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Scrum Extensions Update - 4th Quarter 2011

by Christopher Goldsbury on Nov 27, 2011 |

 On October 6than announcement was made that scrum would be opened up for extension. The announcement was interesting as it turned scrum, one of the most commonly used agile practices today, from a defined process into a potential framework of practices.

Scrum is popular and widely used in software development circles today. So what is the state of scrum extensions so far?

Checking out the scrum.org site; we see only a few extensions proposed to date. Nothing official has been published. These proposed extensions have not made it into scrum, but are under consideration. Where we could find additional background information we've attached links:
 

Extension Name

Proposed By

Date Proposed

Scrum Basic

David Starr

10/05/11

ATDD ( Acceptance Test Driven Development ) Sprint Plan

Ralph Jocham

10/30/11

Integration Scrum

Caesar Ramos & Kate Terlecka

11/25/11

We've reached out to the folks at scrum.org for more information, and are hopeful that we can provide that by the time we do our 1st quarter 2012 update of scrum extensions.

The number of proposed extensions appears small, but the announcement only occurred in October of 2011. As we move through time InfoQ will continue to monitor changes to scrum and hopefully provide further depth on each approved extension.

The scrum extension proposal process is open to anyone, but requires sponsorship of your proposed extension to validate its use and value to the community. Additionally, the Scrum Alliance is doing work to extend scrum as well. In future updates we hope to paint a clearer picture of how these two efforts compliment or compete with each other.

The announcement of scrum extensions was met with different reactions in the community. On the yahoo boards this comment was made by Ashish Gupta:
 

“Great step in right direction. 
I just deleted draft of my next blog post "Scrum is a religion" after reading this.”

Another opinion was represented by Joakim Sundn:

My first reaction was positive, but isn't this way too little, much too late? "Clarifies the intent to Jeff and Ken"? And from the web site:

"If accepted, your extension will be incorporated into the Scrum Extension Library at the sole discretion of Jeff and Ken."

Why would the community feel the need for Jeff's and Ken's approval for extending Scrum??
 

But what are your thoughts? By opening scrum to change are we improving a process or potentially degrading something that works fine already?

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Problem: Scrum isn't defined as a pattern language by Adam Nemeth

Scrum is defined as cargo cult. If you open the official Scrum Guide, you see that it's a kind of "this is it" - no reasons, explanations, problems

( www.scrum.org/storage/scrumguides/Scrum%20Guide... )


This was widely discussed in comments at James Coplien's post on Artima. Maybe worth a look.

Personally, my deep problems with Scrum - like the fact that the link between users and developers is a sole person (the Product Owner) - cannot be adressed with extensions anyway, so I just try to bring sanity against scrum where needed. But a pattern language-like description would sure help people to assemble their own version easier, without dogmatic views.

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