Are we teaching Scrum RIGHT?

One fine day, A scrum master came to me asked –
~ Why to do stand-up in the morning and not at the end of the day?
I made him understand in my own way but to my dismay I kept getting similar very unexpected and not so encouraging questions from others so-called Certified Scrum Masters like –
~Why do we have long Retrospective meeting and not just share our inputs via email to SM? etc.
For me its fine to hear these basic questions from a novice but it gives me a shock of lifetime if I hear it from people who are Certified Scrum Masters.

Then I felt asking to myself

~ Are people not so smart enough to understand what Scrum is?
~ Is Scrum so Complex to understand?
~ Is our education system functioning well?

And the last question was where I stopped because first 2 are not valid at all.

I remember my school days –
One of our Maths teacher was absolutely boring in all senses. He used to come to class, pick up a chalk write the question followed by solution on board and asked us to copy, crack some non sense jokes just to make us laugh a little and leave the class as the bell rung. No wonder, we had to laugh at his jokes and later on mock it to make it more interesting and meaningful.
A friend of mine, a hard worker who always used to top the class in Mathematics in Unit tests but just manage to cross a passing line in final exams. Everybody thought it was just the exam pressure that takes a toll on him.
In fact he used to by heart all the question and answer from the Solution Bank for relevant Unit and write in Unit test as is , and fortunately same was being used by our maths teacher during teaching & setting question paper. But for my friends bad luck the same solution bank was not being used by Final exams question paper writer from university. They used to change questions a little (but the logic to solve question is same 🙂 ) and my dear friend used to get out of his mind. Not only him but overall class did no wonders in final exams and somehow School replaced the teacher.
My friend is a professor today Don’t worry he teaches History & Geography to Middle School students and not Maths. 🙂 .

    • Moral of the story : if your learning is not backed by principle or logic you may fail to resolve a bigger question and you may flunk at times.

Now coming back to my the main topic –

Like my Maths teacher are we teaching scrum to our trainees the same way? Telling what to do in the given situation and making them look for help the moment situation changes. This is why these days people flood groups (LinkedIn, YahooGroups, Blogs, etc) asking simple questions which they could have answered themselves had they been aware of the underlying principle. Like for every new virus we need a different patch.
How many of us do really concentrate upon teaching the principles and then taking them to concepts. I believe when I teach them to conduct stand-up meeting during start of the day I must tell them whats the logic behind having it early in the day and so forth ……

Can we devote more time in making them understand the underlying principles than what we do now? I know we are actually teaching them a little bit but I feel that is not enough for it to sustain lifelong.

  • Agile Principles are the backbone of Scrum and it must be taught in Scrum Training or even other flavors of Agile before we go and teach the Agile flavors.

This will have 3 major benefits –

1) The only reason at times you hear that Scrum dint work is – They never understood it to core and hence the failure is on cards. Before doing something I must know why I am doing it. If Trainers and Coach make them understand the principles well it will stop the failure rate of Scrum Teams.
2) When the thing at hand does not work I look for an alternative and I get another in hope that I will get solution for my problems. If the Scrum starts working for people there would be no need to define new things like ……. etc. with all due respect to the makers of new framework and followers else they will come at me and probably this would be my last blog .. 🙂 )
3) If the situation remains the same there would be more frameworks coming day by day and people will keep running from one to another. If we better the situation people will invest that running time in implementation of Scrum well and rip benefits in place of wasting time running.

In all what I mean to say is if your Doctor’s medicine does not give result, mostly you change the doctor and medicine both. So its in the benefit of individuals as well as framework to make our medicine working.

    Its my personal opinion,what do you say?


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