Atacan Demiralp
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What SCRUM is NOT

January 31, 2018

I see many professionals who do not like to learn and correct their mistakes and actually do not know SCRUM at all although they keep talking about "What is Scrum" everywhere to show how they are so proficient. In contrast, my post is totally about "What Scrum is NOT". Only five short explanations, easy to remember. Let's begin with making the faults correct, because it is beneficial to learn from mistakes. This post covers what Scrum is NOT.

 

1. SCRUM is NOT a methodology

 

Methodology is set of rules and procedures which should be followed step by step. Each step should be clearly defined and documented. Product development step is simple but planning and programming requires advance predictability.

 

Scrum is accepted as methodology because it has Scrum rules, however Scrum is not high level planning and predicting. Scrum is framework based on empiricism, which means knowledge comes from previous experience. Planning and predicting depends on the previous experiences. For example, if you know that last Scrum Sprint was too cheesy in terms of number of selected product backlog items, you plan the next Sprint based on the this sprint outcome and you increment the value. However, in Scrum you deal with more complex product development in contrast to simpler product development in methodology.

 

2. SCRUM is NOT a project management method

 

Scrum has events, artifacts and roles, however it is not a project management method. Some methods are used to measure velocity, remaining work and quality of a product backlog item, however, these are just good practices. 

 

3. SCRUM is NOT software development methodology or tool

 

This is what I hear most. Why people do people think that Scrum is a software development methodology or tool? Because it is popular especially in software development, and they are not aware of the fact that they apply Scrum totally wrong.

 

The definition of Scrum in the Official Scrum Guide:

"A framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value." There is no obligation stating that Scrum is used only in software development. It can be used in hardware producing, marketing, education, government and etc. As long as you have a small development team to create incremental values on your product, you can use Scrum.

 

4. SCRUM is NOT collections of weekly meetings

 

Scrum has couple of different meetings events, however it does not mean that Scrum is based on meetings. 

 

5. SCRUM is NOT a faster way to develop product

 

It is possible to hear that after beginning to apply Scrum, product development process gets faster. This may be true, however, Scrum does not mean producing faster in short deadlines just to make customer pleasant. It may provide the Scrum team to produce and deploy faster, because the team probably works on correct number of well-ordered product backlog items. Iteration keeps going with minimum problems and the product owner is expert of customer management in terms of defining product backlog items.

 

6. SCRUM is NOT directing or managing people

 

This is the critical one, because most of people including IT professionals think that SCRUM is managing development teams. Doing nothing but telling people what to do and just controlling how the team does. This is completely wrong. Scrum has nothing to do with managing or directing people. There is no manager or director role in Scrum. Also there is no project manager role too. Product Owner, Scrum Master and Development Team, all are responsible for managing the project. Their responsibilities are obviously stated in the Scrum Guide. I will write an additional post only about this soon.

 

Hope I'm understood clearly and this post helps you to fix some false assumptions.

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