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True Scrum vs. Scrum: Which One Are You Practising?

The many versions of Scrum.

When Scrum first emerged in the 90s, it was derived as a solution to one major issue: transforming a team into hyper-productivity and delivering business outcomes.

While project managers and teams struggled to meet deadlines with Gantt charts and traditional waterfall project management, Dr. Sutherland discovered a new way of working that delivers twice the results in half the time!

In fact, the first Scrum team delivered 10x the value in 1/10th the time compared to the waterfall teams.

As the popularity of Scrum grew in the early 2000s, it extended across industries and countries. Most learning materials were created by different authors - based on their own practical experience. The knowledge you received could be very different depending on who you followed.

You can't win with the Scrum Guide alone.

Late in the 2000s, Dr. Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber - the two co-creators of Scrum, developed the Scrum Guide to provide a reference to the knowledge they discovered.

But, the core challenges remained. Emulating the remarkable results that Dr. Sutherland had achieved with the first Scrum teams is difficult - close to impossible if you refer to the Scrum Guide alone. Unsurprisingly, many practitioners and companies failed to get anywhere close to hyper-productivity.

True Scrum

One of the most crucial mission in Dr. Sutherland’s original knowledge of Scrum is this - building a Lean system, focusing on tangible outcomes, and achieving infinite scalability.

This is True Scrum.

Well, you are not doing this, are you?

The Scrum framework began to lose its essence as practitioners modified and inserted customised practices into the original framework without first being experienced. ​​Dr. Sutherland commented on this situation: "I don’t mind that you modify Scrum as long as it delivers better business results. I mind that you modify Scrum because you don’t know what you’re doing, and the result becomes worse."

So, as Scrum practitioners, we should always keep essential lessons in mind:

  • True Scrum focuses on bringing real results.
  • True Scrum is Lean.
  • True Scrum teams optimise the way that they work to achieve hyper-productivity.

Done right, True Scrum teams deliver great products that generate happy customers. The customers, in turn, are willing to buy more, which means more sales and revenue for the company!

True Scrum wins every time. If this is not the Scrum you are practising, you might be missing out!

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