Big Scrum: Are you doing mechanical Scrum



Last month I created an article for NDC Magazine on Scaling Scrum. The guys at NDC must have liked it as they decided to put it on the cover. This article is a discussion and investigation into what it means to be a Professional Scrum Team, why we need it, and how we can scale it.


[Download NDC Magazine 2015.1 as a PDF]

Excerpt from the article

Many organisations move towards Scrum and Agile for the allure of hyper-productivity. This is the promise that led them to Scrum in the first place and they are, more often than not, sorely disappointed when they don’t achieve it. The easiest way to make Scrum as ineffective as possible, is to pay lip service to it. Forgetting about the values, principles, and technical excellence that are the underpinning of its effectiveness.


It’s just fine to start with mechanical Scrum and work from there. Just don’t expect to get the effectiveness that you desire without the other two pillars. You need all three of the pillars to be able to ship twice the features in half the time.

The desire: Twice the features in half the time

No really! You can ship twice the features in half the time, but only with Professional Scrum. In Professional Scrum we not only follow the framework, but enact the values and principles. In Professional Scrum we strive for technical excellence and really focus on doing the right thing and minimising technical debt (yes, I know that unhedged fund is technically more accurate.)

Jeff Sutherland talks often of using Scrum to make money as a venture capitalist. His company buys struggling software companies and turning them around. Jeff does this by implementing Professional Scrum and turning that struggling software organisation into a highly tuned, effective team that turns ideas into customer value. He can then sell that company for many time that which he bought it for; professionals are worth far more than cowboys.

It beggars belief that so many organisations only practice flaccid Scrum and waste their investors’ money. That’s bad when it is private investment, but down right criminal in a public company. And let’s not get started with the public sector.

Is your organisation paying lip service to the values and principals? Does it feel more like ‘yeeha’, or a group of professionals?

Mechanical Scrum is only the start [read more…]

Upcoming Training Opportunities

These are the next five classes we have, and you can check out our full public schedule of classes.

Immersive Professional Scrum Product Owner with Russell Miller over 8 weeks starting 11th October 2023
Virtual Immersive
11 Oct-13 Oct, 2023
09:00-13:00 EDT
8 weekly half-days
Immersive Applying Professional Scrum with Simon Bourk over 10 weeks from18th October 2023
Virtual Immersive
18 Oct-20 Oct, 2023
09:00-13:00 EDT
10 weekly half-days
Immersive Professional Agile Leadership Essentials with Joanna Płaskonka Ph.D. over 7 weeks from 20th October 2023
Virtual Immersive
20 Oct-1 Oct, 2023
09:00-13:00 BST
7 weekly half-days
Live Virtual Product Backlog Management Skills with Joanna on 2nd November 2023
Virtual Traditional
2 Nov, 2023
09:00-17:00 GMT
1 full-days

We can deliver any of our courses as private in-house training over Microsoft Teams & Mural. We also recommend training based on your accountabilities or role, you can go directly to recommended courses for Scrum MastersProduct OwnersDevelopers and Agile Leaders.

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We believe that every company deserves high quality software delivered on a regular cadence that meets its customers needs. Our goal is to help you reduce your cycle time, improve your time to market, and minimise any organisational friction in achieving your goals.

naked Agility Limited is a professional company that offers training, coaching, mentoring, and facilitation to help people and teams evolve, integrate, and continuously improve.

We recognise the positive impact that a happy AND motivated workforce, that has purpose, has on client experience. We help change mindsets towards a people-first culture where everyone encourages others to learn and grow. The resulting divergent thinking leads to many different ideas and opportunities for the success of the organisation.