Scrum is not a solution to your problems

Scrum won’t solve all your development problems. Even if you implement 100% of the Scrum textbook (and most companies don’t), it won’t fix a broken development environment overnight.

Scrum process just helps to bring your problems to the surface so you can see them and deal with them. It’s all about exposing problems and issues, so you can identify them and do something about them. Scrum process aims to ensure that problems can’t fester unnoticed – but are brought to the attention of the whole team very quickly.

  • Scrum roles force defined and logical team roles and work division. You know exactly what you expect from a Product Owner, and he knows what is expected of him. If someone on the team is not fulfilling their role, it’s easy to spot, allowing you to do something about it.
  • Scrum meetings ensure that the team meets and discusses the appropriate things at the appropriate time. If the specifications are incomplete, if the stories are unclear, if the product vision is not defined – you will know it in the Sprint Planning meeting when the team can’t accept any stories. 
  • Continuous integration ensure that your development environment runs smoothly and minimises downtime or team-blocking integration issues. If there are intrinsic problems in the architecture, if the code is too brittle or if there are skill deficiencies in the team, you will see it in the CI environment.
  • Sprint demos give the team a target for a sprint and an opportunity to regularly celebrate what has been achieved as a team. But… if there are problems in the development team, if there are skill deficiencies or if the team is being blocked or interrupted, you will see it quickly at the sprint demo with the amount and quality of the stories that were completed.
  • Regular releases allow you to respond to your customers and stakeholders faster, and fix bugs or problems quickly… but if the team is not quality-conscious from end-to-end, you will see it in the quality of the code that is released at the end of the sprint.
  • Sprint retrospectives give everyone a chance to look back and think about what went well and what can be done better. Issues and team blockers will be raised by the team, and problems that don’t get fixed will get special attention…

It’s all about making the problems visible. Scrum won’t solve the problems that you have – that’s your job. 

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