Wednesday, October 10, 2012

When is a scrum not a scrum?

As the craze to claim that a project is agile gathers pace, I see more cases where the daily meeting is referred to as a scrum. Gimme a break. See this article at the Agile Forest, for what is wrong with the trend in status meetings.
Quoting from the article:

The key purpose of a Stand-up is the opportunity to collaborate, share and support each other in the delivery of valuable outcomes.

I reckon that over time we will all see more and more examples of where the language of agile is adopted without the actual corresponding practice. There will be talk of sprints, iterations, retrospectives, scrums, kanbans, etc etc whilst the waterfall approach continues to be used on the project as the actual main method. Of course this means the project will not be able to embrace change since it will not be able to move quickly and easily in any direction. But then no-one will see anything wrong with that because waterfall is always the way it has been done. And a slow, plodding speed of delivery with document+design,code,test,signoff in strict order with no feedback will continue to be the way that software development is expected to be done.

At the next "scrum" I am tempted to ask who is the scrum master. But I have a feeling that the irony will be lost: I will just be told it is the person that asks each person in turn, "what did you do yesterday, what will you do today?" whilst the rest of team waits for the meeting to finish.

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