What are the biggest misunderstandings about misunderstandings

The entrepreneur's handbook

Guest contribution by Sarah Berger

The term Scrum has become indispensable in the agile world. Scrum describes a project management method for agile work. It is mainly used in agile software development. Scrum is a framework for team collaboration based on agile principles. It defines roles, artifacts and meetings that give the team structure. There are a lot of books and training courses on the subject of Scrum. The internet is full of information about the Scrum framework.

However, there are many misunderstandings about Scrum. These ensure that Scrum often does not bring the success that is initially hoped for. In order to make the use of Scrum a success, I have worked through the biggest misunderstandings about Scrum.


A product owner is a project manager

The tasks of the Product Owners are not those of a project manager. After all, a product is developed and not worked on a project.

A product owner is responsible for the product vision. The area of ​​responsibility of a product owner deals a lot with customer benefits and the prioritization of features in the backlog.

Scrum equals agility

The term agility includes much more than a project management method. It's much more about working methods and the so-called “mindset”. An organization can use Scrum for product development and still not work in an agile manner.

For example, if the concept of minimum viable products is not understood and there is no customer interaction. The same applies if software products are planned years in advance and the implementation takes place with Scrum. There is no leeway to react agilely to changes and new insights.

Scrum means chaos and has no rules

The Scrum framework describes pretty precisely how the implementation works. in the Scrum guide clear roles and their areas of responsibility are described. There are also precise definitions of meetings and their content. It is also precisely recorded which artifacts are to be created during the work.

Due to the clear specifications regarding meetings, artifacts and roles, almost no chaos can arise. Much more, Scrum gives clear guidelines for everyone involved.

The Scrum Master clears difficulties out of the way

The Scrum Master has a very important role within the Scrum Team. The person is responsible for adhering to Scrum according to the Scrum Guide.

However, the job of a Scrum Master is not to see to it that all difficulties are removed. The role includes much more, however, that the team members have a space to discuss the difficulties and to find solutions.

The Scrum Master draws attention to the difficulties and can mediate between the parties. However, the task does not include solving all difficulties.

Scrum must be implemented according to the textbook

The Scrum Guide gives very specific instructions on how to implement Scrum. That can be an advantage, but it doesn't have to be. Organizations and teams sometimes orientate themselves too strongly to the Scrum Guide and try to implement everything precisely.

However, Scrum is not an end in itself. It helps to provide orientation and acts as a framework for agile work. Every team has different requirements and operates in a different context. It is therefore quite possible that not all appointments, artifacts or roles are lived as the Scrum Guide specifies. It is also possible that additional roles or appointments are required.

Scrum assumes that everyone who needs (decision-making) competencies is available in the team. This is almost never the case, especially in larger organizations. This results in waiting times and delays that the Scrum Guide does not go into. Special solutions have to be found here and the textbook must also be deviated from.

Everything goes much faster with Scrum

The introduction of Scrum is not an end in itself. With the introduction of Scrum or agility in general, organizations hope that projects will be implemented more quickly in the future. However, Scrum does not mean that the same projects with the same capacity will only take half the time in the future.

Scrum can help to react flexibly to changes. This is especially helpful when the end result is not clear and requirements can change. Scrum can also help improve team effectiveness. On the one hand through the self-organization of the team, but also through the shorter communication channels.

It can even happen that, viewed from the outside, Scrum slows down a project. The coordination increases the transparency, but this requires continuous coordination effort. This effort pays off, however, as it means that fewer nasty surprises lurk in the future.

Scrum makes sense everywhere

There are work environments in which agile working methods such as Scrum do not make sense.

For example, in projects where the end result and requirements are clear. There are no complex questions and unexpected events. The team is very well established and the customer and the market environment are already known.

In situations like this, in which everyone knows exactly what to do, what the product should look like and how to get there, there are better project management methods than Scrum. It is therefore important to pay attention to the context in which you are working and what challenges the team has.

The author

Sarah Berger has been developing digital products and services for several years. She is the founder and manager of the Biberei. The purpose of your company is to give companies and founders more courage for digital.

In addition to her passion for digital products, she is an advocate for new leadership approaches and agile working methods. She studied business informatics and has an MBA in Entrepreneurship & Innovation Management.

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