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Keep Scrum Simple

The importance of simplifying your framework

9 December 2015

Garren Heye

You may be familiar with the KISS philosophy, but in case you're not, it stands for "Keep It Simple, Stupid." If you've ever tried an Agile or Scrum implementation, then you have undoubtedly seen the all-too-common looks of confusion on your students' faces. Agile, and Scrum specifically, are supposed to be simple and efficient, right? Isn't that why they were developed?

I had dinner with a partner the other night who had previously attempted a Scrum implementation. The company had given up on it. After some investigation, I discovered that the consulting firm they hired had overcomplicated the implementation. Unfortunately, this is not the first time I've heard this.


Keep It Simple, Stupid.

When my partner Mat and I do a new implementation, we start with the absolute basics. For example, we don't use terminology such as story points or the Fibonacci Sequence. We actually don't even use those at first. We start by using hours instead.

The reason is not only will this be easier for the Scrum team to understand right out of the gate but it will be much easier to get buy-in from management. You won't get nearly as much pushback from them, and they'll be much more open to implementing more advanced pieces of Scrum down the road once they've seen its effectiveness.

Instead of dumping everything on the team and hoping for the best, ignore the nonessentials and make sure that they understand the basics before moving on.

By distilling it to only the core Scrum basics, we have seen dramatic improvements in efficiency from day one. We eliminate most of the Scrum-specific terminology, and we prioritize our lessons so that the transition is broken down to bite-sized pieces that are easily digestible.

Ultimately, it's going to depend on how hungry your team is to learn. Feed them accordingly.

Opinions represent those of the author and not of Scrum Alliance. The sharing of member-contributed content on this site does not imply endorsement of specific Scrum methods or practices beyond those taught by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers and Coaches.

Article Rating

Current rating: 4.4 (7 ratings)


Meghan Robinson, CSM,CSPO, 3/17/2016 4:07:56 PM
Would you be okay with us highlighting this article on our new AgileCareers Blog?

You can view the blog here:

I look forward to hearing your response! Thanks.
Garren Heye, CSP,CSM, 7/6/2016 5:56:06 PM
Hi Meghan!

I'd be honored to be featured on your blog! Let me know if there's anything else I can do for you :)

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