in Articles, Scrum for Beginners

Beware of Scrum

One of the most common causes I’ve observed in failed Scrum implementations is: Scrum team does not have conscious top management buy-in.

I have seen department heads attending courses of Scrum and opting to implement Scrum in their projects without ensuring top management’s conscious buy-in.

They sometimes do it because they feel Scrum is a smart way to ensure project delivery and probably the silver bullet.

It is not.

It may sound easy though. Power of Scrum rests in its simplicity. But in order for that simplicity to work as a tool to get things done, the top management…key decision makers… have to buy into Scrum.

Scrum requires a  paradigm shift about  how things get done.  Not by push but by pull.  Now, that’s simple  but certainly not easy.

Conventional management is primarily about command and control or carrot and stick as we call it whereas Scrum is about giving away the command and control in the individuals’ hands who will act as a self-organizing team to achieve a common goal .

Top management has to make a conscious choice if they want to apply Scrum framework to execute their projects. They need to look at it from multiple perspectives including the nature of projects the organization will be undertaking.

If the nature of project is predictable and not uncertain, Scrum may not be a good choice. However, if the opposite is true, Scrum can be the most powerful tool a project can ever have given the right team.

As a Scrum team, you need to figure out whether your project has got top management buy-in or not. If not then first thing you can do is to bring that up in your daily stand-up meeting as most crucial impediment to be resolved.

Such impediment removal might result into a project which doesn’t use Scrum but that is the right thing to do.

Extreme Scrum-thinking: Don’t use Scrum if that’s the solution to removing the main impediment.