Recently the new Scrum Master in my team was convinced that Scrum is a process. And that new processes within that process are her ideas. This was all written in one email and I was slightly upset about it.
Because Scrum isn’t a process, you can read this if you want. It is a model, a development strategy, a framework (if you ask wikipedia). If you ask me, it is also an idea, an attitude, a certain perspective on working life and software development in particular.
The second thing which hit me was “my process”. The core ingredient of Scrum is a self organised team. It creates its own processes where they find they need one and the Scrum Master can facilitate this process to observe ideas, attitudes, perspectives and values in that process which are against the agile mindset – and can try then to coach the team how amend the process so it fits into the agile landscape. By showing the impact of not doing it, doing it, doing it differently. Last but not least, if things go wrong, the retrospective is one culmination point to observe and adopt.
To me, who is living and breathing agile since almost 5 years now, it is really tough to observe those statements in a calmly . As this were just two out of 10 points to pick from her email, I left it very brief and just wrote “Scrum is not a process”.
But then, I did the same mistakes probably too. I can definately remember that at the beginning sometimes didn’t grasp what my mentor these days was trying to tell me – or how he always made these agile-wise decisions. Today, it’s almost like a shiver I have on my skin when someone says something in any context, where I sense it is not agile. Agile has become something to me like a genetic identity. Not agile does not work for me any more.
I have seen how the agile transition formed our team over countries into a under these circumstances very well working team, with a great team spirit and simply that, not counting story points here, is priceless.