Agile & Religion – 1

I heard recently someone comment: “Well, watch out for those guys who get too religious about Agile. We don’t want that around here.”

This general topic gets talked about in the Agile community a lot, and, I think, often ineffectively. But I think it is a difficult topic. It is hard to explain the issues around this well. So, I will try to do several posts with specific examples and situations.

The first thing to say is that Lean-Agile-Scrum is mainly about results. Results for the individual, the team and the customers. Results such as: better products, higher quality, more fun, better work.

It is not about doing Scrum just for the sake of doing it, as though purity of Scrum, alone, were a high value.

It is important to say that virtually all the people who are experienced with Lean-Agile-Scrum are concerned that they see too many people doing it “weakly.” Schwaber talks about ‘flaccid Scrum.’ The XP guys talk about how Scrummers don’t have strong engineering practices. Others talk about ScrumBut (or ScrumButt), and there are other phrases.

What is important is that they have a sense that playing Scrum ‘weakly’ means that the people are getting FAR less of the value than they deserve.

In summary for now: Lean-Agile-Scrum is not about religion or belief or faith. It is about reality and testing and real results. That seems to me to be pretty far from ‘religion’ — as some people mean when they use that word as a put-down.

The next thing to say is: When a Scrum advocate talks about doing Scrum better, we should talk more about WHY ‘better Scrum’ means a better life or better results. More on this in the next post.

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