I have a confession to make. I’ve fallen into a trap and I need to get out of it.
Gosh, Bob, what’s wrong? What is it you might ask?
I’ve been saying: “The Scrum Guide says” way too frequently. It’s almost a daily mantra and I suddenly realized that I need to stop it.
I’ve been teaching and coaching Scrum for nearly 20 years. During that time, I’ve always tried to stay true to the basic Scrum guidance and the Scrum Guide. But I’ve also shared my own practical experience.
One of the things that I’ve been consistent about in my guidance is that the ScrumMaster is NOT a manager or HR role. That is, they should not be “mucking around” with personnel performance issues. At least not directly.
For example, they should not be writing/executing Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs) or removing folks from teams or firing folks.
So, you can imagine my shock & chagrin when I saw an article by Barry Overeem that seemed to be saying the opposite. Now I’ve followed Barry for many years and I normally align with his recommendations. Or at least I see the soundness in his perspective. And often he simply makes me think about things in new ways. Which I appreciate.
But in this case, I think this is a very dangerous point of view and flat out wrong. So, let me share my thoughts…
I just watched a video by Mishkin Berteig where he clarified that the concept of a Sprint #0 is NOT part of Scrum.
A few weeks ago, a colleague of mine tweeted about the concept of Hardening Sprints. If you’re aware, the Scaled Agile Framework has “dabbled” with hardening sprints and other “extensions” to Scrum. Ron Jeffrey’s strongly, clearly, and repeatedly responded that hardening sprints are NOT part of Scrum. It became physically painful as Ron pounded his point over and over again in tweets.
I’m an insider (a CEC) to the Scrum Alliance CST & CEC discussion group. Some of the most heated discussions I’ve ever seen there revolved around the definition of Core Scrum in the Agile Atlas. This was before the Scrum Alliance centered on the Scrum Guide as the clear definition of Scrum.