Scrum Philosophy

“Scrum is not a methodology – it is a pathway” - Ken Schwaber 2005

Scrum was developed in 1993 by Jeff Sutherland before being formalised for software development in 1995 by Ken Schwaber.  It is now one of the leading agile practices adopted worldwide.

Scrum embodies the spirit of the agile manifesto, inherent in its framework is support for individuals and interactions, working software, customer collaboration and responding to change.

The nature of scrum promotes inclusiveness of people to work together as a single unit working towards a common goal and objective with shared commitments, it promotes rapid feed back cycles which we come to know as inspect and adapt cycles not only of the working product but also of the process.  It focuses on producing working software as the primary measure of success and gives us the tools to rapidly respond to change.

Scrum encourages us to look internally within ourselves and our teams to understand how we work and how we can improve, it also brings to the surface impediments within the team and the organisation that stops us reaching our potential and these must be resolved.

Scrum is not for the feint hearted and at its core are the following values

  • Commitment
  • Courage
  • Focus
  • Openness
  • Respect

We must fully embrace these values if we hope to get the best out of scrum.

Scrum has 5 underlying principals that underpin its framework

  • EmpiricismMake decisions based on observation and experimentation not theory, that is replace detailed up front planning and processes by just in time inspect and adapt cycles.
  • Self OrganisationAllow the team to self manage and be autonomous, allow them to organise themselves around clear goals, objectives and constraints.
  • CollaborationCollaborate with the team, do not manage or direct them.
  • PrioritisationWork on the most important thing first, that is the things that add the most value, don’t waste time working on things that do not add immediate value.
  • Time BoxingSet time boxes and stick to them do not extend them.  This creates the rhythm that everyone can work to.

Just like the scrum values the principals of scrum are fundamental to its success.

As Ken Schwaber said “scrum is a pathway” and this is true.  I like to think of it as the pathway that starts the journey.  Once you have embarked on the journey there is no going back, a journey where you will never stop learning and one that will never end.

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