[Review Essay] Scrum Is No Holy Doctrine

The worshipping of Scrum, a prevalent management framework in major companies around the world, obscures an emerging risk: turning Scrum into another Waterfall.

A picture from a modern workplace.

“There is no methodology.”

Scrum refuses to be a method written on stone, something never changeable; but it prefers to be conducive to change and adaptation to ever-shifting market demands and working conditions. Its ultimate strength relies on its flexibility, on giving a lot of room and autonomy to teams for self-organization and self-decision. This approach sharply reduces the long communication process between the managerial board and teams, who are responsible for creating the actual product. It allows team members to decide and act after a proper assessment of a given context and conditions. Sutherland whose son served in Egypt as NPR producer during the tumultuous days of Arab Spring in 2011 tells the story of how NPR’s team on the ground took matters into their hands after missing several headline-grabbing big news because of waiting for a green light from their headquarters in the U.S. before actually making the story. The decision to cover which news stories was then made by team members using Scrum on the ground, skipping the daily contact or approval process from the board based in Washington, D.C.

Virginia-based journalist and writer. Politics, culture, art, and technology. American political affairs, Turkey, the MidEast, and beyond. Twitter: @abyasun

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