When it comes to myths about Scrum, the stories border on urban legend with a full range of emotions attached, from rose-colored glasses of hope to night-terror level fear. Our hope with this article is to bust these myths and at the same time give you a roadmap to implementing Scrum in your organization. We asked one of our Product Owners, Kellie Copeland to document the most common myths she hears and the top three are:
- Agile Scrum is expensive
- Agile Scrum is only for small businesses
- Agile Scrum requires full-team buy-in
Myth #1 It costs too much to implement Agile Scrum
Fact: The financial risk of developing based on Waterfall or other traditional development methods is far higher than the associated Agile Scrum startup costs.
- “Slow to market” products create a lack of interest for customers
- Product features do not meet customer’s quickly evolving expectations
- Often released with defects, product quality suffers and results in re-work
Summary: Traditional methods are far more risky. An organization that needs to move fast and deliver fast to the market has to have a strategy that is agile.
Myth #2 Our company is too large to implement Agile Scrum
Fact: Agile Scrum can be scaled to be used effectively on larger projects and in larger companies.
- Many enterprise companies utilize Agile methodology, including, Lego & Cisco
- Scalability in Scrum can occur at 3 levels: Projects, Programs, and Portfolios
- Scaled Scrum is often managed by SoS (Scrum of Scrum) meetings that facilitate the synchronization of many teams across larger projects
Summary: You’re not too big to go agile. Large companies are embracing Agile delivery more than ever.
Myth #3 It’s too hard to get buy-in for Agile Scrum
Fact: People will go along when it is clear the status quo isn’t working and you show them fast progress towards digital goals.
People change when they hurt enough that they have to change, learn enough that they want to change, or receive enough that they are able to change.
- John C. Maxwell
Communicating your vision clearly is the first step to gaining buy-in. Your vision should answer the following questions:
- Where are we?
- Where do we want to be?
- Who in the organization is affected?
- What method will be used?
- What operations need to change (people, process and tech)
- What do people need?
Step two involves determining who will serve the active roles of the dedicated Scrum team and making sure those individuals receive the right training. Those roles include:
- Scrum Master: Ensures that the goals, scope and product domain are understood by the Scrum Team and accountable for supporting and promoting scrum
- Product Owner: Creates the Product Backlog and maximizes the value of the product resulting from the work of the development team.
- Development Team: Builds the incremental product. Structured and empowered to organize and manage their own work.
And step three … partnering with the right team to help you achieve your goals.
Summary: People embrace change when they have a clear path forward. Agile Scrum is a great way to quickly deliver business value and achieve Digital Transformation. Organizations may need a few attempts to get it right, but staying the course, managing expectations and being fully committed to this process are the key ingredients.
Agile is the state of mind that all organizations have to adapt to cater to the fast-paced business environment of today. We hope to share more stories of agile as we continue our conversation with you. If you’d like to discuss your agile needs in your digital transformation story, feel free to drop a line and contact us.
About the Author
Kellie Copeland, Product Owner
Certified Product Owner with years of experience helping companies align on a roadmap that increases customer satisfaction as well as shareholder value. Experienced in transforming organizations from mix-delivery methods to Agile Scrum and organically shifting the organization to a digital-first mindset positioned to deliver continuous value over time.