March 31, 2009

Lamentations of flaccid Scrum and a case for SINO

I've been updating myself on the activites in the Prince2 camp to update this project management framework. One thing that stuck is the lamentations about the large number of PINO projects. PINO is an acronym (actually an initialism) for Prince In Name Only. In the Scrum world this has commonly been called ScrumButt, drawn from "we're doing Scrum, but..." as well as the frequent desire to kick such teams in the butt!

Martin Fowler, one of Agile Manifesto signatories has blogged recently on "flaccid Scrum" (http://www.martinfowler.com/bliki/FlaccidScrum.html). FWIW, I agree with him.

We must constantly remind ourselves (and those whom we seek to influence) that:

  • Scrum is silent on which "software engineering" practices to use, but not on their use.

  • We must continuously assess our way of working against the Agile principles.

  • Undone work (aka technical debt) will continue to cripple delivery of value as long as we continue allow it to accumulate.

  • Scrum is just a tool to expose deficiencies and dysfunction in the team and the organisation - the problems remain ours to tackle and solve.


So while we continue to battle our demons, how about honestly calling some Scrum implementations SINO (Scrum In Name Only)?
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Peter Hundermark

Peter has worked with iterative and incremental software development processes since 1999, focusing on Scrum and Agile practices since 2006. In 2007 he started Scrum Sense in South Africa. He has introduced Scrum into scores of development teams locally and in Brazil. He leads certified Scrum training classes in South Africa and elsewhere. He is a Certified Scrum Coach and Certified Scrum Trainer.
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Image of peterhundermark

Peter Hundermark

Peter has worked with iterative and incremental software development processes since 1999, focusing on Scrum and Agile practices since 2006. In 2007 he started Scrum Sense in South Africa. He has introduced Scrum into scores of development teams locally and in Brazil. He leads certified Scrum training classes in South Africa and elsewhere. He is a Certified Scrum Coach and Certified Scrum Trainer.

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