Stop gambling with Scrum
I used to play Texas Hold’em back when it was the popular thing to do. Like so many others I’d watched it on TV, and with the sudden availability of online poker, I was hooked. I quickly learned the difference between the gamblers and the players, and it was an obvious one. The application of math, strategy and knowledge. The winning players understood how to apply probability to the game, as well as how previous actions and games affected the players and the metagame.
How to benefit from a retrospective
In my experience, the retrospective is the most underutilized and straightforward ceremony in Scrum. I’ve sat in numerous retrospectives, where issues were raised, no actions were discussed, and no attempts to address the issues were made. I’ve also sat in ones, where no issues were raised, but everyone knew what the issues were. It was like being part of a Cargo Cult and as a result, the issues often persisted throughout the projects.
When Scrum becomes a Cargo Cult
You probably started making changes to Scrum to make it “better fit” your organization or team, and at that point, it became “Scrum, but”. You know this has happened, if you are asked to explain your process, and you start by saying something like “We use Scrum, but…”. However, removing elements of Scrum without considering its effect is ill-advised. I’m not saying you shouldn’t adjust your process. I’m saying, that doing it for convenience and without thorough consideration is tantamount to starting a Cargo Cult.