Opinion: SCRUM is like "training wheels" for agile, but it's not worth the cost!
November 22nd, 2020
Never want to remove them
Don't learn the essence: improve & adapt
Can't improve on it
Pro - Easy
It's easy to copy something in it's whole at first.
Imitation is how most learning happens (Model: Shu Ha Ri)
Pro - Quick win
Never underestimate the value of a quick win.
It goes a long way towards convincing people!
Con - Never want to remove them
People think: "It works, why fix it?" or "Don't fix what isn't broken"
We like how easy it is.
That's the allure of things like 'best practices'.
But staying in the 'best practice' mindset, you never learn / evolve / improve.
You stay a novice (Dreyfus model + dreyfus squared)
Con - You become dependent
This is the thing I like most about this metaphor.
If you learn to ride a bicycle with training wheels, you learn some skills:
But you don't learn the most important part:
how steering influences balance
how pedalling influences balance
how steering + pedalling influences balance
"The essence of biking is balance, the pedalling part is not big deal."
- Joshua Kerievsky
Con - Limiting
As long as you keep the training wheels on, you won't ever be able to take a sharp turn!
Leaning, while taking a sharp turn, is a core part of balance.
Changing your work processes to adapt the situation, is a core part of agility.
Training wheels don't allow you to lean.
Scrum does not allow you to adapt your work processes, because then it's not scrum anymore.
Con - Don't learn the essence: improve & adapt
You'll hear things like "But that's not how scrum works"
And that's true.
Because scrum defines process very explicitly.
So you need to leave scrum behind to experiment with process.
Which is a good thing!
But it's scary, because things usually get worse, before they get better.
Con - Can't improve on it
because they do not have the expertise gained from the failures it took to produce the original, they will waste a great deal more time than us as they move to improve
- Kiichiro Toyoda (1894–1952), founder of the Toyota Motor Corporation
When in a team, not yet using scrum, my question is:
Can we learn to improve our processes and skip scrum?
When in a team using scrum, my question is:
When are we going to take the training wheels off, and learn to ride like a mature team?
Yeah, it sounds like two two proverbs mashed together, creating a chimera of a proverb.
But I stand by it! ;-D
EDIT: I discovered a talk Agile Schizophrenia - Fred George and it is an awesome addition/contrast to this post!
While writing this original post I was having 3 contrasting options in the back of my head:
agile with rigid process, forever (aka scrum)
agile with rigid process, in the beginning to learn only
don't use rigid processes, but build it up from nothing with continuous improvement and agile values & principles in mind
While writing this post, I was trying out the opinion of (3).
This was based on a metaphor of learning how to drive a bycicle from this talk: Video: Modern Agile - Joshua Kerievsky
And how we are not learning to apply continuous improvement to our processes.
And that that is the essence
In Agile Schizophrenia - Fred George, he opines (2)
It's really amazing how he lists a bunch of processes and for each
problems / bad things about them