ART OF SCRUM: Discipline and the Scrum

Posted: January 15, 2008 in Art of Scrum
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I would like to hijack a quote from The Shawshank Redemption:

“I believe in two things: Discipline and the Scrum. Here you will receive both.”

There are too many stories (note the lack of a capital S there) about how Scrum or some other Agile Flavor of the Weak fails to take hold in a corporate environment. I believe that this is due to Scrum being seen as some magical panacea, some sort of instant oatmeal solution to right a foundering project or product. This is not the case, and is the acknowledged dodge of Scrum trainers everywhere. It is even an early PowerPoint slide in the Danube standard CSM training presentation: Scrum is Not a Silver Bullet.

Here is what Scrum is NOT going to do for you:

* Fix a lack of honesty
* Make a Team play nice in the sandbox
* Remove micromanagement
* Force clients to play by our rules
* Produce good code / product for you
* Make your job easier

You have to do this yourself.

This is where discipline comes in. Martial arts are called disciplines for a reason. Discipline can be thought of as a form of punishment, or it can be seen as a form of self control, and the latter (not the former) leads to hallway usability testing, spontaneous code reviews, staying late to get something just right (and avoiding technological debt), and other evidence of pride of ownership. Discipline is what leads us to quality; Scrum is just a way to help you to be successful in your job description. To paraphrase Ben, own your code.

Achieve doesn’t hire weaksauce. Of that, I am certain, having seen most everyone’s resume, written your corporate bio, and definitely seen how, when we put our minds to it, we turn out excellence. The new year promises many more opportunities to churn out quality solutions for name-brand clients, great Web 2.0 honour, and ph@t l3wt. Discipline is focus, pride, and that extra effort that effectively makes our clients heroes, and it should not be a warden enforcing it: it should come from within.

  1. […] This is not the case; it takes preparation, dedication to the methodology, and above all, discipline. Daily Scrums are a good case in point; many times I have seen participants show up to this […]

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