Practicing Scrum


Doctors and Lawyers often refer to what they do as Practicing Medicine or Practicing Law. This represents the fact that despite their years of training and experience they will still be confronted with new and unique challenges that they couldn’t have prepared in advance to deal with. Scrum and Agile professionals are dealing with a similar situation. Scrum and Agile talk about suggested courses of action but the exact combination of actions is often a judgement call based on experience and context. Scrum Training talks about a set number of ceremonies, roles, etc. but the exact way to put those elements together is left to the unique situation.

In addition- the idea of Practice also carries with it the idea of a “beginner’s” mind. Even after years of training and experience Doctors and Lawyers are still required to continue schooling and learning to keep current with the latest information available. As the Agile Manifesto points out- we are “uncovering” ways to use our tools and techniques and urges us to continue to view the world as a learning environment. Scrum even mandates a piece of their Framework to the Retrospective- a time where to team comes together to put themselves under a microscope for the improvement of all.

So the next time someone ask you as a Training Agile Scrum professional say- “I’m practicing Agile!”

Video Transcript

Hello my name is Dean Gabbert and I am an Agile Coach and Trainer with Collaborative Leadership Team.

In this session, I want to talk about an idea or recurring theme if you will - that I’ve been thinking about for the past couple of years. It’s the idea of practice – specifically, the way a Doctor or Lawyer will describe what they do as “practicing” medicine, or “practicing” law.

It’s made me wonder if we, as scrum and agile professionals shouldn’t be taking the same approach? Think about it, regardless of how many years a doctor has been working, regardless the number of surgeries performed, the countless patients treated – they are still presented with situations that they have never seen or experienced in all their years of practice – and that will never stop happening. The rate of change in medicine – and in most fields for that matter -is so fast that to think you have actually mastered something, could be a very dangerous attitude to adopt.

In addition to the notion that this mindset requires a never-ending quest for knowledge, another reason why I really like it, is that it encourages and promotes the notion that we are constantly experimenting, trying new things, gathering the feedback and making adjustments.

If doctors can ‘practice’ medicine, agilest can – and should – practice new scrum and agile ideas.  Think of the value this adds in how we develop products and how we interact with our teams and stakeholders!

So go ahead – try it out for yourself. The next time someone asks you what you do – reply with “I’m a practicing ScrumMaster ” or “I’m a practicing Product Owner” and see how it feels. You’ve got nothing to lose – it’s just practice.

Thanks for taking the time to watch this video and

Do Good Scrum.

About Collaborative Leadership Team:

Collaborative Leadership Team (CLT) is the premier Agile Consultancy. We believe in the Values and Principles of the Agile Manifesto. Our mission is to train and coach Individuals, Teams and Leaders. This will improve their ability to deliver valuable, consistent, working product. Companies that adopt this way of working will reduce their cost of change and keep up with the evolving demands of their Customers. CLT helps you achieve your goals through Assessments, Training, Coaching and Mentoring.

Since 2010, CLT has had a significant impact on the way people and organizations achieve higher levels of productivity:

  • Over 15,000 Students trained in Agile & Scrum

  • Over 100 Organizations (Fortune 500 to family businesses) are achieving their goals by transforming and adopting Agile & Scrum

CLT brings Agile experience from all areas of business and technology. The Executive Suite, Software Development, Hardware Development, and Team Dynamics & Optimization.

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