Welcome to this book about Scrum. This book is a tool that can help you not only to discover Scrum, but to gain deeper insight into how and why it works. Much of that discovery will take you deep inside the practices and beliefs of your organization. It may challenge much of your own worldview, while at the same time making you feel at home.
Some of Scrum’s origins lie in Japanese culture and Buddhism. Driving even more deeply, those who view Scrum as a way of work-life rather than just as a method are more likely to find happiness in their Scrum journey. Zen Buddhists used the Zen story of the Ten Bulls as a way of teaching Zen, emphasizing that one must put aside one’s ego and drive to control an outcome but rather to harmonize with one’s market, one’s colleagues, and one’s work. Here, we use a playful adaptation of this story as a metaphor for your Scrum journey. It is a journey intended to lead you to master Scrum knowledge and to broaden its contribution to your team and your own daily life — and then, beyond, to your world. Reaching that point will free you to grow into your next stage of mastery in the world of work, and beyond.
I am able to develop product. It’s a job. I’ve heard of this thing called Scrum, but am not really sure whether people are actually using it or whether it works. I am exhausted from looking for it. It feels intuitive but it’s so different from anything we’ve done before that I’m not sure it’s right.
I saw a Scrum book in the bookstore. I had heard stories of great men and women called ScrumMasters and Product Owners, and of a world of prosperity, of software in 30 days and four times the output in the same amount of time. Yet before they were only stories. Now it is obvious: There is something here that I want, and it is real.
I have joined a Scrum Team, with great hopes and aspirations. I am in wonder of the many order of magnitude claims and of Toyota-like quality. Others describe it differently but it seems as though we are talking about the same thing. It fills my imagination and exceeds my expectations.
I try Scrum with my team. It is a struggle between me and Scrum, and I am determined that one of us shall achieve mastery over the other. The effort is high to bring it in line with the direction I was headed: it is like a wild animal. The harder I try to bend it to my will, the more problems that surface. This is not what I wanted, and it is not the Scrum I learned about at the agile conferences.
I am still trying to use Scrum, but with more success. I am in harmony with The Scrum Guide. Scrum seems to do something useful. It wraps my old practices, but makes obvious where I have strayed from a good path. I cannot control others to use Scrum as I see it, and I really have no yearning to do so. There is no conflict with the way I used to do things. I grow happy. Or is it complacency?
Scrum now works for us! We are running Sprints, and life joins Sprints’ cycles. Others join the Sprint rhythm and we have a great team. Is this Scrum? Whose Scrum? Jeff Sutherland’s? Ken Schwaber’s? Mine?
All the parts work in harmony: Product Owner and team, Scrum Team and customers: they all work together. Scrum mastered me. It is natural and it is obvious how to work. Its intuitiveness obviates the rule book called The Scrum Guide. There is no Scrum. What is there? Do I care?
There is now an even broader Wholeness where there are no “parts working together.” There is no boundary between parts, between self and how the self and others do work. We are a Whole. There is no Team and Customer, no Us and Them.
It’s obvious. I get it. Crap. It was part of me all along. I knew it, but did not know that I knew it. Why did I spend all that money on training and certification?
I am definitely happy, even so happy that people call me crazy, every day extending a helping hand to others, sharing my patterns with them.