I have worked under Scrum practices and Scrum Framework for the last 9 years of my life. I have passed through different organizations, public and private, all of them related to the IT sector. After a long time of living scrum, I became a certified scrum master (CSM) and guess what? During the mandatory training you need to take to become a CSM you learn a lot about what’s a myth and what’s the reality defined in the Scrum framework. This is a small guide that will give you a deeper understanding about it.
1) Scrum is an agile methodology.
Myth! Scrum is a Framework that has become the most used framework in software development all around the world. As its purpose is to generate a minimum viable product (MVP) at the end of every sprint, it is considered an agile methodology, but the Scrum framework is too open as to be considered a methodology.
2) Scrum Framework is an open framework that you can modify.
Reality! The Scrum Framework does not say how to do things like estimate, recruitment, development practices like code review, follow up of the projects and so on. As long as you respect the structure of events, roles, artefacts and rules, it doesn’t matter what are your strategies or practices to have a better teamwork experience.
3) The Scrum Master is part of the development team.
Myth! In my first Scrum training at university, my professor explained and clarified that the Scrum Master was a development team member that has more responsibility. He will be developing software with the rest of the team. Today I know my professor was not following the Scrum framework although a market tendency from back in those days. The reality is that if the Scrum Master is a servant – leader role, in charge of coaching the development team and the full organization in Scrum and facilitate the scrum team in all the needs that are potentially blocking their work. If the scrum master cannot facilitate information to another team member because he is pushing changes into github, then he’s failing as a facilitator, ergo failing as Scrum Master. At some point the SM will face bottlenecks if he has additional activities. Because of this reason, the Scrum Master is not part of the development team.
4) The Scrum Master must know the company deeply.
Reality! The Scrum Master needs to know as much as possible about the company because the definition of “done” must be aligned with the criteria established within the company processes. He is in charge of coaching the development team to define their definition of done.
5) Scrum is hard to implement when there are many inexperienced people in the company
Myth! An organization needs at least a Scrum Master to coach the company and the development teams in scrum practices. Everybody can learn scrum, meanwhile better the coach, better the understanding and the application.
6) The Scrum Master is a key role to spread company culture.
Reality! As mentioned before, the Scrum Master is a coach for the development team and organization, if his/her understanding of the culture and love for the company is big, then he can also be a company culture coach and transmit the company’s mission, vision and values together with Scrum practices.
7) Scrum Framework can be used in any project.
Myth! Scrum is based on the fact that product development is complex, highly unpredictable, and covered in many uncertainties. This means that Scrum is a very good framework to apply when requirements cannot be defined before starting the project and the project itself is complex to implement. The uncertainty is big.
For smaller projects with a defined scope and requirements, I recommend applying scrum practices and not the full scrum framework to improve agility, development times and better talent assignation. Don’t worry if you don’t know how, we will have another post for you soon.
8) A lot of high level managers hate Scrum.
Reality! Managers from different companies have said they believe Scrum is problematic and bad for the organization. But why would anybody think this way about the most used Framework of the world? Scrum is an Empirical Process Control. In Scrum, decisions are made based on observation and experimentation rather than on detailed upfront planning. Empirical process control relies on the three main ideas of transparency, inspection, and adaptation.
When applying scrum, transparency increases as much that those problems that were kept underground become visible to everybody. Managers who cannot accept dealing with the reality of their companies, blame scrum, so they force organizations to stop applying it.
Carolina Valdez is a CSM by agile alliance, she’s a Ms in Systems Engineer, a mix between management and processes engineering applied to software. She has experience in different IT markets in Latin America and the US. She joined Solidabis in January to create impact in the Finnish society creating digital solutions to make our everyday lives easier. caro.valdez(at)solidabis.com