What is SCRUM?

What is SCRUM?

… or better said – what is it NOT?

When we introduced SCRUM we simply removed all project management structures and replaced them with agile – means SCRUM – process templates. We renamed “Project Manager” to “Scrum Master” and “Product Manager” to “Product Owner”. From this day on we were entirely agile. This worked fine for the – initial two sprints. User stories were small enough to fill up the sprint, they weren’t as complex to produce headache, and the overall spirit was positive and optimistic.

So, the bigger stories were produced by our product owners. One user story spawning multiple sprints? No problem at all. We started to work “agile” and followed the basic rules of waterfall (plan, build, run) forgetting all the nice agile ideals. Where we ended actually? Chaos and anarchism – no joke.


What lessons we learned – in a retrospective view?

  • SCRUM is a software development tool. It doesn’t free you from all the project management pain. Now, in our organization – we still have technical project managers looking after the huge topics or those needing external support. They get all the different departments organized and look after well-needed input from those departments – allowing the product owners to focus on their part of the game – filling the backlog and controling the product definition. We sorted out the mistake of renaming roles from the waterfal world into agile roles. Now, we have a thorough understanding of what the different roles in SCRUM mean – and what they have to focus on. And, more important where SCRUM roles end and you still need assisting roles.
  • SCRUM doesn’t replace your organization, roles and hierarchies at all – it allows a different view angle on these topics and highlight the product issues.

P.S.: If you were looking for a SCRUM introduction … Try these sources …

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