Monday, January 12, 2009

Is scrum perfect?

In answer to the above question: no, of course not. But is Scrum beyond reproach and criticism? Again I hope not. Scrum is great, and it is a great starting point for many projects that are beginning their agile journey. But Scrum is not the pantheon of perfection. It can be improved upon, particularly if one looks into the principles of lean.

Scrum is not totally lean (of course). We can look at Scrum with a few questions:
  • Why do we have 2 week sprints? Isn’t that an artificial and therefore wasteful limit that batches up work?
  • Why do we have 7 people on the team? Can we have less (or more) and make sure everyone is engaged appropriately?
  • Why do we demo at the end of a sprint and not when the story is complete? Doesn’t this sound like batching work?
  • Why do we estimate story points in an estimation session? Some of those stories we may not played because of reprioritization?
  • Shouldn’t estimates be done ONLY by those working on a story? Having people that don’t work on the story estimate seems like a handoff situation.
  • Why do we work on several stories during a sprint? Can we just work on one and therefore reduce inventories of work?
I believe, that by posing these questions to the Scrum process, one can improve the overall process and work toward a better Scrum.

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