Sunday, 15 February 2009

Scrum is Only a Recipe

I like Scrum. It offers a great template for getting started with agile project management. But the important word in the previous sentence is template. I see too many teams worrying if they are doing scrum properly. That's not the point, doing Scrum properly is not the point. The point is trying to make a process that suits your current situation that is as agile as possible. Scrum is just a useful first stepping stone in getting there.

The first time you cooked a recipe from a cookery book, you would follow it blindly. What else could you do? When you eat the food it may be too bland, so you next time you cook it you add a little salt; or it may be dry, so you adjust the cooking time. You use your previous experience to improve the outcome.

Agile is like that: execute, reflect, improve, repeat. Sprint planning not working for you? Find another way to do it. Users cannot go three weeks without changing the scope? Shorten the iteration length. Don't feel constrained by the scrum process, remember it's only a template, change the bits that aren't working for you.

Don't put up with crap food, improve your recipe.

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