As somebody who is interested in Scrum but hasn't yet had a chance to try it, I've been paying attention to the various experiences people are having with it.

I've been noticing something for a while, but I didn't really realize that there was something bigger going on.

I call that phenomena "Scrumbut". It shows up in the following way:

"We're doing Scrum but..."

  • our sprints are 12 weeks long...
  • we do two normal sprints and one bugfix sprint...
  • we do all our planning up front...
  • we skip the daily meeting...
  • our managers decide what's in each sprint...
  • we haven't read the books yet...
  • our team has 30 people...

I'm not a strict methodologist - a specific methodology may need to be adapted to a specific situation. But most of these are anti-scrum rather than modified-scrum.

That this phenomena exists may not be news to you, and it wasn't to me. But what I realized this last week is that scrumbut has led to another phenomena...

Namely, it has led to scrum being a naughty word. Managers are working with groups that say they are doing scrum, and then when scrumbut doesn't work, they decide that scrum doesn't work.

How to approach this? Well, I think you need to advocate specific principles rather than advocating scrum. If you tell your management that you are going to be "ready to release" on a monthly basis and that they get to give feedback on what has been done at what to do next every month, I think you will likely get a better response.