Don’t change the Scrum rules when starting!

One critcal question when starting with Scrum often is: “What can we change in Scrum to better fit our organizational structure needs?”

It is for sure far simpler to modify the rules of Scrum than to change behaviour within the organization, but this will always foster the classical structures and won’t lead to a change towards Agility. Furthermore people will say: Scrum doesn’t work,

Beginners in Agility should never start changing things too early, before they understand what they will loose by those changes. Scrum is a framework in which each and every element has its place to support the entire structure of the framework. If you change parts of the framework or even pick only some parts of it, you will never get the real benefits out of Scrum.

A few bad examples:

  • Iterations length is adapted for every Iteration (e.g. according to the size of Backlog Items)
  • The Scrum Master and Product Owner is the same person
  • There are several lists of work for the team (multiple Backlogs)
  • The Product Owner or Stakeholders push new items into the Iteration Backlog or change them during the Iteration (Sprint)
  • The Daily takes place only once a week
  • Missing dedication and transparency: All Team Members are part of multiple (Scrum) teams and there is no clear commitment about the time when Team Members will work for the team
  • Stakeholders don’t participate in the Iteration Review
  • The Product Owner is the line manager and the Working Team reports to him within the Daily
  • Usage of the Backlog Refinement meeting to discuss and change the Iteration Backlog of the current Iteration
  • Extend the Daily to discuss (the same) problems everyday

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