Tales of the Bizarro Scrum

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Bizarro Scrum is like Bizarro world where everything appears to be the opposite of what it should be. It is about common day to day situations that a lot of Scrum teams experience when they transition to Scrum.

In this Tales of the Bizarro Scrum blog series, I’ll highlight statements that team members make that on its surface appear normal and innocent. However, these organizations and teams are unknowingly and unintentionally taking certain actions that maintain the status quo and impede their Agile transition and transformation. I’ll then explain the problem behind such statements, the implications, and how to fix them.

These teams are typically going through the Scrum motions, using new “cool” lingo with new roles and titles yet the overall work approach and results are still the same: Long planning, development, and release cycles and poor-quality products that do not meet their clients’ needs.

These organizations and teams are doing Scrum but are not realizing the benefits of Scrum like faster ROI, reduced risk, increased visibility and improved adaptability. They are unable to continuously deliver valuable, high quality products and features that dazzle their customers.

The reasons for this are myriad and include a lack of expertise in Agile Engineering practices, a misunderstanding of Scrum fundamentals, and a failure to live by the Agile values and principles.

Let’s take a look at things overheard in Bizarro Scrum, things that make you go hmmm, Scrum anti-patterns, Scrum smells, or things that might lead to dark scrum. Let’s learn to identify them, understand their impact and take corrective action. Stay tuned…