Scrum: The Revolutionary Agile Framework?

Scrum is an agile framework. Scrum is well-known too. Scrum enforces deep and challenges changes on those that use it.

Is Scrum revolutionary, evolutionary, or just another agile framework?

Let’s Examine the Agile Landscape

Many agile practitioners and coaches alike consider agile to be a set of values and principles derived from the Agile Manifesto. This is how I see it as well. And, agile thinking has evolved to include more than just the manifesto.

Beyond the values and principles, there are plenty of practices, techniques, frameworks, and tools. Each of the agile frameworks was created/developed by various agile practitioners throughout the world – most of which live in North America.

What are Some of the Agile Frameworks?

Well, let’s begin with Kanban. Kanban is one of the simplest of the agile frameworks. Depending on which version of Kanban you consider it requires a few elements to be doing Kanban – the three core properties:

  1. Visualize the Work
  2. Limit Work in Progress
  3. Measure and Manage Flow

Kanban doesn’t require new roles, new ceremonies or new artifacts. It only requires a desire to visualize what is currently happening for the work, reducing the amount of work in a given state, and a willingness to collect data to make small improvements. Learn more about Kanban.

Another well-known agile framework is Extreme Programming (aka XP). This one is more advanced and difficult, hence the “extreme” in its name. XP focuses on more technical practices, a few of them are:

  • Pair Programming
  • Collective Ownership of the Code
  • CRC Cards for Design Sessions
  • Acceptance Tests

Many teams include elements of Extreme Programming instead of following the framework as a whole. However, using the complete framework increases the chance of better results. Learn more about Extreme Programming.

A third agile framework that is not as well-known but is creative in its own way is OpenAgile. OpenAgile shifts the approach from distinct roles to paths of service. This framework is not focused on software development like XP or Scrum, instead, it is focused on a group of people that have a common goal and need to work together to achieve it. OpenAgile has many elements that make it effective, including:

  • Foundations such as Truthfulness, Consultative Decision-Making, and Systematic Learning
  • Cycles
  • Engagement Meetings
  • Value Drivers

Teams that are not focused on software development seem to fit better when using OpenAgile. Full disclosure, I helped to develop OpenAgile and am a member of the Board of Directors of its non-profit organization. Learn more about OpenAgile.

Now, What About Scrum?

Scrum is the most well-known agile framework. There are plenty of organizations that offer certifications and training in the use Scrum. The creators of Scrum did a great job in promoting it and spreading its use all across the world. Scrum has roles, ceremonies, and artifacts such as:

  • Scrum Master
  • Product Owner
  • Burndown Charts
  • Product Backlog Items
  • Sprint Planning
  • Sprint Review

Plenty of teams adopt the Scrum framework. And, most agile coaches teach it and help others to select it as the preferred agile framework for their clients and organizations. Learn more about Scrum.

Is Scrum a Revolutionary Agile Framework?

With all the benefits of Scrum, can it be considered revolutionary? There are plenty of things to consider when taking a hard look at this question.

Does it propel us into a new way of working, challenge the status quo, and enhance our learning speed? Yes, yes, and yes! When Scrum is done well, it does shift our way of working from a project focus to one that is based on long-standing teams. When Scrum is not only done but becomes part of our DNA then it does challenge all that we hold dear. And when Scrum is adopted to its fullest learning becomes so fast that teams struggle to keep up.

But back to the main question, is it revolutionary?

I am not so sure. There have been plenty of new ideas, concepts, and creative books that have taken the world by storm since the creation of Scrum in the 1990s. Open Space Technology comes to mind. Uber did make some huge changes.

Sound off in the comments – is Scrum a revolutionary agile framework? Or can agile be even considered revolutionary?

Have a great week and keep on reaching for the stars and adding joyfulness to the world.

Warm regards,

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