Is Scrum Agile and is Agile Scrum?

drawing by Alexander Koffeman

drawing by Alexander Koffeman

 

The short version: yes and no! Scrum is Agile but Agile is not (only) Scrum.

 

Future Fit Organizations

Organizations want to become flexible and Agile or as we like to call it at Xebia: Future Fit. Just like when you go to the gym and want to become fitter. Yes, there are more ways to achieve that.

You can see Agile as a container for multiple ways of working. In case of the gym there are many sport activities you can do. Scrum is one of the frameworks that could help you to become more Agile. Besides Scrum there are more sport programs (Kanban, DSDM, XP) that supports the organization to become Agile.

That`s just the basic explanation, but Agile is a lot more than just a container. Agile is about mindset, the way you think, the values that you live by. You can read more about Agile in the Agile Manifesto.

Experiential Learning

Scrum is simple to understand and difficult to master. In practice this means that it will take time to really understand why each component within the framework serves a specific purpose and is essential to Scrum’s success and usage. With Scrum you work in short iterations named “Sprints”. At the end of every Sprint you deliver a potentially releasable product increment. The core of Scrum is based on empiricism. That means that you will decide on actual experiential learnings what you will do next. This will show in Scrum on the following three pillars: transparency, inspect and adapt. Everything within Scrum is interwoven with these aspects. For example the Sprint Retrospective is the moment for the Scrum team to look back at the Sprint (inspect) to see if they can improve (adapt). You can read more details about Scrum in the Scrum Guide.

In my next blogpost you can read more about Scrum. Hope that this helps you to explain the difference between Agile and Scrum!

Please let me know if this helps you and drop a comment below!

Using Specification by Example / BDD for your refinements

When I'm joining new teams at clients it often becomes clear that the added value of refinements is not always seen. Team members complain that hours are wasted. The refinement sessions shouldn't be long draining meetings with endless discussions. Refinements should instead provide a clear added value in the form of requirements that the whole team can work with to deliver added value. How do you shape your refinements in a way that they add value? Read on to see how BDD / Specification by Example can help you!

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Autonomy – Taking the wheel

I remember when the Product Owner stepped into our room with a new user story. He asked if we could make a minor change to one of our web pages. What he did not know is that nobody understood the code, nor the ancient documentation that was written for this webpage.  After running a few tests we even discovered that half of the features did not even work. We made a proposition: we implement this user story if we get three extra weeks to rebuild this page and rewrite the documentation. Luckily our awesome Product Owner understood our situation and we managed to get these extra weeks.

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Being An Agile Security Officer: Spread Your Knowledge

This is my fifth and last part of my blog series about Being an Agile Officer

In the previous parts I showed how Security Officers can align with the Agile process and let security become a standard considered quality attribute again. Unfortunately many teams not only need to be made aware of security requirements, but also need technical advise and guidance in designing and implementing them. As an Agile Security Officer you therefor need not only to act as a Stakeholder, but also as a Domain Expert for Security.

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The secret to making people buy your product

There is no greater waste than building something extremely efficient, well architectured (is that a word?), with high quality that nobody wants.

Yet we see it all the time. We have the Agile manifesto and Scrum probably to thank for that (the seeing bit.) “Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software”. It’s the valuable bit that is embodied by the Product Owner in Scrum, or “the value maximiser”.

Lean Startup has taught us that we suffer from cognitive bias and simply assume we know what customers want, and therefor should treat our requirements as assumptions. Get out of the building and ask our customers! We all know that Henry Ford would disagree. But could both be right.

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Being an Agile Security Officer: pwn the process

This is the third part of my 'Being an Agile Security Officer series'. As mentioned in my previous blog, in the Agile world the Product Owner is the person who translates business and customer desires into work items for the teams. To do this, product owners have several techniques and means at their disposal. In this blog I will focus on the backlog and the definition of done. As a security officer it's important to understand their purpose and to learn how they can help you achieve your goals.

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Verbal Turn Indicators For Intercultural Product Owners

Jujutsu exams are coming up. One of the things that examiners want to see in jujutsu is the use of go-no-sen, sen-no-sen and tai-no-sen. Go-no-sen means that you respond to an action of your opponent, tai-no-sen means you act simultaneously and sen-no-sen means you take the initiative and act before the opponent has a chance.

When we debate product features, roadmaps, implementations, marketing plans etc. this happens all the time. We listen to what the other person has to say and respond (go-no-sen) or we interrupt and try to take over the discussion (tai-no-sen).
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De future fit organisatie - praktijkervaringen deel 1: De kracht en waarde van interne Agile Coaches

Een succesvolle transformatie naar een wendbare, future fit organisatie begint bij het neerzetten van de basis voor de borging. Een organisatie die start met heldere en begrijpelijke cultuurwaarden die het fundament vormen waarop de organisatie steunt. Niet alleen IT en/of Business los van elkaar maar samen met een gemeenschappelijke “purpose” gericht op (klant)waarde. De Agile Coach heeft hierin een belangrijke rol als cultuurdrager van de nieuwe organisatie en als katalysator van de verandering. De transformatie die ING Nederland doormaakt is hier een sterk voorbeeld van.

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