Scrum does not trust you

May 08, 2023

Scrum as written does not trust you.

It is agility training wheels, perhaps a protective bubble in which to get things going, but it does not want to admit it.

Perhaps it does not trust people to do the right thing if they knew it was just a starting point. Perhaps it would sell fewer certification courses, impress fewer businesses. Neither reason is a good and noble one.

Context is king

The scrum guide is written to be as devoid of context as possible. The introduction actually states that things which depend on context are beyond the scope of the guide. Someone got carried away (perhaps by consulting fees?) into thinking a guide will get better the more general it is.

Surely, something more general is applicable in more situations?

Surely, if we can describe things in fewer words, defined using only our own set of specific words, we have something everyone can use?

Yes, but it also means nothing without adding context. A spheric methodology in a vacuum is a thing of beauty in a certain way, but you will sure have a hard time using it for anything.

Org mode

Considering how Scrum it set up, it seemingly does not trust organizations either. Developers need to be shielded from the withering radiation of The Organization.

It might be a reasonable starting point.

But why is that the one and only way to work? Do they assume organizations can and will never change, or that they are busy changing rapidly along some other axis and will never be able to change around this one as well? The team needs to be shielded, forever. End of story. We can provide no context.

Training wheels

There is value to be found in all of this, and reasons for all the choices. But if Scrum trusted you, it would explain itself. And not try and pretend it is the one and only thing. It does not even say that you should outgrow it!

Scrum is agility training wheels. It contains useful ideas. I just wish it would be a bit more clear about what it is and why.

And admit that, at some point, if things go well, those training wheels are meant to come off.

Perhaps that is why they insist on being atomic and all that? Pick them up, use them, then discard them once you get into messy things such as context?

(But just come out and say it if it is indeed what you meant.)