Scrum is NOT for Everybody

Scrum is not for everybody! — I needed to hear this from Ken again during the Orlando Gathering this year.

I had a very bad experience in one of my last trainings. I was not relaxed enough just to listen away. But in fact Kens statement helped me again. Some people simple do not want to get it. They agree in every point of the discussion and then … BUT.

They do not want to be in charge about their work. They want to have answers, they do want to follow someone who knows all answers. So they do not need to think and they do not want to take on responsibility.

The only way to deal with these people …. fire them! Get ride of them! Find another job for them! Help them to see they do not fit to your team!

It is ok! They will find an environment that fits their needs.

11 responses to “Scrum is NOT for Everybody

  1. First reaction on this post from our scrum team: “Cool! Can I go home now?”

    It is definitely not easy to fire someone only b/c scrum is not for them.
    Most of the times the Scrum Master will not have any choice who’s in the team or not.

  2. Hi Pete,

    cool, if this was their reaction …. find out why. Why do they tell this? Why do they not start thinking about taking their own life in their hands?

    This is transparency … the truth is hard to get sometimes, sometimes it hurts.

  3. Boris,
    thx for the answer. I perfectly understand what you are telling me.

    Still, not all Scrum Masters are empowered to fire someone or to easily exchange team members. Do you agree?

  4. @Pete:

    If someone in a SCRUM team doesn’t act accordingly to the values of SCRUM your options (as SM) are to ensure transparency and make it clear to everybody (including the bosses upstairs) that your team would become more effective and produce more and higher quality code if everybody in the team would agree to the principles in Scrum.

  5. Hehe, @Boris about Petes comment:
    This is just the humor in my team.

    I don’t mind working with people opposing to the process, its always good NOT to have 100% people on board saying YES to everything. As long as they all try to make it work, all is good. Even better, you are not at risk of loosing grip to the real life.

    It is a big difference if someone is not 100% behind the process, but still helping making it work or he/she is not behind the process and not supporting the whole thing.
    Team means doing stuff for others, sometimes regardless if you like it or not. If it helps the others its okay I guess.

    So i do not take the comment of my team-mate this serious ….
    We must never forget that a developer works unsolicited at a job 90% of the time. There are a lot of job options out there, headhunters go crazy for people … so putting pressure on the people might be the wrong thing. Worst case is you loose someone with knowledge … and then ? Get someone who plays better along with the process but has to be trained on the project? …. this is not my style and even more important not the style of the company i work in.

  6. Hi from an enganged, but still not Gloger-proven PO from the mentioned team above ,-)

    I agree with the Statement: Scrum and taking your own life into your hand is not really for everybody! But you always have a choice! If there is anything wrong with you, the process, the team-members, whatever – make it transparent, talk about it and find a solution in order to get things and work done. Of course this is sometimes not that easy – it needs a lot of tolerance from everybody and some mindwork, to understand the people´s and the team´s needs.

  7. Hi Pete, yes and no! Sure, most teams get not collected by the SM or the PO. But … why not talking to management about the wrong composition of the team? Why not finding a way to deal with a person in a way that he/she can not harm the other team mates anymore.
    There was always a clear statement in the books of Ken. SM has only one drastic authority. He can exclude a person from the team. Does not need to mean to fire him from the organisation, but there are usually plenty of jobs. Someone will be happy to work with this person.

  8. Hi guys – cool that I get so much feedback🙂 It is not about the process. It is not about you have to comply to the process. It is not about following the Scrum rules. It is about people who do not want to be transparent, who do not want to inspect and adapt. It is about people who always find excuses why they can not deliver.
    Ken mentions since years that in a lot of Scrum implementations you will loose team players and managers. They simply do not want to be transparent, work as team players, hide information, work for their own … Scrum is never about Scrum. Scrum is always about DELIVER usable software/product. Football is not about rules or process it is about getting this round thing into a box.

  9. Hehe, maybe I am just a Scrum Master, defending his team.

  10. A BIG thing and problem in my opinion is often Management itself on higher levels. You have to argue with rules, workflows and hard facts, in order to get an understanding from people of established push-principles and controlling. Its not that easy to make them understand and transparent, that SCRUM has more consequences then you think of at the beginning. An easy Example: It was extremely heavy to make clear, that the scrum team needed better, bigger monitors and new notebooks in order to have an effective working set. The argument was: We have a budget, and why should you get new hardware and others do not? (by the way: direct money was made with that team). It was not that easy to bring them into mind, that you get no effective work well done, when your basic hardware set is too old and too slow. And that you get the committment /agreement from management, that this is their part.

  11. I still think SCRUM is not for every company – I mean: for the whole company! And I think there is no need for it. It’s o.k. when the managers that directly have to support the project understand what SCRUM is and support the project in this manner. The SM should be able to wrap his SCRUM-project with a traditional look and feel to perfectly fit into the whole traditional company. The SM can’t always change the culture of the whole company at once. So if people within the SCRUM-team don’t act as required the SM should try to get them into another -traditional- team. But that’s nothing special about SCRUM: every project manager should try to form his team at its best – that’s his job!

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