Agile 101

Myths of Scrum

March 31, 2021

The Team must be Co-Located

I must admit I was one of the people who suggested we needed our team to be co-located. I have very much been proved wrong over the past 12 months, as teams continually learn new ways to innovate and collaborate virtually. This collaboration is made so much easier with a ScrumMaster to facilitate, mentor & coach the team. 

Scrum is an “IT Thing”

While Scrum may have started in IT, the concept of Agility runs throughout the organization. As an organization, we want to “BE” Agile, rather than simply “DOING” Agile. The entire organization benefits from things like Transparency, Inspection, and Adaptation. Remember, Scrum and Kanban are two of the most popular types of Agile that help you to truly “BE AGILE.”

The Daily Scrum is a meeting for the team to update the Scrum Master and Leadership on what they have been doing

Nope! According to the 2020 Scrum Guide,The purpose of the Daily Scrum is to inspect progress toward the Sprint Goal and adapt the Sprint Backlog as necessary, adjusting the upcoming planned work. The Daily Scrum is a 15-minute event for the Developers of the Scrum Team. To reduce complexity, it is held at the same time and place every working day of the Sprint. If the Product Owner or Scrum Master are actively working on items in the Sprint Backlog, they participate as Developers.”

The Daily Scrum requires 3 set questions

Remember the 2020 Scrum Guide also removed the need for the 3 questions—it’s for the team to inspect and adapt their upcoming work.

Developers are only technical

The term “Developers” is used for anyone on the Scrum Team. Aas a member of a Scrum Team we are all developing something, whether it’s a good or a service. We have developers on our HR teams who deal with placing recruitment ads and interviewing candidates—no coding in sight!

Larger Teams Are Better

There’s still a misconception that if we want more work done, we need to add more people to the Team. The Scrum Guide suggests The Scrum Team has “typically 10 or fewer people. In general, we have found that smaller teams communicate better and are more productive.” One of the success factors for a Scum Team is their communication and collaboration, their ability to have the entire Team on the same page. if the Team is larger, this isn’t possible. Remember Brook’s Law “…an observation about projects according to which “adding manpower to a late project makes it later.” He goes further to say “while it takes one woman nine months to make one baby, nine women can’t make a baby in one month.”

One Product Owner: One Team Ratio

The Scrum Guide says “The Scrum Team consists of one Scrum Master, one Product Owner, and Developers.” We want one Product Owner ordering the backlog and working with the Team on the upcoming high priority items that add the most business value. If eight people need input, consider them Stakeholders—one Product Owner should be pulling them together as the single voice of work coming to the Team.

Scrum means No Documentation

This is one of my favorites. I learned early on in my training career to emphasize that this is not the case as I would visit clients after classes and hear, “Kate says there’s no documentation in Scrum so I don’t have to do XXX.” In fact, the Agile Manifesto says, “Working software over comprehensive documentation.” So I now emphasize in class that a useable product or service is how we measure success. And while we will need some documentation, a 200-page requirements document may not be necesary because we measure success on the useable outcome.


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