What are the cardinal sins of Scrum implementation? That question comes up time and again. Based on my experiences from the last 10 years, I would like to point out the following three ones:
- The manager declares a team leader or a lead developer to be the ScrumMaster
- The team leader: The members of the team will not realize that the leader of the team suddenly is no longer their boss. They will still delegate responsibility for everything to him. That way the team leader is not relieved from his responsibilities by the management. He will go on to remain and act as a team leader on a subconscious level.
- The lead developer: A lead developer, who isn’t allowed to code anymore because of his new position, will have a hard time to deal with that situation. He will not understand that his knowledge as a developer is no longer required.
- The ScrumMaster believes that Scrum has to be adapted to the company and is all too ready to mix old processes with Scrum.
- ScrumMasters who start with doing scrum-by-the-book consequently, are much more successful. I made that experiences myself when I started doing Scrum. First I implemented scrum-like, but when I returned from the USA in 2003, and realized what I have learned from Ken, we made a much better progress.
- The Product Owner doesn’t work full-time or has to supervise several teams at the same time.
- I’m sorry to say that but it is highly unproductive to supervise more than one team as a PO. Contrary to general believe this has been proven by each of our Scrum implementations. In the current situation you could see that the PO cannot be present at 2 Sprint Planning sessions at the same time. This messed up with the synchronization of the sprints and the whole department works less efficiently.
- It’s too much work for the PO to supervise more than one product. A product has to be maintained, a fact widely underestimated by companies. A product is a project and products have a life cycle that starts when they enter the market. Many companies forget that their older products have to be improved constantly. It is the PO’s job to explain to them that he will be responsible for the improvement of the product in the future.
That’s it for now although there are many more mistakes that can happen.