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Scrum and "old knowledge"

soblom profile image Sören Blom ・2 min read

Came across this article, which is one of a serious and it triggered more reflection than initially expected:

Together with the accompanying

The first time I used Scrum in a project was early 2008; twelve years ago. I read the usual books, got certified (Scrum Master and Product Owner) and have seen Scrum adopted well and not so well in may teams. You could say I thought I had this topic "in the pocket".

In recent years, the "Agile Industrial Complex" has dampened my earlier enthusiasm. The never-ending methods with certification schemes popping up, having scrum master and agile "coaches" in companies, whose only exposure with product and software development was a two day training course, etc. Apparently, though, Scrum hasn't fully fallen to the dark side and it keeps evolving, as shown in the linked articles via the changes of the Scrum Guides (also see this article).

I was aware of some changes in the guide. For example, not to use the term grooming anymore or switching out committing to a sprint backlog vs considering it a forecast. One thing that was new to me was the change of the Daily Scrum standard questions. They are now using the sprint goal as the reference point of reporting: What did I do yesterday that helped the Development Team meet the Sprint Goal.

While I am really pleased to learn about many these changes, I also was a little shocked to realise that they had all happened without my taking notice. Contrast this with, for example, changes in Java. A language I haven't written code in in forever and have no real interest in, intellectually. I still managed to keep a basic awareness about changes such as the Streams API or the language switching to a half-year release cycle.

I don't have a good explanation for this, other than it feels like I had Scrum "taken care of", knowledge was archived and good enough for reference in the daily work. Maybe I am also falling prey to the well-known problem of thinking agile methods are "easy" as they only have "a few rules" and then being very careless in sticking to the important basics. It seems, though, that I am not the only one being outdated on Scrum knowledge. Teams that I work and have worked with are happily grooming their stories, don't define a sprint goal and treat their sprint backlogs as binding contracts and not as forecasts.

In any case will I now keep an eye out for other topics that give me this "safely and snuggly archived" feeling. Time to shake up some presumed "certainties".

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