Do Good Scrum – It's Time To Focus


A controversial statement I made in a Certified ScrumMaster class last year was, “every time you do bad Scrum a kitten will die.”

I do not intend to inflict harm on any kittens.  Quite the contrary!  I love the furry little creatures so much that I want to protect them.  And I love Scrum. I really love it when people do good scrum. It is a results oriented process that can deliver business results faster than traditional methods.  If used as directed.


But so many people attempting Scrum turn a blind eye to the culture change, dig their heels in and try to force their status quo onto Scrum.  By definition Scrum is different.  That is how it can deliver faster than other methods.

Jeff Sutherland is a smart guy.  If he thought that there was a need for a “Sprint 0” that produced nothing but requirements, he would have included it in the framework.  There is a reason that it does not exist – because by definition a Sprint should produce a working product increment.  Not a document.   Not a Product Backlog.

So why do people make things up that do not exist?  If the organization is not ready to commit to the work, why waste the team’s time with activities that the Product Owner and ScrumMaster are capable of addressing?  The team could be executing something that does deliver a potential shippable product increment or something of value to your customers.


Do people make up structures in Scrum that do not exist such as Sprint 0 because they do not understand that the Product Owner is empowered to frame up a Vision?  A Roadmap?  A Product Backlog?  Why abdicate these activities to the team who is supposed to be developing the product?

So why bother with Scrum at all?  If your current process is making your customers happy, don’t change a thing. But if you want to try something different, why not respect the process as it was intended to be adopted and not make things up. 

Come and learn from the Collaborative Leadership Team as we get back to doing good Scrum at our upcoming Certified Scrum Training classes.


Author: Collaborative Leadership Team. Learn more about our coaches and offerings here