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…


What I learned from an executive, bulldog, and a torpedo

“Work them ’til they bleed” is a phrase that has stuck with me for a few years now. The quote is from a manager summoned to fix a crisis we had. Every day we had status meetings, endured micro-management and follow-ups against a fixed deadline approaching as fast and unstoppable as a train.

We were supposed to be Agile! How did we end up having project plans, command and control, and lack of trust?

In the end, what matters is the result. Picture fromGerd Altmann from Pixabay

Many organizations wish to implement Scrum and become Agile to earn more money or become more competitive. …


Four strong archetypes you can use to boost your Scrum transformation

Have you had the gut feeling your Scrum implementation doesn’t fit your organization? Like trying to fit the wrong piece into a puzzle? You might be right!

Picture from https://www.freeimageslive.co.uk/files/images010/shape_puzzle.jpg

Change management is a structured approach to guide individuals, groups, and organizations from the current situation to a desirable future state. The discipline of Change Management is vast, and the number of theories numerous. Still, the field remains surprisingly unexplored by many Scrum practitioners. Frameworks, such as SAFe, rely only on Kotters “eight steps” process, for example.

Scrum and Agile embrace the idea of change. We hear phrases such as “inspect and adapt”…


Are you doing ceremonies or events?

Forgive me, Scrum, for I have sinned. I have carelessly referred to Scrum Events as ceremonies or rituals.

Japanese traditional Tea Ceremony — cro magnon13 från Pixabay

Let’s face it. Religion and tradition have ceremonies. Scrum is neither. So the logical conclusion is — no ceremonies. Still, if you search on the Internet, you notice many of us refer to Scrum’s Events as ceremonies.

Marking a word might seem pedantic or a small thing. We do seem to think discussing tiny details necessary, though. At code reviews, we spend hours religiously debating whether a curly bracket should be on a new line or not. As Agile practitioners, we do…


Do we need to cultivate our own Scrum garden?

“If this is the best of possible worlds, what then are the others?”
Voltaire, Candide

In the story of Candide, the philosopher Pangloss claims we live in the best of all possible worlds despite all catastrophes happening to him on his path. As the story progresses, he partially abandons his philosophy. Pangloss still chooses to make his surroundings believe he is faithful to his original teachings. …


The everlasting war between ideas

Many believe the Agile revolution started with the New New product game. Many believe Scrum is the forerunner and vigilant battling waterfall. Significantly few realize the epic battle between A priori and A posteriori has been going on for thousands of years.

A priori is knowledge independent of experience, for example, mathematics. A posterior depends on empirical evidence. The most famous champions of the two approaches are Plato on one ringside and Aristotle on the other side.

Plato is the father of waterfall, and Aristotle, the mother of Scrum. For a long time, Plato’s ideas ruled alone in Europe. By…


How Wittgenstein's philosophy of language provides us with plausible communication models in software

Have you pondered on the philosophical aspect of why communication is so hard? Did you think long and hard after watching the movie The Matrix? Is it possible that both of Wittgenstein's philosophies are correct? Can we both have the cake and eat it too?

Ludwig Wittgenstein (born Vienna, 1889) is probably the only famous philosopher who introduced two very different philosophies during his lifetime. I believe both of them can be useful for creating better software. In different contexts.

Image by author, inspired by source snl.no

Wittgenstein was active during the first half of the 20th century and started as an engineer. He was interested in…


How we epically failed to improve productivity by measuring it

I had just got a new management position. In the first briefing, my supervisor introduced the importance of KPIs — “they’re in our DNA,” he said. We measure and evaluate everything we do against our metrics.

Roughly two years ago, the CEO had given the go-ahead for an “Agile Transformation” using Scrum. Now they wanted to know if they were getting “twice the work in half the time.”

KPI measuring Development efficiency based on #of Story Points produced

The Executives decided to set a goal for each team member to create seven Story Points per Sprint. The picture shows each team member delivering 5.9 Story Points per iteration— in the…


A long time ago, in a constellation far, far gone, we had to scale Scrum. We hadn’t heard of Scaling Frameworks, so we just went out into the wide world as rebels without a clue. At least we knew Scrum.

Scaling Frameworks aim to help organizations solve the question of how multiple teams can work together. To begin a never-ending journey of learning and improvement. Instead, I see organizations becoming slaves to the framework, obsessed with following rules. Sorry to break the spell, but Agility doesn’t come from following a set of rules. Culture, people, and conditions are different in…

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.

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