When delivering a Professional Scrum Master training or helping clients creating awesome products with Scrum, some people ask me how to adapt (downgrade) Scrum to make it work in their organizations.
My answer is always the same: Scrum will change your organization! Let me explain why it cannot be the contrary.
1 –Hierarchies have been proven to be useful for repetitive work. Collective Genius is required to solve complex problems and deliver value; it’s obtained through intelligent networks of self-organizing and cross-functional teams, linked together by values and accountabilities.
STOP controlling people, start controlling value delivered!
2 – Middle Managers, or other management positions can greatly contribute to the change. All these people have the great opportunity to transition to one of the three roles that Scrum offers: Product Owner for those who like product development, Development Team for those more “technical” (development, marketing, sales, security, quality, etc.) and finally Scrum Master for those who like to coach, teach and help people understand and enact the Scrum Framework as described in the Scrum Guide.
3 – Spending time in figuring out how to reduce risks, predict future outcomes, how to control people isn’t creating value. Instead of making plans, start creating your first increment, inspect and adapt to improve predictability and reduce risks. Scrum is all about useful action… to deliver value.
Scrum is a simple framework to deliver complex products. It helps organizations in their transformation, not the opposite.
Changing Scrum wont help you in: quickly reacting to market changes, reducing your time to market, increasing your company efficiency, having healthier and happier employees and ultimately gain market shares!
We all have a role to play, forget about hierarchies, and think how you can contribute in delivering value to your customers through your products.
As the co-creator of Scrum, Ken Schwaber, wrote on his blog: “Scrum is like chess. You either play it as its rules state, or you don’t. Scrum and chess do not fail or succeed. They are either played or not.”