Time to shift focus: from Scrum tools and process to practice

I am ambivalent about the Scrum community’s focus on process and tools.

Yes, it is this effort that has driven adoption and created an economy for us practitioners. But adoption is yesterday’s challenge. We’re kind of winning that one.

We need to place less emphasis on getting new organizations to try Scrum to more on getting existing teams practice Scrum better.

DSCN1768.jpgHow many of us many, many Scrum adopters strive towards the potential of the practice?

  • Where reliable software delivers monetary return to sponsors because it is truly valuable to end users.
  • Where individual contributors are allowed to bring their most creative effort to the workplace to the benefit of both employers and end users.
  • Where workers are allowed to live rewarding lives outside the workplace to the betterment of their families and communities.

Not just exceptional productivity – ambitious enough as that is — but exceptional productivity to a genuinely productive end.

Life is full of compromise but if that is not the aspiration — to fill our careers with as much of these achievements as possible — then why bother?

Why spend money on training and tools to deliver more waste on short, iterative cycles?

Why extract more lines of code that no one will test or use but only spend money to maintain?

Why use the Scrum process to perpetuate the alienation of the knowledge worker from their work?

Mastery means taking responsibility for ourselves and our peers. Grasping our practice is the sum of our intentions and actions in the service of something.

So here’s my plea to shift the conversation back to it’s roots.

“Agile” is about the material and human good we create when we respect our co-workers tell truth to our employers, strive to improve, and care for the people affected by the software we help build.

We use a tool or process to the degree it furthers that end and no farther.

This entry was posted in scrum, software development and tagged , , , by Ken Judy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ken Judy

I am an executive manager, software developer, father and husband trying to do more good than harm. I am an agile practitioner. I say this fully aware I say nothing. Sold as a tool to solve problems, agile is more a set of principles that encourage us to confront problems. Broad adoption of the jargon has not resulted in wide embrace of these principles. I strive to create material and human good by respecting co-workers, telling truth to employers, improving my skills, and caring for the people affected by the software I help build.

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