What SCRUM is not

SCRUM is an agile development framework which is often misapplied or misunderstood. It is defined to help product development and its management, but it is often considered to be closer to software development rather than business oriented.

Furthermore, SCRUM allows management to have a product before it is finished, reducing time-to-market and avoiding tasks that do not provide value to the customer. User stories may be prioritized according to its ROI but they are usually prioritized by complexity or length.

Then, I would like to provide a brief list of what I consider SCRUM is and is not:

  • SCRUM does not mean having unclear requirements because they may change along product development. It means requirements need to be clear enough to be defined as user stories or items in the Product Backlog.
  • SCRUM is not about project management, it is product-oriented.
  • SCRUM is not only for software development. Many industries may benefit from this framework.
  • Product Backlog items – such as user stories – are not strict specifications, they are aninvitation to conversation and agreement. They do not need to have information about how to do the task but what it is expected and why.
  • SCRUM is about people and interactions. Therefore, in my opinion, a scrum team should be formed according to people’s attitudes rather than people’s aptitudes.

If you believe there are more considerations to be added on this matter, feel free to share them here! And if you want to learn more about this topic, don’t miss what my friend Lluis Canet published about Agile Innovation Principles.

Antonio González

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