By Vineet Patni | 31 May 2022
Scrum is the most applied Agile approach globally. Its sheer simplicity and effectiveness have helped teams deliver outstanding results. The current Scrum Guide has evolved through learnings from groups using Scrum effectively. Scrum is a well-developed framework with significant advantages and efficiency. In other words, Scrum is a framework that provides efficient collaboration between people and teams working on complex products.
Scrum is a minimalistic structure that provides a simple way of working together in teams. While Scrum strongly supports complementary practices, it works well only well applied entirely, i.e., following the rules as laid out in the Scrum guide.
Several teams and organizations are practicing a “subset” of Scrum. There are several aspects and “strong reasons” for such hybrid or partial use. However, the main question arises whether using a “customized” Scrum framework is correct or effective.
Is it practical to “customize” Scrum?
Several teams start with Scrum and then evolve their framework. Making customized versions for Scrum is not illegal in any way. However, this should not be a preferable choice just because it makes them comfortable and aligns with what they have been doing for ages. Doing part Scrum is possible, but the result is no longer Scrum and does deliver effective results.
It doesn’t mean we cannot explore other effective practices depending on our context, and Scrum encourages complementary approaches without modifying the Scrum framework. We can build and evolve practices “on top of the framework” per our needs and context. Some combinations, such as Scrum and DevOps, and Scrum with Kanban, offer an efficient approach to managing complexity at work.
How can we overcome the temptation of customizing Scrum?
Here are some suggestions:
- Discuss the disadvantages with higher-ups and educate the team
First and foremost, discuss the disadvantages of the hybrid Scrum with the higher-ups. Try to educate them about the issues arising from implementing customization. Work with a comparative explanation approach to educate your team members about the subject.
- Understand their requirement and go for a middle-ground approach
Start by understanding the root cause for which companies are customizing their Scrum. Then, try to see whether it offers them any particular benefit because of their competencies. For example, some companies might have a better approach because of their nature of work with hybridization. If this is the case, try to find a middle ground and shift the flow toward our Scrum.
- Make a standing ground for yourself.
Build a standing ground for yourself. Then, try to tell your higher-ups about your issue and work on a plan to develop the right approach collectively with the team.
There are more effective approaches than using hybrid or partial Scrum. There are strong reasons the rules of Scrum exist, and Scrum Masters should try to discuss these issues with their organizations to build a pure Scrum approach while continuing to add complementary practices “on top of” Scrum.
About The Author:
Vineet Patni is the Founder and Principal Agile Coach at ScaleUp. An avid learner and a passionate facilitator, Vineet has been assisting enterprises and individuals in becoming truly Agile. Please feel free to connect with him at Vineet@ScaleUpConsultants.com .
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the author’s own. The author welcomes and respects any difference of opinion.