Common Misconceptions about Scrum Debunked [#AgileScrum #ScrumMisconceptions]

Common Misconceptions about Scrum Debunked [#AgileScrum #ScrumMisconceptions]

Myth #1: Scrum teams should be co-located
Myth #2: Product backlogs must have user stories
Myth #3: Burndown charts are an artifact of Scrum
Myth #4: SAFe and Scrum are the same thing
Myth #5: Scrum masters are project managers
Myth #6: Scrum is a methodology
Myth #7: Certified Scrum masters are the experts

Myth #1: Scrum teams should be co-located
Some Agilists tout many advantages to co-locating teams, including osmotic communication (overhearing conversations), information radiators, and even non-verbal observations like “EQ.”

But The Scrum Guide makes no mention of co-location.

It is, however, a concept promoted by other Agile practices, such as Crystal and Pair Programming.

Scrum has proven to be highly effective for virtual teams that use virtual tools to implement Scrum ceremonies and artifacts.

Myth #2: Product backlogs must have user stories
Scrum requires only that backlog items have an estimate, a business value, and an order or ranking.

Scrum does not require backlog items to be written in a user-story format.

The user-story format is the result of an evolutionary collaboration between other Agilists who successfully applied a natural language approach to the art of writing requirements.

The approach works well within the constructs of Scrum, so it has been widely adopted by many Scrum teams.

Myth #3: Burndown charts are an artifact of Scrum
Ken Schwaber is often credited with the invention of the burndown chart, and its concept was borne from the Scrum community.

But the burndown chart is not an artifact in the Scrum Guide.

The Scrum Guide states that, although useful, these projective tools “do not replace the importance of empiricism.”

In other words, make forward-looking decisions based only on what you know from the past.

Even burndown charts cannot predict what will get done in time.

There is always the risk of the unknown.

Myth #4: SAFe and Scrum are the same thing
Although the Scrum team is a fundamental element of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), Scrum and SAFe are two different things.

Scrum was conceived and had been employed for roughly 20 years before the introduction of SAFe in 2011.

In the early days of Agile, the Scrum framework set the precedent for small, atomic teams on their journey to agility.

But large interdependent organizations often struggled to institutionalize the Scrum framework because of its independence from other functions within the organization.

Dean Leffingwell introduced the world to SAFe as a scaled-up approach to coordinating the work produced by many Scrum teams and the various functions within the typical large organization.

Myth #5: Scrum masters are project managers
There are many similarities between the roles of Scrum master and project manager, but the two are not interchangeable.

An effective project manager does not always make an effective Scrum master.

One fundamental difference between the two lies in responsibility for the business case.

In Scrum, the product owner is responsible for delivering value from the work done by the team.

The Scrum master does not have the accountability to deliver business case, as the project manager does.

Often, project managers emerge from the business side and are inherently domain experts.

These types of project managers may be better suited as product owners than Scrum masters.

Myth #6: Scrum is a methodology
Scrum is not a methodology.

It is a framework.

A framework is distinctly different from a methodology in that it can be implemented in different ways each time.

In contrast, a methodology is implemented the same way every time.

It is important to acknowledge that every implementation of Scrum is unique to the team.

This is best exemplified in certain aspects of Scrum, such as the Definition of Done and retrospective outputs.

This flexibility in the process framework makes it adaptable to many scenarios and situations, and therefore more useful than a typically rigid methodology.

Myth #7: Certified Scrum masters are the experts
Scrum is easy to learn but difficult to master, and people who are certified in Scrum are not always experts.

Certification does not demonstrate mastery of Scrum.

It is easy to learn but difficult to master, and people who are certified in Scrum are not always experts.

It takes a lot of practice and experience to master anything, and Scrum is no different – certifications merely verify an understanding of the courseware.

A true Scrum master is someone who has dedicated years to practicing Scrum and is devoted to principles of Agile.

Expertise in Scrum is not something that can be achieved by simply attending a class and passing an exam.

Scrum’s top 7 misconceptions:
The Enterprisers Project

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