I recently had a quick discussion with a project manager about how an entire industry has been made out of one position: The Project Manager. There are certifications, classes, seminars, books, consultants, coaches, and entire conferences built around the role. He sarcastically told me that the entire industry is built around one tool: MS Project. Ha! So how did it get to such a behemoth?
One could look at the numbers and see several ways why it has increased over the years: Marketing (external or word-of-mouth), certification and business value (perceived or actual), consumer demand as professionals pay for extra knowledge and skills (perceived or actual).
So is this the same way that Agile and the most popular methodology, Scrum, is headed?
While there has been a ton of online content talking about the merits of certification vs. de-certification, experience and actual value-add to clients, we recently came across an article that really caught our attention.
“We need to adopt (new practices), experiment with them, change and adapt them. And when they too ossify into unchallengeable truisms we will need to destroy them (Agile methods) too.”
A relatively recent article in PDF format pushed out by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland has solidified to the software development community that “Scrum” is as the PDF defines: A Framework.
“If you don’t like Scrum, we welcome and invite you to devise something else. Just don’t call it Scrum.”
Some could say that this position is very rigid and doesn’t allow for the inspect and adapt parts of the Agile Manifesto. We would disagree. What Ken and Jeff have put together is a fantastic framework (Keyword: Framework). Scrum doesn’t define everything and leaves the doors wide open for augmented methods that work well with Scrum framework.
Would it be an accurate statement that a business or team is using Scrum when it does not partake in all facets of the framework? Ken and Jeff would probably say, “No.”
Is there any room for inspecting and adapting to the Scrum framework?
We don’t have a PhD in processes, methods, software development, and all those other theories that Agilists talk about, so we’re not too sure. Still, the conversation may be worth talking about over a nice hot cup of coffee sometime with another.
What do you think? Will Scrum evolve with time?