Avoiding “Scrum Buts”

I’ve been working on scrum teams for awhile now and I recently went through the Certified ScrumMaster course which provided a nice refresher. One take-away I want to share is the reminder to avoid performing “Scrum Buts” – this is the notion of practicing only portions of the Scrum process.

We know that it is very easy to stray from the Scrum structure, but keeping it consistent is what makes it work. A few of the less strictly followed, but just as important, rules are:

  • Every sprint should have stories that the team can demonstrate – always
  • Only the delivery team can say what can be delivered & when
  • Anyone can add to the backlog, but only the PO (Product Owner) should prioritize it
  • A PBI (Product Backlog Item) is ready when it has: An Estimate, Definition of Done & Acceptance Test
  • The proper size of a Scrum team is 5 – 9 people
  • Each sprint must complete all of the ceremonies in order to truly run through the Scrum process
  • All the ceremonies have set time boxes to follow

Besides describing the rules and definitions, this course reinforced the knowledge I had about Scrum, and provided valuable new information about applying Scrum practices. I was empowered to bring these lessons back to my Scrum Team to help better facilitate our Agile process.

I would love to hear your comments below on what rules you are tempted to break and any advice on staying away from the Scrum Buts!

2016-06-21T20:08:40+00:00 Categories: Agile, Project Management|

About the Author:

Alaine Karoleff originally joined CivicActions in 2014 as an Agile Project Manager / ScrumMaster. With her love for making lists and all things productive, she aims to keep projects running effectively with a transparent and painless process.

Alaine has had the pleasure of working with many great non-profits and educational institutes, including the University of Michigan Energy Institute, ACLU of Michigan, and the National Voices Project. Alaine skillfully held a bipartisan position between team members and the client teams to negotiate the best interest of all stakeholders. She was crucial in creating a collaborative and supportive work environment for her team, but also in confirming clients understood every detail of the project, and ensuring the scheduled deliverables were met.

Some of Alaine’s other clients include the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, numerous centers and departments with the University of Michigan, Gift of Life Michigan, Gene Codes, ACLU of Arizona, Michigan League of Conservation Voters, and the Arab American National Museum.
Before joining the team, Alaine worked as the project manager at Inner Circle Media, a web development and marketing firm headquartered in Ann Arbor, MI. She also brings to the team her experiences gained from previously teaching high school English and speech/debate – which helped her become more efficient, attentive, flexible and reliable.

Alaine received her BA degree from Eastern Michigan University in secondary education with a minor in communication. She is also certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP), as well as Certified ScrumMaster (CSM). Outside of her Mac screen, Alaine likes to travel, explore photography, and see as many live music shows as possible (and still make it to work the next day!).