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â€œThey donâ€™t do Scrum so much as ScrumButâ€
â€œWe donâ€™t do Scrum by the book, we changed itâ€
â€œWe follow SAFe, except weâ€™ve tailored itâ€
â€œWe do a mix of agile methodsâ€
â€œThey call it agile but it isnâ€™t reallyâ€
Youâ€™ve heard all these comments right? But have you noticed the tone of voice? The context in which they are said?
In my experience people say these things in a guilty way, what they mean to say is:
â€œThey donâ€™t do Scrum so much as Scrum but we donâ€™t do it the way we shouldâ€
â€œWe donâ€™t do Scrum by the book, we changed it, we dropped the Scrum Master, we flex our sprints, â€¦â€
â€œWe follow SAFe, except weâ€™ve tailored it by dropping the agile coaches, the technical aspects and â€¦â€
â€œWe do a mix of agile methods, we donâ€™t do anything properly and its half bakedâ€
â€œThey call it agile but I donâ€™t think they really understand what agile isâ€
Practitioners arenâ€™t helped by advisors – coaches, trainers, consultants, what-not – who go around criticising teams for not following â€œBrand X Methodâ€ properly. But forget about them.
I want to rid you of your guilt. Nobody should feel guilty for not doing Scrum by the book, or SAFe the right way, or perfect Kanban.
Nobody, absolutely no person or organization I have ever met or heard of, does any method by the book.
After all â€œagile is a journeyâ€ and you might just be at a different point on the journey right now. To me agile is learning and there is more learning to be done – should we criticise people because the havenâ€™t learned something?
All these methods offer a price fix menu: you pay a fixed price and you get a set menu.
In reality all agile methods should be seen as an Ã la carte menu: pick what you like, mix and match.
In fact, donâ€™t just pick from the Scrum menu or the SAFe menu, pick across the menus: Scrum, XP, Kanban, SAFe, LeSS, DaD, whatever!
And do not feel guilty about it.
My agile method, Xanpan explicitly says: mix and match. Xanpan lays out a model but it also says change things, find what works for you, steal from others.
The only thing you can get wrong in agile is doing things the same as you did 3 months ago. Keep experimenting, keep truing new ways, new ideas. If you improve then great, if not, roll-back and try something else.
In other words, keep learning.
Picture: Thanks to Andersen Jensen for the above photo on Unsplash.