The goal

Elihu Goldratt wrote a book called “The Goal” that I recommend. Theory of Constraints, TOC, is embedded, to some degree, in Scrum.

But I wanted to mention “the goal” in a different way.

What is the goal of our courses?

Being shy and modest by nature (okay, yes, I act differently if the part requires it, but this is my nature), I do not think the goal has much to do with me. It is not about, for example, what I say in the course.

Nor is it what the attendees learn. I really don’t care about that as the key goal anymore. Up, down, sideways: it is not really key. Necessary probably, but not key.

Nor is it the actions that the attendees take after they attend the course/workshop. At least not just any action.

The goal: That the attendees make their own lives better, that they make their team members’ lives better, that they make their customers’ lives better. And more than that, but that is enough.

I want results, not just actions.

Now, our talking, their learning (tacit and explicit), their actions — these are probably all necessary conditions to getting results, but they are not sufficient.

Also, maybe I want the results to also include money (profit), but I agree with Peter Drucker that the purpose of the firm is to satisfy customers, not primarily to increase shareholder returns.

What is my vision of the goal for Scrum?

Certification? Certainly not as a key goal.  More “scrum”?  Well….no. More good Scrum (with no Scrum-Butt)? Well….still no.

Again, to me, the only worthwhile goal is better lives for the people involved.

Now, I do think more certifications, more courses, more Scrum, better/deeper Scrum, much less Scrum-Butt, etc., etc., probably are necessary conditions to getting better real results. In fact, let me say: Based on real experience, I am convinced that Scrum and better Scrum are key to better results for all new product development teams. And for other kinds of teams, as well.  Just not the sufficient, sole key.

(One could assume that by just starting continuous improvement, the team will necessarily go as fast as possible in the direction of positive change.  I am not impressed by this assumption. It is a sweet assumption in some ways, but not one that attracts me as correct. This is the “best of all possible worlds” — meaning that I think Voltaire satirized this overly positive viewpoint quite well.)

Other things are also needed (a nod to Ron Jeffries in this comment to be discussed later). [Ron wants to make sure we include better engineering practices.]

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

Meaning: If we all do not articulate a clear, strong, good and bright vision, Scrum could be far less successful than it ought to be. And “we all” are the Scrum community, speaking to those who look to Scrum for some improvement. If we fail in this or do a poor job, many people will have poorer lives than they deserve. And, God knows, there is much improvement to make in our lives.


P.S. This is a picture of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I go to them sometimes when I need a moment of peace and inspiration.

“I lift mine eyes up unto the hills…”

They are said to be the oldest mountains in the world. Surely they have some majesty. “Surely all this is not without meaning.”


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