Project Management

Why You Should Use Disciplined Agile If You Are Motivated to Improve Your Team’s Methods But Are Having Trouble With Scrum

From the Manifesting Business Agility Blog
This blog concerns itself with organizations moving to business agility—the quick realization of value predictably and sustainably, and with high quality. It includes all aspects of this—from the business stakeholders through ops and support. Topics will be far-reaching but will mostly discuss FLEX, Flow, Lean-Thinking, Lean-Management, Theory of Constraints, Systems Thinking, Test-First and Agile.

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How you can use the insights of Disciplined Agile to improve your Scrum practices

Why You Should Use Disciplined Agile If You Are Motivated to Improve Your Team’s Methods But Are Having Trouble With Scrum

Al Shalloway - How do you advise clients on where to start? (referring to Scrum or something else)


No approach is foolproof. All require the people using them to be motivated & interested in change. At Disciplined Agile we look at failure of adoption quite deeply. The key is to believe the failure was not caused by a lack of motivation of the adopters but by improperly designed guidance. You cannot learn from failure by blaming someone else.

Highy motivated teams fail in their Agile adoption for many reasons but the ones I see most are:
1-Using pre-set practices which don’t suit the people adopting them
2-no theory explaining why these practices are appropriate
3-No method provided to adjust these practices to help the team improve and even transcend them
4-An insistence that not using these practices means you’re not following the adopted approach – this creates a psychological barrier to adopting more suitable practices

Initial motivation is often destroyed by the frustration that comes from a difficult, even inappropriate start, with little guidance on how to improve what one is doing.

DA believes people are smart enough to decide what works for them when they are provided some core insights. We never blame the adopters for lack of motivation.

Let me be clear, I am not "bashing" Scrum. (See Is it “bashing”, “criticism”, or “negative feedback”? ) I am wanting to provide an alternative to those experiencing challenges in adopting Scrum whose failures are often attributed to being due to their lack of motivation. I have never liked this and I believe it unjustifably demeans the teams. A day rarely goes by where I don't see some consultant asserting this. If we had a professional consultant creed I believe it should include "I will never blame my client for their failure in adopting my approach." Doing so makes it impossible to improve one's approach. I have seen many teams of motivated people struggle with their adoption of Agile because they have been told that Scrum equals Agile. It does not, it's only one way of adopting Agile. If a Scrum proponent disagrees with my assertions, I invite you to have a discussion with me about these points (this does not include a discussion about me). My motivation is to help people struggling. I started talking about these issues in 2005 while I was still promoting Scrum. I am fine that the Scrum community doesn't want to attend to these concepts, but it shouldn't expect me to be quiet about them.

Posted on: August 29, 2020 01:25 PM | Permalink

Comments (3)

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Thanks for sharing, very interesting.

Al, thank you. This article applies to what I am contending with and have found myself communicating in principals for buy in.

Darren glad it was of help. Let me know if you could use some more.

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