Scrum didn’t work for my team

7 min readNov 13, 2023

A conversation with my scrum master friend

The convernsation

“Scrum has too many processes, most of them seem useless,” my friend told me, who was a lead and scrum master in a team.

“Do you mean the stand-up meetings, sprint review and planning and retro?” I asked.

“Yes, no one cares what others are doing and may not even listen to what others are saying (most of the time, I was the one only listening) so what’s the point of getting everyone to stand there and waste 15 minutes a day they can just come to me and tell me the status one by one”, he said

“And more than that. there are other meetings to attend which doesn’t make sense to developers at all, sprints sometimes don’t make sense either” he said.

“What do you mean by sprint doesn’t make sense?” I asked.

“If items are unable to be finished by the team and pushed to the next sprint, happens again and again, which looks like kanban.” He said.

“But do you see some incremental value after each sprint?” I asked.

“Do you mean extra features added in? Sometimes yes, but often other features are broken due to these new features added in from the last sprint”. he said.

“I have seen 3 issues in most software development teams. again and again. and I see no one talk about them”

Here is the first one.

1. Analogy

The wrong one — Housebuilders

I have been seeing this analogy in many project managers’ minds, and many software teams are trapped by this analogy — building a block or house.

Even for many scrum teams, they get it completely wrong.

  • The designer draws the CAD pager and passes it to the builders (design, sprint 1)
  • Builders get the paper and build the house (coding, sprint 2)
  • In the end reviewer came to do the assessment (QA, sprint3)
  • Building done. (bug fixes, sprint4)

This will never work in software development.

In Agile manifestoes, the number 1 important thing is — Working software

Working software is the primary measure of progress.




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