It’s Scrum Jeff but not as we know it!

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  • Are you really using Scrum or simply delivering Excuses? You can’t do both! Don’t be a ScrumBut

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  • ScrumBut

    We are meeting a growing number of clients claiming to be using Scrum but experiencing problems of varying degrees. They have put valuable time, money and considerable effort into becoming Agile but for a number of reasons, which may not be obvious to them, they feel that Scrum has failed them.

    Product Backlogs are getting longer, software delivery is always delayed and the mountain of technical debt is making Mount Everest feel vertically challenged.

    What is a ScrumBut?

    Unfortunately, these clients all have something in common. In the Agile world they are known as ScrumButs.

    A ScrumBut claims to be using Scrum BUT they have what they feel is a good excuse for not using Scrum in its entirety or as it was designed to be used.

    When asked how they use Scrum within their organisations, a ScrumBut will often respond as follows:

    • “We use Scrum but…we don’t have Sprints as such”
    • “We use Scrum but…we like to vary the lengths of our Sprints according to workload”
    • “We use Scrum but…we don’t test until the end of a Sprint as this saves time”
    • “We use Scrum but…we don’t have a Daily Scrum because we’re too busy. The team usually meets once a week”
    • “We use Scrum but…we don’t bother with the Sprint Retrospective. It’s not necessary”
    • “We use Scrum but…we don’t tell the Product Owner if we’re running late. We normally get away with a smoke and mirrors demo.”
    • “We use Scrum but…we plan our Sprint Backlogs 3 months ahead. I don’t know why we always deliver late”
    • “We use Scrum but…we don’t really have a definition of done, we don’t need it.”
    • “We use Scrum but…we manage the Product Backlog because the Product Owner can’t be bothered”
    • “We use Scrum but…we can’t be transparent with the stakeholders due to company politics”
    • “We use Scrum but…we still work as we always have done. It’s just a new way of reporting with fancy Burndown charts.”
    • “We use Scrum but…Sprint Goal? What’s that?”
  • Does this sound familiar?

    Blame the Tester Often it’s easier to look elsewhere for the cause of the problem. Can you relate to certain aspects of the following case study?
    Blame the Tester

    Excuse Me!

    To look at it another way, it can be clearly seen from the following formula how ScrumBut can be quickly identified:

    ScrumBut Formula

    ScrumBut = [Scrum] – [Scrum + Excuses]


    ScrumBut = 0 + Excuses

    or more to the point:

    ScrumBut = Excuses for not using Scrum properly!

    Whole Grain Scrum

    Because Scrum appears to be simple to learn, people often feel that they can cut corners, chop things out and add things in. The truth is, you can’t but why would you want to?

    Agilistix has an approach that we call Whole Grain Scrum.

    Quite simply this promotes the use of Scrum in its natural undiluted form, straight out-of-the-box, as per the The Scrum Guide.

    We are driven by philosophy because we have seen, all too often, what happens when teams don’t do this. Not pretty, mostly expensive, demoralising for the teams involved, not to mention the disenchanted Product Owners and ultimately the business that has not received value for money!

    Call Agilistix today for a cure for your ScrumBut.

It’s Scrum Jeff but not as we know it!

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