Stefan Roock

All About Agile and Lean

Scrum: Just following the hype?

From time I meet people who say that their management introduced Scrum just because it is a hype. Honestly I doubt that. I have introduced Scrum and other agile approaches since 2000 into various companies and I have spoken to dozens (if not hundreds) of managers. And every manager was able to explain why he wanted Scrum/agile. Sometimes expectations were excessive but I have never met a manager who didn’t know why he wanted Scrum and just followed the hype blindly.

I think the misconception of the employees is caused by a communication fail. As George Bernard Shaw said:

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.

The managers know why they want Scrum and normally they even have communicated it:

  • once
  • in an email
  • hidden between a lot of other stuff

And that is just not enough to make a real change happen. Even if employees have read the message there is a lot of doubt:

  • Does the manager really know what Scrum is?
  • Would he really do what is necessary?
  • Was the message just ad-hoc and now there is another most-important thing?

Therefore managers should

  • communicate the intended change (together with the „why“) personally and face-2-face
  • renew the message continuously
  • model the wanted behavior themselves


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