December 25, 2017

A world without Agile Manifesto but Scrum

Flashback to 1995, Jeff and Ken had presented their paper at OOPSLA on Scrum. People recognizes it as one of the new ways of working. Fast forward to Feb 2001, no ski resort gathering and no Agile manifesto. People are trying different methods, frameworks and practices for improving the state of software industry. There is nothing called as Agile values and principles but people knows Scrum. In 2017, Scrum has become the de-facto standard of the Software development and has spread beyond the IT industry. It has become the way of working, the way of living life for professionals.

I am a strong believer of Agile manifesto and has a high respect for the authors of it and for people who are practicing it in their day to day life. I have heard people using the Agile and Scrum word interchangeably such that whenever they are referring to Agile they are talking about Scrum and the vice versa. Recently I read a report which states that approx. 60% of the software organizations/projects claiming to be Agile were actually following Scrum.

How about if we review the Agile values and principles and try to map them with Scrum framework, is there anything which Scrum doesn’t cover? Do you think that by following the rules of the game of Scrum we are complying with values and principles of Agile? Whenever Agile talks about ‘Working Software’ Scrum has ‘Increment’, ‘Business and Development team members should work together’ is referring to Scrum Team, a business representative (Product Owner) works closely with the Development Team, the stakeholders are invited in the regular Sprint Review. I am sure that I won’t have answer to all of them but there are people who are living it day in day out and will be happy to help us. Once you are done with Agile, start the same exercise with Lean principles.

Read the Scrum guide a few times, close your eyes, take a deep breath and think about yourself, your team, your organization, the world and the working environment around you, can Scrum help you in improving it? Can Scrum help you in becoming a better professional, a better human being, creating a better world for future generations.

The point I am trying to emphasize is that with the eleven essentials elements of Scrum, its five values and other foundation blocks, imagine a world where Scrum has become the reference way of working, other methods, frameworks, philosophies is a subset of it. People have never heard about those four values and twelve principles but are religiously following Scrum, will they be able to delight their customers with creative products, always ahead of their competitors, will have happy and productive work force?

With Scrum, will we be able to achieve what those seventeen great minds were thinking about the IT world at the ski resort at Utah in Feb’ 2001?