Scrum is a bit of roles, meetings and artifacts, and yet it is still much more than that. The Scrum Alliance's vision is to transform the world of work. I think Scrum is part of a wave of methods and ideas that are poised to actually transform the world. Behind the Scrum rules, there is the spirit of those rules. Compassion, freedom, and enjoyment are all key parts of a Scrum implementation that thrives. Scrum is a more humane way of organizing knowledge workers. However, many Scrum practitioners think the framework can help lighten the lives of unskilled low-income entrepreneurs as well.
Microfinance, according to Wikipedia, is “the provision of financial services to low-income clients […], who traditionally lack access to banking and related services”. The Grameen Bank, founded by Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yanus, works with groups of extremely poor, self-employed people. These groups, ranging from 3 to 8 people, designate a leader whose responsibility is to make this group a team. Solidarity among members is key to the success of each of the personal endeavors. Therefore, the leaders have to be subserviant to the rest of the group. And what about advice on what to invest in? On how to wisely spend the money the group was lent? Here comes the representative from Grameen. This person is responsible for guiding the group from a strategic perspective. He or she has to help them understand what their vision is, and what to try next in order to reach it.
Does this configuration sound familiar? It looks like a crystal clear fit for Scrum. And yes, I have slowly started coaching some groups, and the ideas behind Scrum do work in making them more productive and happier. I devote part of my time to working with local representatives of the Grameen Bank in Argentina. But the opportunity to actually make a difference, to actually start changing the world using Scrum is out there. I invite you to join me in this cause. Whether it is by sharing ideas, experiences, or actually working together with other Scrum practitioners; our knowledge of Scrum can help us make the world a fairer place.