Why Scrum Is Great AND Limiting?
Scrum brought agile mainstream. The agile manifesto may have remained obscure if scrum hadn’t come about. Scrum translates the message of the manifesto into something tangible. It’s easy for people to learn how to ‘do scrum’. It is hard for people to learn how to ‘be agile’.
Scrum is a cash cow. The certification business is lucrative. Because agile has been driven by ‘community’, some argue commerce should be kept out the door. I believe that without money, it would have been hard to spread scrum at this scale. For some, it’s a blessing, for some a curse.
Scrum makes it easy for teams to start ‘doing agile‘. Scrum doesn’t give direct answers on ‘scaling scrum’; how to work with 10-20 or more scrum teams in a large enterprise.
To me Agile means flexibility, entrepreneurship, becoming like a startup. It builds on the manifesto. It also goes far beyond, towards a new form of organizing enterprises.
If we want to infuse agile into our companies, we must look beyond Scrum. Seen from the scrum team’s perspective, people see ‘management’ as a curse. They blame existing (power) structures for not enabling them to ‘do agile’. This creates an ‘us versus them’ paradigm, which won’t help us change an enterprise. And at the end of the day, if a leader says ‘scrum’s over, we do something else’, that’s what is going to happen. So we need to look at a more holistic approach. We need to adopt a new paradigm, a new culture, a new organizational structure. And this needs to accommodate people at all levels.