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Why Scrum does not work

Many organizations I have worked with in implementing Scrum were disappointed with their inability to deliver. Well, they do not put it that way, they tell me: „Scrum does not work“, „It produces too much overhead“, „The team is not as productive as promised by Scrum“ or „Customers do not want to do Agile anymore because they do not see any value in it“.

In the past, I always had the feeling that this was an invitation to the boxing ring. I felt like I had to defend myself and the values I offered as an Agile Coach. By now I have come to the conclusion: I do not have to defend anything. I believe in Scrum and I know that it works if implemented and applied correctly, adapted to organizational needs. That leads me to my second enlightenment: If the principles are respected and the rules offered by the framework are respected, Scrum not only works but also reduces overhead, makes teams more productive and delivers value to the customer.

So instead of stepping into a fight over Agile and Scrum, I ask the following questions:

  • Do you know your User?
  • Do you talk about requirements with your customer and Product Owner?
  • Do you do Pair Programming regularly?
  • Do you do Code Reviews on each User Story?
  • Are you honest about timelines and delivery dates?
  • Do you have a development environment that allows automated tests?
  • Do you deliver working software at the end of each sprint?
  • Do you value feedback on the product?
  • Do you allow feedback on the process?

If you can answer all these questions with an honest „yes“, I am happy to dive deeper with you inside your organization to understand, why the results do still not meet the expectations. If you cannot answer all the questions with a bright „yes“, I am also happy. Because now we can start doing Scrum.