Monday, December 3, 2012

Who is Scrum For?

A few months ago someone I know and respect in the Agile community said that they do agile to make the world safe for programmers.

This phrase as stuck with me. I don’t know how seriously the person meant it. I suspect it was partially a joke and partially a stronger statement than one might think.  I suspect it is a real driving force for that person.

And it is true that many implementers have had terrible lives, at least often, and making the world better for them is a very good thing.

But I think we should strive for more than that.

We need to make the world better for everyone.

For example, the customers do not want software (usually), they want something useful that will make their lives better.  The managers need a better life.  The project managers need a better life.  The business owners need a better life. The testers need a better life.

Everyone around or affected by Scrum should be getting a noticeably better life.  And one easily noticed, in terms of the improvement.

This is happening, although it is not happening as much and for as many people as it should. And when it is happening, it is not being noticed and celebrated as much as it should.


Well, I think one fairly important reason is that too many of us are being selfish.  For example, we are so afraid that the programmer may have to work and be modest and admit failure, that we disable the mechanisms (velocity and demos, for example) that enable the customers and business people to collaborate with the Team.

Anyway: It is an odd request. We want everyone’s life to improve at the same time. No trade offs.

Can it be true every minute?  Well, perhaps not.  But can it be true every sprint, looking back at the sprint in total?  Yes, I think so.

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