I updated the title of the article. I have observed a pattern over the past year or so of Scrum Alliance aligned folks like Certified Scrum Trainers (CST) and other certified Scrum folks writing articles and posts of varying degrees of criticism from valid debates over ideas (rare) to mostly disparaging misrepresentations, to openly hostile, to outright extremist comments like the picture above. I changed the article title to properly address not all CST’s. The original title was meant to address the pattern observed by many people in the industry of several unnamed CST’s making hateful comments about SAFe and the people behind the SAFe.
Remember, hate comes in many forms. All of it is bad, and unacceptable. I’ve lost count of the number of people that I have known, loved, and like that have died or suffered from cancer (and parasites). Attributing those words to the good people behind the SAFe is absolutely abhorrent, evil behavior. The picture above is just the latest attack. So, I apologize for the original generalization.
There are also two parts to this article. The first part addresses the hateful opening comment from Alexey. The second challenges the misrepresentations of the SAFe. These are separate discussions. Debating ideas is necessary. We should not ever accept hateful words or behavior.
Let me start by explaining why I even bother debating with hateful people in the first place. Because we must confront evil in the world. Yes, at its root this is evil, misguided behavior. If we want to move ideas forward to innovation they must be challenged in a respectful, professional manner.
Anyone that starts out a conversation by saying you or your thing is a “cancer and parasite” isn’t actually looking for conversation. They are being hateful and are probably ignorant on the topic of debate. If this were a political topic then perhaps the bad behavior could be expected because it has been normalized for millennia. Does it make it right? Emphatically, no.
I find it disturbing that extremists and their ilk who are supposedly exemplars for the Agile Manifesto and values of Scrum openly display behavior that is antithetical to the Agile Manifesto and Scrum. After all, “RESPECT” is a value of Scrum. And the manifesto has a clear purpose, “We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it.“
I couldn’t agree more. In nearly every case over my 20+ year career that I’ve been invited to help scale business agility, “to become Agile – in behavior and nature”, in an enterprise the organization was already struggling with achieving agility using just Scrum and Agile. This is the basis of my often repeated statement, “Agile is dead.”
To my dismay, it is also common for the great technical and business practices and concepts from XP to not exist in the lexicon of the organization. Or, only part of XP is used, often incorrectly. It is shameful that Kent Beck’s work is not more prominent in the space. I’m glad to see that he is becoming more active again recently.
A better coaching approach (than simply proposing Scrum and Agile in a CAS) is to understand the market of tools, best practices, frameworks, et cetera and how to apply them appropriately without bias to customer context to drive better outcomes for the business or organization.
As a continuous learner, this is also why I have so much respect Alex Yakyma’s work with OrgMindset. Thinking tools are needed to properly apply and use complex tools in complex organizations. Alex said something very important and interesting during our last discussion/debate about the topics of “Agile” tools and frameworks. Paraphrasing, he said, “I’m just using everything that I know and all of my skills and experience to help businesses make more money.”
This statement is important because often Agile zealots lose sight of the purpose of business – to create wealth – for the shareholders or beneficiaries of the organization. Agile and Scrum are not the goal.
Furthermore, we often forget that Agile and Scrum start out in a state of death. Agile and Scrum are literally just words on a page. They must be given life.
Awesome experience with a great group of students eager to learn about Scrum mastering within a SAFe portfolio. I really love teaching this course. 28 folks were in the class and thirteen agreed to take the picture to be posted here on LI. Thank you, team! My co-instructor, Giuseppe B. (left), was also amazing, as usual, as expected for such a great guy! The team chose (self-managed) to use the “Build a house” simulation rather than stock context sim so it was great fun to learn about and experience the awesomeness of PI Planning and the enterprise backlog model while planning a $1.5M mansion.
The teams also experienced self-organization and self-management in this course as they aligned to a common mission, vision, and strategy for their “construction company ART.” They learned how to write and decompose great features and stories.
The students also get near constant teaching and reference back to the value systems of the Agile Manifesto, SAFe, Scrum, Lean, and Systems Thinking. We spend lots of time talking about cognitive empathy, Human Factors, CAS, and culture transformation using the AM goal of “We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it” as a foundation.
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The fourth tool created to date by blogagility.com forthecommunity!
This handy starter kit is for Scrum masters that are using the Shu Ha Ri paradigm for team development. Good coaches help new teams avoid the pitfalls of added complexity involved in “Agile Lifecycle Management Tools” and instead push for good old-fashioned manual BVIR’s, Kanbans, Scrum boards, et cetera. Change is hard enough in a CAS without adding to the problem by also complicating the way of working. Continue reading “Lean-Agile Team Metrics Starter Kit”→
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Don’t limit your team to using just Scrum or Kanban. Don’t even limit yourself to using watered down versions of a combination of Scrum and Kanban. High-performance teams master both the empirical process framework and controls called Scrum, and the use of Kanban (system; Lean).
Continuous Learning (The Three Ways) & Empiricism
Continuous learning teams know how to scale these frameworks and systems using the SAFe and other scaling frameworks to suit the needs of the business and customer solution context (value). Learning teams know how to drive DEVOPS culture and practices through self-organization and self-management.
Scrumming it, the next step
If you are practicing Scrum, and using a Kanban to support the process framework it is helpful to walk the board during the Daily Stand-up (Scrum). Do this a few times a week rather than asking the three questions every day.