3 Scrum Types – Your Flavor of Scrum?

Yusuf Arslan put together a pretty long piece on what he finds to be the definitive 3 Scrum characters that you could be: Social Scrum, Pragmatic Scrum, or Purist Scrum. Where do you fit?

Social Scrum:

The art of telling people you do Scrum to avoid the more difficult issues.

  • Pros: Easy and fun (no conflicts), Better motivation, Potential for more adaption
  • Cons: Nobody accountable for team results, Can result in micro management, No performance improvement

Pragmatic Scrum:

The art of doing what works right now but not making long term improvements.

  • Pros: Quick productivity improvements, Better communication, Fast start
  • Cons: No organizational improvements, Can’t determine the capacity, After the quick wins it can become worse.

Purist Scrum:

Doing Scrum by the Ken Schwaber book, but not adjusting for per-project needs.

  • Pros: Self managing, Innovative, No overhead costs
  • Cons: Architecture and infrastructure, Need a change of engineering practices, Doesn’t provide any guideline on a lot of (hard) questions, time-consuming, Potential for conflict, Costly to build

So is this it? Is there more?

[HT: Yusuf Arslan]

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12 Responses to “3 Scrum Types – Your Flavor of Scrum?”

  1. Vin D'Amico
    March 24, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    Unfortunately, there are almost as many variations on Scrum as there are teams using it. The number of ‘Scrum-buts’ … “we follow Scrum but” … are far too many.

    I believe that one of the largest problem areas is adapting Scrum to the enterprise. Scrum’s sweet spot is the small company or small workgroup. Enterprise-scale projects have an extremely difficult time using Scrum. They are just too structured and too documentation-centric to use Scrum effectively – hence Scrum-but.

    Those of us active in the agile community need to do a better job of defining and implementing enterprise Scrum.

    • peter
      March 24, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

      That’s why we have enterprise Agile coaches! (Who can hopefully help with that transition)

  2. David Bland
    March 24, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    Enterprise orgs seem skeptical of the Scrum of Scrums concept. I think you have a better chance of scaling it with an Agile Project Manager (cannot believe I’m typing this) who “leans out” the rest of the org.

    • peter
      March 24, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

      Ouch… interesting thought here… I’ll think about it more and respond… :)

    • Derek Huether
      March 24, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

      David, I’ve witnessed what you’re saying. With my client, as long as I kept Scrum on a team level, they’re good with it. But, when I proposed Scrum of Scrums to communicate on a higher level, they waved me off. The overarching SDLC still has the control points and litigious meetings and they felt more comfortable with that.

      I’ve noticed that on a tactical level, we live in reality. Once you get higher to a strategic level, ignorance is bliss. Most of the time, they really don’t want to know the truth.

      • peter
        March 24, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

        Tough living in that scenario. Time for Enterprise Agilin~

  3. Yusuf Arslan
    March 31, 2011 at 8:53 am #

    Thank you for mentioning it on your blog and having an open conversation about this subject.

    I really do no want to pretend that this is “the definitive 3 Scrum characters”. As I tried to explain in my article ” I only want to make conscious that the implementation of Scrum can vary according to the situation. Being aware what you are doing is then very important. And maybe this model and terminology can help you with it.”

    About the issue with “the Enterprise and Scrum”, I think that especially bigger organizations have created really big impediments for them selves. It is hard to remove these impediments and as mentioned a lot, Scrum can only make them evidently visible, not solve them.

    The overall strategy of enterprises are all too often “defensive” while Scrum assumes that organisations exist to make progress. It is actually a classical question for every organizational change: “is there a dissatisfaction with the present situation and urgency to change it?”. Most of the time there is really no urgency or a dissatisfaction.

    • peter
      March 31, 2011 at 10:03 am #

      Thanks for following up on this and giving your 2 cents.

    • craig brown
      June 3, 2011 at 5:00 am #

      Motivating for change in the enterprise is growing. On two fronts too. Managers (people) see a more human way of operating and want to participate. Execs see their industries crumbling and scramble for a solution.

      If you want to market acronym there are two different segments, and maybe two different modes of #scrum in there.

      • peter
        June 3, 2011 at 8:33 am #

        Thanks for the feedback craig! I think that there will always be different views of Scrum. Why bucket it?

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