Scrum as a process bus

Many organisations are rapidly taking Scrum as their core agile framework – this is positive in many ways. The framework is an industry standard that is taught at universities and IT colleges. But there is a big and comon pitfall – an anti-pattern that should be avoided:

Scrum is tailored beyond recognition to a certain fit.

Instead – follow the simple princple:

Adopt Scrum, adapt your organisation and improve produced value.

Take the step and let Scrum be your process bus and grow your own model on top of it.

Busses are known from other applications. In software development a bus is seen as a communication system between mutually interacting services. The bus provides means for consuming and producing information through a well known interface. In computer hardware, a bus provides means to communicate between components inside a computer or between computers also through well known interfaces.

Imagine your team as a computer containing a motherboard, processor, RAM, etc. and Scrum as the wiring between the components making sure everything is executed timely. Some components are permanent to the setup (team members) and some can be replaced or added (practices, tools, etc.). Tweaking the computer to certain tasks can be done using its interfaces, e.g.:

  • If you want your computer to perform better when playing games you might want to upgrade your graphicsadapter, RAM and CPU.
  • If you want to play games with peers you might want to plug it to a network.

Use Scrum in its native format and plug consuming or producing facilities in. Seeing Scrum as a process bus to promote agility enables flexibility with regard to experimenting with new agile practices. This is done by having a homegenic foundation on which you add and grown your agile models from.

Producing practices

Producing practices are adding information or data into the Scrum team. Examples of practices:

  • Kanban
  • DevOps
  • Google Design Sprints
  • ? Driven Development (TDD, BDD, etc)
  • Scaling frameworks (SAFe, Nexus, etc)
  • Toyota Kata
  • Story Mapping

Consuming practices

Consuming practices are retrieving information or data from the Scrum team. Examples of practices:

  • Scaling frameworks (SAFe, Nexus, etc)
  • Reporting (Burn charts, management, etc)
  • Impediments
  • Toyota Kata
  • Scrum of Scrums
  • Automated builds

Caveat

Please note that most practices can be seen as either/both consuming or producing depending on context. The important thing to notice is how you integrate them into your proces bus – Scrum.

See this link for inspiration on what is core Scrum and what could be added.

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