9 May 2010

What's so good about scrum?

In all the Agile/Scrum certification and training discussion's I've read on the web in recent months, the most interesting thing I've seen is this little graphic, which was a mere footnote on a Ken Schwaber post.

Why is this interesting?

Because scrum is "just a methodology."  It's a good one, and it's very tightly integrated as a process.  But, a process (or framework or whatever) is just a process.  What's most important is the principles and values behind it.

This graphic nicely summarizes the values behind scrum.  Do they align with yours?  If not, maybe scrum is not for you.


  1. This diagram has no connection with the Probability of Project Success (PoPS). So how can units of measure in this diagram (and there aren't any) be connected with the business beneficial outcomes of applying Scrum.

    This is a fundamental failing of the process or method centric view of the world, when we start with software developers defining how things should be done.

    A core principle on other domains (Systems Engineering for example), starts at the top and defines the desired beneficial outcomes and nly then develops the methods needed to produce those outcomes.

  2. Thanks for such a wonderful post. I have also tried to write about Scrum: An Introduction to this simple-powerful agile methodology. I would really appreciate if you can provide your valuable feedback on the post at http://www.rohitprabhakar.com/2010/05/08/scrum-an-introduction-to-this-simple-powerful-agile-methodology/

  3. I must say that this type of diagram confuses me especially when it is not used to compare to other alternatives. Why not compare to Waterfall for example?

    My other beef is that the original Ken Schwaber post mentions that “Each member of Scrum.org has the ability to create their own radar map, and is responsible for tending their map so it represents a true picture of their capabilities from which action can be taken.” How do we make the jump to the value of Scrum? Aren’t we measuring the relative value of a particular Scrum Practitioner? What about the evolution of that value over time?

    Patrick Richard ing., PMP

  4. Richard, those are good points aren't they. Let me put more of my spin on how it can be useful.

    Firstly, you have to agree that the things represented in the radar are important to you as well. If they are measuring the wrong things you are wasting your time.

    (I am not using this radar to measure my performance, although I did use this one)

    Why I like it is that it shows the values behind scrum simply. And that means you can better interpret the model.