Going Beyond Scrum, Part 1

Going Beyond Scrum: Part 1

Chapter 5 of the new book, Lean-Agile Software Development: Achieving Enterprise Agility, discusses “Going beyond Scrum.” This is a big chapter, so we are going to take it in two parts. First, we want to consider the implications of the maturing and segmentation of the Scrum community and two key factors required for being able to scale Scrum to an enterprise: taking a systemic approach and looking at the team holistically, how it fits with and must work within the organization. Next time, we will look at Kanban, managing the flow of work, and using the Scrum clinic to (reusing) good practices learned by others.<--break->

Over the last decade, the Scrum community has matured greatly. And, as often happens, it has begun to segment as people discover new, alternative paths that the founders never imagined. Sometimes, that means people move on from the original group When it comes time to investigate or add new profitable bodies of knowledge. I think that is what you see in the various Scrum,

Lean-Agile, and Kanban communities. New ways are being explored. Clearly, there have been situations and teams where classic Scrum worked very beautifully and helped create a lot of value for an organization. It seems that that population has mostly been mined, that that market has been pretty much saturated. Going forward, there is a need to be able to help teams and organizations where more is needed, where classic Scrum, by itself, is just not enough.

This chapter touches on two key understandings or beliefs that are required to be able to go beyond (classic) Scrum. One is that you can (indeed must) take a systematic approach. The other is that a team-centric focus is not sufficient.

  • A systematic approach. One of the new approaches (which is not really new but reaches back to solid principles) tries to take a more systems-thinking approach, thinking along with Don Reinertsen that productivity comes by looking at PEOPLE X PROCESS. That is, the whole system – people and process – works together and neither can be ignored. Lean calls this “optimize the whole.”Thus, as we have gained experience with Scrum – and especially as we have begun to incorporate it with other disciplines such as Lean, Test-Driven, patterns, and the like, we are learning what behaviors and patterns teams need to be effective and what processes help them. And once learned, why not use them again and again rather than forcing each team to have to discover them again on their own? That is part of the driving force behind this chapter and this book.
  • A holistic view of the team. The second thing is to look beyond the individual team to how how they must interact with each other.