What is Scrum?

I am excited to be giving a Certified ScrumMaster course with Jeff Sutherland next week in Richmond, Virginia.

So, I was thinking: What is the essence of Scrum if you would play the game well?

(Remember that Scrum is named for the Scrum formation in Rugby. We often show a video of the famous All Blacks team doing the Haka and playing Scrum. We think Takeuchi and Nonaka, who originated this metaphor, were thinking of these great teams.)

To me the essence is that team spirit, willing to face a tough opponent and a difficult situation and overcome any obstacle to win.

I sometimes call this the Michael Phelps attitude. He is thinking: “I broke the world record in each of the last three heats. And now, in the finals, I want to jump in the water and break it again.”

There are many things from art and science that we give the teams in the course. But, we must convey this essence. Without this tacit knowledge, all the explicit knowledge in the world helps only so much.

Scrum, in a number of ways, tries to help the team develop that team spirit. That is one of the key purposes of many aspects of Scrum. Use it to grow the Team’s spirit.  Scrum alone, of course, cannot make the team spirit happen; you and the team must act also.



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Posted in: Key problems, Teams

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