Is Scrum is Dying? Keep Scrum Alive!

Jens Coldewey recently posted an article about Scrum suffering and that Kanban is growing like hippies in California. These types of posts seem to be the fad of the day, the vogue of our 2010 State of Agile. With articles like Uncle Bob’s (Robert Martin’s) recent article on Scrum certification and his white paper on the end of Agile, it seems like where there is speculation, there are people to write about it. Make no mistake about it, we’ve covered our fair share in the last year, from Scrum needing to evolve, to Tobias Mayer VS. Scrum Alliance, we’ve seen the Agile Manifesto (2.0?) needing (possibly) some updates, to whether the last 10 years of Agile has been effective or not.

So, is Scrum really dying out? Are we in desperate need of some real change agents to turn the tide and renew the branding of Agile? Is Kanban the new kid on the block ready to oust Scrum?

“The predominant position of Scrum will suffer from both the inside and the outside. On the inside, the struggles within the community will weaken the thrust effect of the certification program… I consider this a sign of increasing weakness for the Scrum Alliance.” – Jens Coldewey

I’m not fully convinced. Scrum has it’s place in software development and has been effective in many-a-organization. The Scrum Alliance is ready to push for better Scrum, and Donna is ready to make positive change in the SA, per the 2011 Scrum Strategic Plan.

Kanban is great for many new organizations, as written here: Kanban is great for n00bs. But Kanban isn’t an answer many of the needed processes and controls that big organizations need.

My suggestion, as mirrored by Jens is that we should all look closely at Scrum in the upcoming years. See how it’s evolving and changing (hopefully for the better). In due time, I’m certain that that Scrum will find its perfect place within the Agile toolset of methodologies. Kanban is a great addition as well, but don’t count Scrum out.

[HT: TheCutterBlog]

15 Replies to “Is Scrum is Dying? Keep Scrum Alive!”

  1. Those that believe Scrum are dying are the ones who don’t want to see it go mainstream. Whenever a niche product, approach or philosophy hits the mainstream, some of the early adopters feel grief. They like the tight knit community they enjoyed and they don’t want to see all the outsiders invade.

    Get over it. Scrum is reaching out to a bigger audience. It is here to stay.

  2. Scrum is just a framework that helps you developing common sense in doing what you do.

    If it is called scrum, plum, bum or anything else does not matter that much. “That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet”. As long as the scrum spirit survives.

    Let us just be attentive to how scrum, kanban,… evolves in software development and even much more interesting: outside IT. That is where revolutions are possible. In spirit and organization.

  3. Peter, I think you’re absolutely right: Scrum has made its stand, it has its share of the agile universe and it will stay, though it needs adaptation and refinement. If you look at conferences, about 50% of the vendors claim to do/consult Scrum (I’m not sure to which extent this reflects their competencies, but that’s a different story). By now Scrum is the market lead.

    However, I believe that this market leadership is under attack by Kanban. I’m neither in favor of Scrum nor of Kanban – both are excellent solutions to slightly different problems. So the message is: Look out, there’s more than Scrum.

    The other fact is that the Scrum community ‘is’ disuniting, that’s a simple fact. That this weakens the community in the short term is a simple conclusion, supported by several indicators. What this means the long term is a matter of speculation – which was the idea of that blog series.

    “it seems like where there is speculation, there are people to write about it.” Right, that’s what free press is about 😉


    1. We’ll continue to cover the whole Scrum issue as long as it needs press. Part of writing and talking about it is to create a better tomorrow. The status quo isn’t working (as is apparent). Something/somebody has to write and keep it in the airwaves for mass consumption and review!

  4. Hi, thanks for this summary.

    I do have the chance to read all these posts and, according to my “european controversal mindset”, I do not believe that change is managed by fear: eg. this is the end of Scrum.

    Scrum and Agile is evolving thanks to community inputs. If you’re agreeing that we continuously improve this framework, then you must agree that Scrum in 2011 doesn’t looks like the early 1993’s.

    At the starting point, Scrum was built for SW Development and now, when the projects are increasing, Scrum is used to manage Projects: the early domain is growing to the whole organization (eg Schwaber’s Enterprise & Scrum).

    So, don’t care, it’s just the end of Release 2.0 and the start of Release 3.0:
    – Release 1.0: SPO as customer’s representative
    – Release 2.0: SPO as team member
    – Release 3.0 (???): SM + SPO are co-managers

    the new vision is growing from the project to the governance to help the organization on the journey to agility.

    Today is cool…. tomorrow will be cooler


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