Soft Scrum

Don is an entrepreneur and business leader with over 15 years experience specializing in aligning management-driven technologies and initiatives together with business and project strategies resulting in thoroughly planned and comprehensive business solutions. His expertise as a project manager, developer, tester, analyst, trainer, consultant, and business owner has spanned across diverse industries such as finance, retail, health care and information technology

There is no doubt that agile project management has hit the mainstream--with Scrum being the leader of the pack. Many software development companies (both large Fortune 500s as well as start-ups) are utilizing this method to deliver projects successfully, and there even seems to be indication that it is being adopted outside of IT.

Now that Scrum has “crossed the chasm“, how successfully is it being implemented? A post by Martin Fowler--a well-known software development guru and agile advocate--argues that Scrum has become flaccid in many organizations due to its dysfunctional implementation:

  • They want to use an agile process, and pick Scrum
  • They adopt the Scrum practices, and maybe even the principles
  • After a while, progress is slow because the code base is a mess

Because Scrum is silent on which “software engineering” practices to use--according to Fowler--many seem to infer that none need to be followed. For Fowler, we must continuously assess if we are working against the agile principles (retrospectives), otherwise undone work (a.k.a. technical debt) will continue to cripple the delivery of value as long as we continue to allow it to accumulate. Scrum is just a tool to expose deficiencies and dysfunction within the team and the organization; the problems and the solutions thereof remain for us to solve.

So how do…

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