The Organzation of our Scrum course – 1

Why is our Scrum course organized the way that it is?



First, is a Scrum Team organized?

Well, a good Scrum is usually described more as adaptive than organized. Of course, we can debate the meaning of these words, during a day or during a sprint, or during a release. I would rather that the Team be adaptive than follow an organized plan, as one example.

This is one small reason our Scrum course is not organized in a strictly logical way.

Second, why do Scrum Teams fail?

Well, there are many reasons. Do Scrum Teams have a problem because Scrum is too complex? No.

The attendees have no problem with the explicit knowledge around the bare framework of Scrum, but they do often have problems ‘getting it.’

In fact, the bare framework of Scrum is very very simple. (On purpose.) Understanding the explicit knowledge around that is quite easy.

Hence, I am not worried that I need to organize the course so that the attendees build in their minds ‘complexities upon complexities’ about Scrum. If Scrum were complex, for example, like calculus, then we would have to organize the course a different way.

Again, Scrum is ‘holistic’ or interdependent. One cannot understand one part of Scrum without understanding how it works or plays with another part. ‘No man is an island’ as John Donne famously said. So, I like to continually weave from one thing to another, so this weaving becomes embedded in the back of the minds of the attendees.

One of the key problems is tacit knowledge. Getting the tacit knowledge and all that it means into their heads.  Honestly, not just into their heads, but their hearts, their souls, their guts, their bodies.

Continues in Part 2, tomorrow…



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2 thoughts on “The Organzation of our Scrum course – 1

  1. Valerie

    What I’m reading in this post, Joe, is in your course you’re trying to help people learn more about “being” agile than “doing” agile. It’s easy to “do” Scrum. It’s challenging to “be” Agile. There’s a mind shift which needs to occur for everyone – the team members, the Scrum Master and the Product Owner. In a Scrum Master course, you’re doing the team back at work and the candidate Scrum Master a disservice by not broadening the scope to include “being” Agile. Your course, when I took it, helped me understand the being part. The exercises, the craziness, having to play a PO role (I think now is a good time to mention that my team had the second highest score you had had to date…not that I’m bragging) and connecting all the dots through the questions and challenges. I still have the slide deck and use it frequently today. I pull the slides out with the bullets on “Truths about Teams”, the Sprint commitment and, of course, the principles. Funnily, I do NOT use the mechanics slides. The mechanics are easy – it’s applying the principles that’s hard and that’s what SMs need to do – help a team learn to apply the principles and teach others, outside the team, how to work with the team who is.

    We value Responding to change OVER following a plan. No course is going to be the same every time and that one principle will apply to all courses and individuals taking it. This must be true while learning and working. The only other thing I will say here is the real learning happens when you open your mind, experiment and experiment some more.

    1. Joe Little Post author

      Yes. One simple way I express this now is: You have to feel the music if you want the dance steps to be beautiful and powerful.

      The music represents the values and principles of lean-agile-scrum. The dance steps represent the practices. And, without music, the dance steps alone can be ugly.

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