Scrum might uncover many problems in the organisation and bring some operational agility. On the other hand it might not bring any competitive advantage for business as a whole.

Many organisations and teams typically start their Agile journey by adopting the Scrum Framework within their IT operational or development teams. After a couple of months in Scrum like mode, the previously existing problems before adopting Scrum persist:

  • Teams not delivering or not predictable
  • Delivering with lack of quality or with bugs
  • Poor commitment of the team
  • Poor communication and team spirit
  • Demotivation or low satisfaction of team members
  • Lack of shared knowledge in the team
  • Not much space for skill growth or learning
  • Technical debt keeps growing

In some cases the teams have even more problems than they had before adopting Scrum. Most of the time these problems just become more visible or evident as an immediate effect of adopting a more transparent, open, collaborative way of working, especially for the teams.

The “let’s go Agile” is a popular move nowadays (maybe even a lagger move), and the “let’s use Scrum” is a quite common default in many situations.

In big corporate companies with well defined, detailed, heavyweight, long lasting processes, compliance, policies, roles, silos, and mostly project driven, adopting Scrum in the IT operational/development team typically becomes a big challenge. Most of the people involved in these initiatives end up not understanding or seeing the benefits, don’t feel engaged and look at Agile as just another “fad”.

Adopting Scrum by itself is hard – simply adding a couple of new roles to already existing processes, holding some new events (or meetings) and keeping everything else “as is” is most probably a great reason for seeing Agile as a “fad”.

This was the case in a recent engagement we had with a new customer. When the benefits like delivering value or customer satisfaction are not seen as crucial drivers for embracing Agile, then it’s quite a strong signal that something is wrong, and adopting Scrum won’t bring any competitive advantage or business agility as a whole. Yes It will uncover all many problems in the organisation at an operational level, and if these problems are addressed, Scrum could bring some operational agility.

You can find the full case study here. Enjoy the read!