Here’s how it happens. Colossal Widget Company decides to adopt agile development practices and Scrum in particular. They have been using waterfall for a long time with great success (or so they like to claim). [Face it, no CIO is going to approach his boss, say that too many projects are failing, and change is needed. No way!]
The CIO has heard that Scrum is all the rage, offers some new ideas, and is worth a try so that the business and technology folks can learn from each other.
Next, the CIO reviews the Scrum “process” and decides that Scrum is a little weak on policies and procedures. No problem. Colossal has plenty of “best practices” that can be applied to Scrum to make it better.
After weeks of effort PAGES is born — Professional and Agile-Grade Enterprise Scrum. PAGES is backed by hundreds of definitions, procedural steps, best practices, guidelines, recommendations, and charts. PAGES will take Scrum to the next level and turn it into a true enterprise tool.
The CIO and his management team are proud of themselves. Now, the software developers will be structured, disciplined, and agile! Nice work.
PAGES is colossal
Okay. PAGES is fictitious though the concept of taking Scrum and morphing it into something “colossal” is not. If your company embarks on this path, politely suggest that they try Scrum on a test project. That is, the real thing — as defined by the ScrumAlliance.
The project should be small and relatively independent. In other words, it should not be heavily dependent on other projects nor have them be dependent on it.
The team should be professionally trained and/or coached so that they give Scrum a fair chance. Their progress and results should be tracked and reported using standard Scrum metrics only.
This is how teams and organizations learn — by doing. Forcing Scrum, or any approach, to fit the corporate mold for project management is doomed to fail. Oh sorry, corporate teams never fail, they just fade away.