Scrum is a Game!

I hope you have heard of the new book, called A Scrum Book.  It is by Jeff Sutherland, James Coplien, et al.  Wonderfully good.  You must get it.

The subtitle is “The Spirit of the Game.”

We also know that Scrum is named for the scrum formation in the game of rugby.  So, in that way Scrum is based on a game.

And Scrum is a game.

With simple rules, that are easy to understand.


The rules of the game of Scrum are simple.
Scrum, as a game, is hard.

So, the rules are not hard or complicated. But all the complexities of life and the people on the Team and the culture of every company — these and other things make it HARD to play the game at an excellent level. The culture in your organization needs to become more agile, more adaptive too.  More in fully tune with agile.

Also, humans are fairly used to not telling the truth, and when there is great transparency and a need for even more truth, they often shy away from it.  They are human just like you and me. (Or are we human, just as they are?  We too shy away from the truth sometimes. Forgive, as you would be forgiven.)

Self-organization and Creativity and Plays

In playing any game at the professional level (I think of Futball (soccer), Rugby at the World Cup level, the NFL, the NHL, basketball…)…  In playing, one strives to win.

And to win the Team must of course do much more than just “follow the rules”.

For example, Coach K with Duke basketball surely has the kids practice many standard plays. These might be thought of as additional patterns being added to the “rules” of the game.  Things the team must learn to “follow” as much as the rules.

And all of these the Team must learn so well that they can improvise as needed in micro-seconds on the court.

This is what a winning Team, a truly great professional Team must do.  Well, even an unsuccessful Team must do, but maybe less well than the opposing Team.


1. Get A Scrum Book for additional patterns to add to your play to improve your odds of winning.

2. You must add to Scrum.  One set of patterns to consider if you are a software team are the patterns from Extreme Programming.

3. Every Team is unique.  Respect that.  Each person is unique.  Expect collaboration. Figure out how to play your best game together, within the very basic rules.

4. Join the Team you want to join. But once you do that, love your Team.  To win, it’s more about the team spirit than you think.  Even in your professional sport, which seems to be so much about Technology (and “thinking about technology” also remains important).  See the people.  Just see them, with open eyes.

I hope these help you.



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Posted in: Better Agile, Teams

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