May 12, 2018

What does Scrum say of what it does not say?

What does Scrum say of what it does not say?

I hear a lot of sentences that start with something like:

"What does Scrum say about ...?" or "In Scrum can we ...?" or "What does it happen in Scrum when ...?". And the most interesting is that many times the questions are about things that Scrum does not event speak about.

Sometimes people even make a weird face when I answer: Nothing, Scrum does not say a word about that.

Scrum is a framework

I have said that many times, but remember that Scrum is just a framework. It establishes a series of events, roles, artefacts, values and not much more. Really, there are no many other things apart from that. The most difficult about Scrum is neither reading the Scrum guide not understanding it. The most difficult is mastering it, landing it in our daily job for each team, company and need.

Scrum can not, and does not even try to, give you concrete solutions to every problem or dilemma that you find at work. That is just imposible.

What should we have as a reference then?

This is one of the reasons why the Scrum Master job is much wider and complex that people usually understand.

Scrum, actually, says much more that what it explicitly explains.

The Scrum Values, for example:

  • Commitment
  • Openness
  • Focus
  • Respect
  • Courage

This is much more that it seems. It is a guide to help you with decision making. For a "Can we in Scrum...?" we can answer with something like "It depends. How do you think this is going to affect the focus of the team?". To a "What does it happen in Scrum when...?" may correspond a "With Scrum or whit what any other framework, if we do that we are not showing courage, because ..."

Scrum is an empirical process. So it tells us to do, examine, arrive to conclusions and then try again. How bad is the obsession to try to find written rules for each possible contingency. This is fear, insecurity. And from fear there is no progress. We have to make discoveries.

Scrum talks to us about many things. Like transparency, for example. And ... that´s all? Yes, that´s all. It is our responsibility to find points of improvement and new tools to promote transparency.

The idea is that Scrum tells you what should work and the reasons behind it. We as Scrum Masters, according to my opinion, should investigate what to apply to each situation and be able to look for "hows". Study techniques that may come from any industry or philosophy. Because if it helps us, it´s is in accordance with the Scrum Values and we can use it in our daily job, what Scrum tells is: apply it.

Sometimes, according to my opinion, all this agility is almost more interesting even in the exploration of what only hints and hints that in what is clearly explicit. Scrum is a tool to provide us with a ground in which to be agile, but being agile is something that we have to work on ourselves every day. The adaptation can never be born only from a document written before now.