Practical Advice for Implementing Scrum

by Deborah Hartmann Preuss on Sep 27, 2006 |
As Scrum continues to gain momentum, training hundreds of developers, managers and customers a month, it's not surprising to hear a call for continuing practical help for these many novice teams.  Implementing any Agile methodology is a gradual exercise over time, raising new questions with each iteration as the team rolls out incremental improvements and reveals new obstacles.  A new site called hopes to help teams with their questions. The site's byline is
"Agile Software Development looks easy; however, use common sense to avoid catastrophes."
Creator Mike Vizdos, a Certified Scrum Trainer and Agile coach with plenty of experience in small and large enterprises, has created a site which teaches the basics using weekly installments of colourful cartoons and straight talk.  It's not uncommon for the Scrum community to use humour as a teaching tool... true to form, the site so far features a chicken, a pig, and an oddly jedi-like character, all drawn by cartoonist Tony D. Clark.

Vizdos began last week with "The Chicken and the Pig," a story used by Scrum trainers to illustrate team responsibilities.  This week's installment, called "Scrum - The Silver Bullet [NOT]", looks at the ScrumMaster role in both pictures and words:

ScrumToon2 from

First and foremost, really try not to even be perceived as a Scrum -- or Agile -- Zealot. If you are perceived this way already, take some time for some positive introspection and remember not to take yourself too darn seriously. Agile is not appropriate for every environment or all situations. Really. Understand this and be ready to defend that statement.
Visdos does say, however, that if applied in appropriate situations, success is likely:
"If you work hard; if you stay focused; if you take [Scrum's] values, principles, and practices to heart; then you will likely improve your effectiveness as a developer."
There's a caveat: Vizdos also says "Change Hurts."  When he first introduced the topic of change into his course material, he wasn't sure where it would lead... and he was surprised, saying "Wow. I will get into some of those topics at a later date, I promise (smile)." 

Use the RSS feed to keep up on new weekly installments at .

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