The doctrine of sufficiency

Agile and Scrum start with the assumption that a team is sufficient for the task set before it.

This is a bit wacky, or an assumption subject to being false a lot, unless we allow the truth, which is that humans are very inventive.

Thus, a given seven-member Scrum team can do many things to gain success:

  • change the team
  • get other impediments removed
  • work with the Product Owner and maybe customers to redefine what is wanted
  • etc., etc.

So, the idea is only common sense. By yourself, you have some power but it is limited. But seven people believing in themselves can do almost anything. They can learn.  The can figure it out.  If they believe in themselves, they can be almost irresistible. They can reinforce each others’ resolve. They can find new resources. They can redefine the problem.

Now, is every team always irresistible? No, and especially not if they do not believe in their mission.

So, Agile and Scrum presume that the doctrine of sufficiency applies. It does not assert that that must always be true, but rather that that is the best going-in assumption.

Agile and Scrum assume that by taking action, we can make our lives better. Rather positive, no?



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Posted in: People issues, Scrum

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