Scrum Tips: Outer Shell or Gooey Core

Plenty of organizations are using Scrum (the most popular Agile framework) to boost productivity and achieve early results for their clients. However, many get stuck in the outer shell of Scrum without focusing or even experiencing the soft gooey core. Let’s look at three pieces of Scrum to get us started.

Daily Scrum

The shell of the Daily Scrum is a meeting that the entire team (Team, ScrumMaster, and Product Owner) has each day for 15 minutes and they stand for it.They also answer three questions which are: what did I do?, what will I do next?, and what are my obstacles? If a team or organization only focuses on the outer shell of the Daily Scrum then limited benefits will be achieved. However great benefits will be achieved f they are able to see the purpose of the Daily Scrum which is to connect the team daily to help all understand what is going on so that they can adjust their plans and help each other out to complete their goals. One way to observe if a team deeply understands and has internalized the purpose of the Daily Scrum is if this meeting is joyful, they are all engaged, and it is owned by the team.

Product Backlog

The outer shell of the Product Backlog is an ordered list of ideas for the product. This could be just that, a list of work to be done that is ordered in some way. So what? What if this list was a living artifact that all team members and key stakeholders could see each and every day (preferably on a large wall) that they could have input and be able to start conversations? Wouldn’t that be much better? Think of how the second Product Backlog would help facilitate conversations, decisions, further understanding, and lead to better outcomes.


The shell of the ScrumMaster is that he or she ensures that the team is functional and productive. This could that he schedules the meetings, makes sure that they happen, force the rules, and keeps the team together and talking. If you just do that, then you are managing the team. On the other hand, if you build capacity in the team for collaboration, aid in their ability to achieve their team goals early, and focus on the large goal of becoming a high-performance team then much better results will be achieved.

Why not go for the gold? Well, it is much easier to read a Scrum book, attend a two-day training or go to a conference to make Scrum start at your company. This might get you small quantitative results. Not so bad I guess. However, if you get leadership excited, bring in external support (experienced coaches), and view this Scrum “thing” as a framework for large transformational change then will more likely get large qualitative results. Go for the gold!

Warm regards,

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