I found this pimped car with the title “Art of happiness in Austin, Texas
I found this pimped car with the title “Art of happiness in Austin, Texas
The picture shows a pimped car from Austin, Texas

Is Scrum the “Art of happiness”? Does Scrum deliver its promise? As organizations grow more and more used to Scrum and other frameworks on the market they also begin to question the frameworks.

Lately, people seem to say that agile frameworks do not deliver their promise. If you have been in the software industry for some years you have seen this before. You are working in a specific way but you keep hearing about this other fantastic “golden bullet” others are using. You try it for some time, but don’t really see the greatness, so you decide to try something…

Don’t ask your manager if they want the red pill or the blue pill

Picture from Septimiu Balica , Pixabay

You are most likely aware of it already but I will state the obvious:
creating software is complex, difficult, and full of variation. You seldom build the same product, using the same tools and technology, several times in a row.

Why can’t we admit that we can’t predict or know when a product will be ready? Scrum uses the Fibonacci scale in planning poker and some say “don’t keep sprints longer than you can keep change away”. We do this to handle uncertainty. Why is this hard for above-average, intelligent managers to register? Why do estimates become commitments?

One reason…

On Podcasts, I hear knowledgeable persons talk about the perfect Sprint Length. To my surprise, the answer is often that a two-week Sprint is good — but if you want to be really Agile, maybe a week or even a day is best. Then after a moment of thought, they add— but then you should consider Kanban.

For me, that is begging the question; don’t worry about Sprint length. Sprint length doesn’t matter. Worry about cycle times and how fast you can take something into production. …

The New New Product Development Game — where Scrum Comes From

In the beginning was no Word. Wise men gathered in Snowbird to define a Word describing practices that had helped them deliver valuable software. Among those intelligent persons were the founders of Scrum. The Word they decided on was Agile. So, on the third day, the Agile Manifesto saw its first light. The Word Agile was a representation of ideas and principles from their collective experience on “what does work” to deliver software successfully.

I feel sorry that the use of the word “Agile” or “Scrum” today, for many, is connotated with “what does not work,” based on their experience—the…

Why well-crafted software matters

Well-crafted software is fundamental for successful Scrum. Despite this, I don’t hear people discuss their robust codebase as the factor for success. There is a high correlation between successful Scrum and technical discipline. Scrum has built-in mechanisms to ensure delivery of both value and quality. The balance is delicate, and pressure often disturbs that balance.

Delivery of value is achieved through increments, and quality is instilled through The Definition of Done (DoD).

“The entire Scrum Team is accountable for creating a valuable, useful Increment every Sprint.” — The Scrum Guide 2020

Increments combined with DoD enable sustainable increments.

Sustainable increments…

A case of how different authorities describe the Scrum Master

We failed to figure out the Scrum Master accountabilities at work. The teams and their members all held different views — we had to study and do workshops to get a better idea. The fact that we had to do investigations reveals the confused state we are in.

Frankly, the situation was expected. Depending upon which framework you read (Scrum, SAFe, LeSS) or year of the Scrum Guides, the responsibility of the Scrum Master is explained differently. …

The sections below show the Scrum Master description from several sources.


The Scrum Primer v2.0

The Scrum Primer is a compendium written by Pete Deemer, Gabrielle Benefield, Craig Larman, and Bas Vodde. The guide refers to the Scrum Guide and wishes to be a lightweight guide or compendium.

“The ScrumMaster helps the product group learn and apply Scrum to achieve business value. The ScrumMaster does whatever is in their power to help the Team, Product Owner and organization be successful. The ScrumMaster is not the manager of the Team members, nor are they a project manager, team lead, or team representative. Instead, the ScrumMaster…

Are the changes to the Scrum Guide a danger to Scrum?

Scrum is designed to be a lightweight framework that helps us deliver valuable products. The reason why Scrum became mainstream, and not, for example, XP or Crystal, is frequently discussed. I believe Craig Larman’s proposal comes close to the truth.

“Scrum hits an ideal balance between abstract principles and concrete practices”
- Craig Larman

Now, if the ideal balance is vital for the success of Scrum, must we not be careful with how the game is played? The rules for Monopoly, the game, have not been changed for decades, which has probably helped its success. …

A plausible explanation why Scrum is “same, same but different.”

Let’s imagine you have a box with something secret inside, and you call it “Scrum.” No one else has seen what you have in the box. When they ask you what is inside the box, you say it is “Scrum.”

What if everyone had their own little box with a secret inside and called it Scrum? No-one except you would know what is in the box. You would not know what the other person's “Scrum” in the box is! Whatever “Scrum” you have put in your box probably looks very different from what I have in my box. Maybe your…

Scrum and monoliths don’t work well together.

Bob scratched his head. What should he do? Management expected something of value delivered at the end of the sprint. Here he was with a fifteen-year-old monolith, twenty teams, and ten million rows of code—two weeks of regression testing. Merging, packaging, and moving to production is one week. There was no way in hell he could deliver anything to display during a sprint. But the management had been promised Scrum would do just that. What should he do?

Maybe he could make each sprint three months long…or change the Definition of Done…Maybe he should say that Scrum will not work…

Fredrik Carleson

Twenty years plus of continuous professional expertise in the information technology sector working in the private sector and United Nations in Europe and Asia.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store