Friday, May 25, 2007

Exploring what makes Scrum successful

Alan Shalloway from the Net Objectives Thoughts blog is digging a little deeper into the "soul" of Scrum to truly understand why Scrum works in his post "Challenging why (not if) Scrum works". Please read his post in more detail, but here is some reasons he came up with:

I have repeatedly heard that “Scrum succeeds largely because the people doing the work define how to do the work” (see From The Top by Ken Schwaber for his full text). However, I do not think that is even a third of why Scrum works - and be clear, I am certainly not questioning that Scrum works - I just want to get at the why it works.

OK, so why does Scrum work? Remember, I am not challenging that it does, just asking why. I would say Scrum works for the following reasons:

* the iterative nature of Scrum development (including the re-assessment of priorities between iterations)
* the workcell nature of the Scrum team (everyone who needs to work together is together)
* the fact that many Scrum teams are given the chance to co-locate
* that most Scrum teams work on one project at a time
* that many old, cumbersome checkpoints/forms/status reports that used to be required are abandoned because the team is doing something new
* a focus on defining acceptance tests concurrent with requirements
* the availability of a product champion (product owner to Scrum enthusiasts)

I think this is a really good list, I would also add a couple of items to it:

* frequent communication of status and removing of impediments through the Daily Standups
* continue emphasis on feedback and improvement through sprint reviews
* the team nature of the Scrum team (everybody on the team should understand and commit to the sprint through sprint planning)

For those that are using Scrum, you are well familiar with these benefits. For those that have not moved to Agile or they are having problems with their practices, consider looking at Scrum to gain these benefits. Scrum by no means is a "silver bullet", but it has already proven to be very successful where it has been implemented.


Scrum Process said...

I actually enjoyed reading through this posting.Many thanks.

sorna said...

Thanks for sharing, I will bookmark and be back again

Scrum Process