Are you a Scrum-Bot? What’s that you ask? You know, Scrum-Bot… the people we program with Scrum, wind-up, put in a box-about the size of two weeks, and watch as they work furiously to complete the tasks that have been assigned inside the box, only to be asked to do it all over again in another two weeks. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?
Don’t get me wrong, Scrum is a great framework for helping development and business teams acquire new collaboration mechanics that foster lean and Agile execution. But increasingly I am encountering Scrum teams that are mechanical drones. These teams are completely devoid of active engagement or thoughtful discovery and instead, act like they’re on treadmills to nowhere.
While there are very good reasons why running Scrum teams on a fixed diet of time by limiting their iteration cycles to 2, 3 or sometimes 4 weeks make sense, I too often see teams settle for using Scrum like a metronome. They’ve fallen victim to thinking that simply “doing” or “building” stuff in short increments is what produces value. They have failed to push beyond the mechanics and focus on the discovery, learning, and adaptation opportunity that was the whole point of Scrum to begin with.
Don’t want to be a Scrum-Bot? Then stop focusing just on “the doing” and instead start focusing on the thinking, learning and discovery.