to find help as soon as you can and not wait!

Which you can do right now. You can request a free consultation with my team or sign up for one of our upcoming professional Scrum classes. Because you don't just need agility, you need Naked Agility.

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