Scrum and the ten commandments….

“What should I do to check the robustness of the Scrum implementation within our organization?”, I keep hearing this question again and again, hence thought of writing this blog post. Since scrum and the ten commandments are value based, there are lot of similarities. If someone says that they have a tailored version of scrum, I am really scared, because it is more like implementing a tailored version of ten commandments. Out of ten commandments, I may be violating or tailoring only one, and that could be ”committing murder” or I might have tailored it to the extent of imparting serious injuries to someone, but not killing him.

Based on my past experiences, one need to ask only a few questions to understand the level of implementation of scrum, within a team;

  1. What is the velocity of the last sprint?… This question may sound very innocent, and at the same time if everyone in the team can give the same number, then that is an indication of having a decent product backlog, user stories and planning meetings. A comparison of the previous sprints achieved story points, and the current sprints planned story points will let us know whether the planning process is alright or not.
  2. What is the duration of the standup meeting?….If this is more than 20 minutes per day, then then there is something wrong. May be, the scrum master is using that meeting as a issue resolution meeting, rather than a status update meeting (of the team).
  3. Do you have work allocation or work volunteering?. If the answer is work allocation, then there is a serious problem.
  4. Are you using the sprint burn down chart to track the progress daily?. If the answer is yes, then there is no problem.
  5. What is the definition of ‘Done’?. If the definition of done is not clear, that will lead to many illusions.

If you can ask a team these five questions, then you will get to know how good that implementation. If this post is too simple and straight forward, contrary to the general expectation of a heavy weight assessment, I am sorry to disappoint you. Either you follow all the ceremonies properly, as expected by the founders of scrum (scrum guide), or do not do it. Scrum is based on honesty, integrity, mutual respect, commitment …. After violating one of the commandments, one cannot say that he is honest…:-)

I must leave now, for other important things in life…Bye..

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