Lessons learned from Scrum

Delivering ‘Agile Transformation’ with the Scrum framework requires collaboration, clarity on expected outcomes and change of mind.


Many companies have engaged in one way or form in “Agile Transformation” activities, often using the Scrum Framework.


Barry Overeem from the The Liberators provides a nice summary of the expected outcomes, real challenges to get there and lessons learned from the community. For me the most interesting part is about mindset change and ‘ownership’ of solutions.

Desired outcome of using Scrum:

– Shorten the feedback loop.

– Quickly validate assumptions.

– Deliver value to stakeholders sooner.

– Improve collaboration.

– Stakeholders explain the value they expect to receive.

– Management is the ally and removes impediments.

– High degree of psychological safety.

Reasons for not achieving the outcomes of Scrum?

– Management was excited, but the teams were not.

– The team was excited, but Management was not.

– Scrum was only implemented partially.

Most organisations struggle with adaptation!

– Scrum makes a lot of impediments visible that manifest at team level, but are ingrained in the entire organisation.

– Instead of solving impediments, they get neglected, leading to frustration and meaningless Sprint!!

Lessons learned

– Don’t try to convince people to change.

– Don’t push Scrum into a team and organisation.

– Don’t force adaptation.

– Scrum helps to create transparency about the state of the organisation. It holds up a mirror. You might not like what you see, and you can ignore it by not looking into the mirror, but it it’s simply reality.

– True adaptation, removing impediments, changing behaviours, redefining processes and procedures cannot be enforced. 

– People should take the initiative to drive change themselves. If people don’t ‘own’ the solution to the problems, implementation will be mediocre at best, probably misunderstood and more likely than not, will fail.

– In every organisation there are people willing to change. Focus on those people.

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