Who is Scrum for?

A few months ago someone I know and respect in the Agile community said that they do agile to make the world safe for programmers.

This phrase has stuck with me. I don’t know how seriously the person meant it. I suspect it was partially a joke and partially a stronger statement than one might think.  I suspect it is a real driving force for that person.

It is always and everywhere good and useful to care about people. And to express that caring (caritas) in action.

And it is true many implementers have had terrible lives at work, and making the world better for them is a good thing. But I think we should strive for even more than that.

We need to make the world better for everyone.

For example, customers do not want software (usually), they want something useful that will make their lives better.  (Software may still be a key ingredient.)  The managers need a better life.  The project managers need a better life.  The business owners need a better life. The testers need a better life.  Again, the customers need a better life.

Everyone around or affected by Scrum should be having a noticeably better life.

This is happening, although it is not happening as much and for as many people as it should.  When it is happening, it is not being noticed and celebrated as much as it should.


Well, I think one fairly important reason is that too many of us are taking too marrow a view. For example, we are trying to protect the programmer too much.  We disable mechanisms (velocity and demos, for example) that enable the customers and business people to collaborate with the Team.

Anyway: It is an odd request, wanting everyone’s life to improve at the same time. No trade offs.

Can it be true every minute?  Well, perhaps not.  Can it be true every sprint, looking back at the sprint in total?  Yes, I think so.


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