Sunday, August 7, 2011

Scrum: Rugby or Project Management?

A scrum in rugby is a is a way of restarting the game and pits the 2 teams against each other in close proximity. It's one of the less gentlemanly parts of the game.

In Agile software development, a scrum is a daily meeting to sycn up all teams - similar to what I described in a previous post titled: Sync up in 15 minutes: The daily stand-up

The agenda of the daily scrum is always:

  • What has the team done since yesterday?
  • What is the team planning to do today?
  • Does the team have any problems that would prevent it from accomplishing its goal? 
The scrum is run by the Scrum Master - who is often also the Project Manager - and, as expected, it is the role of the Scrum Master to be in charge of finding solutions to any impediments that arise.

The reason I keep away from the term scrum is because of its rugby definitions.
  • The daily meetings do not restart anything; most healthy projects do not time-out every 24 hours.
  • The daily meetings don't pit the teams against each other. 
    • I prefer to think of projects as being made up of people who work together to a common goal,  as opposed to the various members of a project seeing themselves as being on opposing teams.
  • The word scrum has violent undertones, which are wholly inappropriate to software projects.
  • The British also use scrum as A disordered or confused situation involving a number of people - which should not be the case in a well run project, except - maybe - when the concept of scrum is being introduced for the first time.
Therefore I prefer that my 15-minute daily stand-ups not be called scrums.

- Danny Schoemann 

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