Scrum bashing - natural iterative evolution

Not throwing my weight into a current Scrum bashing trend that erupted this week, as I'm a nobody when it comes to agile. But I tend to agree some of the points and disagree with others.

It all started off with Uncle Bob responding to Chris Brookins whom was looking for some of Scrum shortcomings to present at his work.

That raised a large number of responses on the thread and in the blogsphere. People such as Jeff Anderson stated that it was time for Scrum to evolve.

Others such as Jurgen Appelo came in defense of Scrum by insisting people should stop pissing on Scrum.

Issues raised

  • No technical rules, ie no prescribed methods of insisting on CI, TDD etc.
    I dont agree with limiting Scrum to development only, but suggestions are fine, which they kind of already do.

  • Sprint lengths are too long.
    They are. But again agile carrots of emphasising e.g. 2 weeks are better than bashing teams that need longer sprints.

  • Scrum masters assume or are assumed to have to much power.
    That does happen too ften, but coaching of team members and external chickens are probably the solution.

  • CSM, Certified Scrum Masters.
    Yup the title does not help, I even got it....,
    but dropping it may result in very few taking the courses all together. Time will give a solution to this I think.

  • Backlog structure.
    Not sure this can be solved, because so many different type of organisations use scrum for a variety of usage, the items in the backlog are very different.
    Partially the problem here also lies in the pedantic use of manual physical task boards,which translate into difficulties in transferring stories/tasks.
    Also the tools available, e.g. Jira+Greenhopper, have poor support for Stories and Themes.

  • Anti management.
    Scrum and its adapters have a reputation of Anti management.
    This may be true as team members often would like to introduce Scrum for the empowering of the team in the decisions.
    But once implemented it is not so much the case.
    I would actually say it is a bit pro management, once they see the results and a clearer vision of their future. Also Scum increases management due to the team's own micromanagement and constant status reporting.

  • Automatic tests.
    It's Uncle Bob, Mr FitNesse. True, an essential part, but not always the rule.

  • Multiple teams.
    Yes, this is one point that Scrum struggles with.

Future of Scrum

I think this bashing of Scrum now is a natural evolution.

The early adopters, the evangelical Scrummers, now need a new fix, and are quite vocal in Scrum's negative points. The early sceptics, also realises Scrum does not solve everything and would like to move on.

But it is natural. RUP, then XP, Lean etc are not perfect, they are just an iterative history of continual evolution and improving methodology of teams and projects.

Scrum is not a bible to follow for the next 2000 years. But now, or rather 5 years ago it was the best thing around. It has helped a huge amount of organisations become agile. Not perfect, but a lot better than before.

We should not always jump to the new shiny thing, but it is probably time to evolve, to continually improve and never rest at least not too long.

I quite like ideas suggested by Kanban. Kanban practices more common sense. As Henrik Kniberg writes in his minibook about scrum and Kanban.

But again it is not the final evolution. And everyone should adapt their needs as appropiate. There is no need for this bashing of Scrum. But neither should we not try to improve it.
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