Pain is temporary, failure lasts forever

Lean, agile living for the running mother of Peter


There are no magic pills

If you've read Lucky Luke you've seen them: the witch doctors which sold those magic pills which were supposed to cure every problem. Being a skeptic, I know there are no such things as magic pills. Not in medicine. Not anywere. Not even software development.

In accordance to Swedish IDG, Scrum is under heavy attack. Be happy that the story is written in Swedish, for I've seldom read such a sorry story. Ivar Jacobson, one of the fathers of RUP goes to "heavy attack" on Scrum. It is good for small agile projects but not on large ones with a service oriented architecure. Well, if one of the fathers of RUP weren't of that opinion, I would find that more strange. Or?

Then the writer of the article states that Jacobson is being backed up by a master's thesis from the university of Karlstad. The writer of the master thesis states that scrum is customized in larger projects. Well, that is only true for scrum. Right.

Then the story becomes really weird. The writer states that there is no room for sprint reviews. I had to re read this a couple of times and I still do not understand what the problem was, besides companies not taking time for retrospectives or acting on the result. And I guess that is not only true for scrum.

Scrum is no magic pill and I've never heard Ken Schwaber stating that. If you have a product owner who lacks domain knowledge, who doesn't participate in daily work, if the scrum master and product owner does not communicate properly to stakeholders, if there is no product backlog, if there is no product/project vision, there is a good chance the project will fail. No one has ever said that labeling a project as using scrum automatically makes it a success. What I've heard is that software development is no walk in the park. Scrum or no scrum.



Anonymous Tobias Fors said...

Hi! Right on! Thanks for writing about this.

When I was interviewed for this article, I told the journalist that many companies forget about doing retrospectives, which means that they miss out on a lot of good learning. It seemed to me that this was the first time he heard about retrospectives, because he then asked me if retrospectives are a part of Scrum. I said yes.

He then wrote that Scrum lacks support for retrospectives... This is extra weird, because he decided to call me after having read a post I wrote on the importance of doing retrospectives! (

October 25, 2008 at 10:25 PM  
Blogger Anna Forss said...

As I wrote, the article was mostly sad because it really showed how little the writer had understood. I actually tried to find the master thesis, but doesn't seem to be published yet. I want to see if it compares scrum with any other methodology.

And the part with the interview was really the worst part of the text. You could guess what you had said but he'd already decided on the punchline so he didn't listen.

We believers just have to continue showing the good results and the best projects!

And thanks for leaving the comment and for the tip on the blog: I haven't seen that one.

October 26, 2008 at 8:37 AM  
Blogger Sigge said...

@Anna, I actually contacted the author of the article, who gave me the email address of the author of the thesis.

I have myself recently finished my thesis at LTH regarding Scrum and requirements engineering. The thesis referred to in this article is just full of errors in the facts stated about Scrum, that it is outrageous that it is being referred to.

October 28, 2008 at 1:09 AM  
Blogger Anna Forss said...

Very interesting, Sigge. Both you reading the thesis and your own thesis. I would be very glad to read your work.

If you have a copy on your thesis, please give me a link to it. I'm very interested in the fact that you write about scrum and requirements. I believe there lacks some info on that angle.

October 28, 2008 at 8:02 AM  

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