The SCRUM Revolt!

kaplandj • May 7, 2007

Software Design

I’ve been working with SCRUM for over a year now. I think I just happened upon it through my Web travels. It has been a constant search for the holy grail of software project management. Since nothing has worked in the past, one always keeps hoping.


We always seem to get the project done. But I hear of and have seen massive project failures. So SCRUM seemed like a good way to stay close to the business needs and keep the ROI high. But what I’m about to describe was a rocky start with SRUM. The SCRUM revolt.


We started our Synthetic Instrument project with a set of highly skilled individuals (some contracted). These guys were and are fantastic programmers. The design of something so new – like this instrument – was a roller coaster ride. Back and forth we swung. At the same time I was demanding to install the SCRUM methodology in order to gain “control” and deliver small parts of the system.


Some of the contractors were not of the team mind-set. My demands to deliver small pieces and go to the SCRUM methods (backlog, sprints, daily’s, etc.) were not being accepted. I, for the first time in a long time, became totally frustrated with these dealings. I lost my cool. And after much contemplation the contractors were terminated.


Moving forward a few months – we got back on track. We successfully completed part of the project using SCRUM. I was glad we stuck to it. But what is the message or moral of the story?


Some folks are just not cut out to work in a team. Not to mention a SCRUM team. If individuals are not flexible and are used to working in isolation, then you might run into issues. SCRUM might not be good for them. It’s all about giving in a disciplined fashion. Not take, take, and take. My revolt was put down by massacre. It was my dime and I had that power. It was a difficult decision, but one I do not regret. So make sure everyone is on board with the concept at the start and SCRUM will deliver for you. Cheers.