Angel \”Java\” Lopez on Blog

January 19, 2010

Tales from the Scrum: Is Agile/Scrum Hard?

Filed under: Agile Software Devevelopment, Scrum, Software Development — ajlopez @ 10:02 am

Recently, via some messages at Twitter, I found the post Agile/Pervagile on Slashdot in the multi-author blog Agile Advice – Working With Agile Methods (Scrum, OpenAgile, Lean). It’s an interesting reading, presenting Pervagile, the Perverted Agile. Most companies claims that they are using Agile, with Scrum or something alike, but, really, their adoption is partial. The author mention other deviations: Scrumbutt, Waterscrum, Scrummerfall, that deserve more comments here.

But today, I want to comment about the paragraph:

Agile is Hard

Okay, I’m actually being a little dis-honest.  The real truth is that doing agile is extremely, exceptionally, agonizingly difficult (for most people in most  organizations).  Why?  Because agile is not just another process to roll out.  It is, as has been mentioned in numerous places, a deep cultural change.  Agile is actually a liberation movement for people involved in software development.  Like most movements, however, it has been subject to corruptive forces.

Yes, true, but… I want to moderate above assertions, in the context of Scrum application (not Agile in general). If you are involved to introduce Scrum first time in your company, you need a cultural change, but I guess it could be not so deep. You need a proactive group of team members, a good ScrumMaster and Product Owner. AND (a no small and) the support from the management, to protect the team of outer interference, AND SPECIALLY the support of the Product Owner (protect him/her from other managers pressures, political forces, that could alter the priorities in product backlog, or that could interfere in the middle of the Sprint). The rest of your company can run in the old regime. But you need that your first project be protected. It needs nurturing and protection. Not a deep cultural change. The change in the rest of the company could be progressive. And the change in the team (I guess this is the first encounter of the members with Scrum) should be progressive, helped by an experienced ScrumMaster.

Angel “Java” Lopez
http://www.ajlopez.com
http://twitter.com/ajlopez

1 Comment »

  1. Good post about the matter Angel. In my experience it was really really easy to work in a team after they embrace scrum, no matter where do they come from (do-whatever or waterfall). The work and communications flows incredibly inside it. The very difficult part, as mentioned, is sponsorship (having sr. management to support) and protect the entire team from external disruptive requests (priority changes in middle of a sprint, metrics, individual performance measurements, long-term plans requests -expecting total adherence to it-, and a long etc.)
    Thanks for sharing the original post. 🙂
    Martin.

    Comment by Martin Alaimo — January 19, 2010 @ 11:02 am


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