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Steve Sweales


Location: UK


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Steve Sweales

I first stumbled across Scrum (and subsequently other agile practices) when a new member of my team introduced me to it back in 2007 - what hit me wasn’t how different it was, rather that I had been working in a very similar way for most of my career - I just wasn’t aware that it was a ‘thing’.

Armed with this new found knowledge, I strode out into the world intent on spreading the good word - this will be easy I thought, simple concept, empowers the team, provides value quickly to the customers, it's a no brainer.  Wow - how wrong could I be?

There are so many people who don’t get it, are scared of it, see it as a fad.  I can understand that some people have never worked this way and are entrenched in a more traditional approach - I need to open the door and show them what’s through it - I can’t push them through, I have to encourage them to follow me through.

I’ve seen scrum implemented in many ways (i.e. badly): we do scrum as we stand up, we do scrum as we follow the gant chart in 2 week iterations, we do scrum as the Project Manager has been re-badged a ScrumMaster etc. <sigh>  So many people have given scrum a bad name, by not implementing scrum (and being anything but agile) but calling it so.  When it fails to deliver the promised benefits, the business declare it a failure, making scrum a dirty word.

What have I learnt?

1) that I was very lucky to work in the manner that I did, and with the freedom that I was afforded prior to my introduction to scrum - things would have been wildly different if I'd worked for different people

2) for successful agile implementations, the thing you have to realise is it’s about attaining the right mindset.  Anybody can follow a set of practices, but if you don’t foster the right culture / mindset, then you are just following a set of rules, you aren’t being agile - you’ll never reap the benefits

3) I love working this way and more importantly, I love it when other people realise that they love working this way too


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