The age of Scrum is over

Gothmog, Lord of the Rings

I’m calling it

I can’t predict the future, sadly. But sometimes the time comes to be a bit bold and put something out there — and let history be the judge.

Bitter, much?

I will be open— there is some emotion to this article — it distresses me to think of all the good, talented men and women currently “under the Scrum”. Dutifully filing into offices around the globe to play “planning poker”, debate how to compose a “Sprint Goal” that isn’t “finish all the stories” and in some cases, have their every hour of work “burned down”.

Scrum == Agile?

Barnacles on a ship’s hull. Image Credit BBC News

Rituals, Ceremonies, Events — oh my!

Image credit: Robert Harding

Scrum is just not broad enough to keep up

Anyone working in the software industry will be aware of two significant and complimentary global trends:

A container

Wait, hang on” I hear you say. Scrum is an open framework — surely we can add to it or change it as we want to achieve our goals? Well lets not forget the line in the guide: “Scrum exists only in its entirety and functions well as a container for other techniques, methodologies, and practices”.

A container. Image credit Tupperware Australia

Walking the tightrope

Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

Life in between the guides

Also — consider the fact that the Scrum guide has been periodically updated since its first publication in 2010. When the next version will be published is anyone’s guess, but history points towards the fact that there will be a new guide and it may be substantially different to the current guide. Practices a Scrum Master is now doing as part of being a “good Scrum Master”, may disappear entirely from the next guide, or even become frowned upon.

How then should we proceed?

What do we call it?

Thank you Scrum

Thank you Scrum. You have given me a lot and made an incredible contribution to the agile community. In fact my first full time job in agile was as a Scrum Master. To be honest I never quite worked out what my job actually was— it seemed to involve facilitating “events” mainly. With some confusing conversations with teams when I suggested we try something different to what Scrum was in the teams’ mind.



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Chris Lennon

Chris Lennon

Agile coach. Ways of Working researcher. I live in beautiful New Zealand and work for Spark. I am also the founder of a start up — Views are my own.