My son and his band mates came to visit me, using my apartment as a base for shows around Florida. One of their upcoming shows is about 5 hours away. I offered to pay for a hotel room so they wouldn’t have to drive all night to get back. David gracefully refused. What he said next really resonated with me. “If we stay in a hotel you paid for, its not the same. Driving all night, sleeping in our car, and hanging out together are the things we will remember.”
It reminded me of the ceremonies of Scrum. If we skip the ceremonies, we miss the experience and, more importantly, the benefits. The first thing a lot of teams do is modify or eliminate the ceremonies. How do we know what works and what doesn’t until we do them for a number of times? It is in our nature to focus on getting to the end result while overlooking the journey.
- Daily Standups can interrupt our busy schedule. Missing one won’t hurt?
- Sprint Reviews don’t need to be completed every time. We have nothing to show.
- We need a manager to run these meetings.
- Standup meetings are too short.
- The team is not qualified to test without QA directing the testing activities.
When I hear these objections, it usually comes from a Scrum-butt-er. Viewing the ceremonies as part of a checklist of inconveniences that get in the way of doing the real work (coding, testing, or whatever). Why we perform the scrum ceremonies and the benefits we derive are more important than the ceremony itself.
The communication derived by the scrum ceremonies is invaluable and the biggest benefit achieved. Communication is rampant in Scrum, with opportunities throughout. The effects of a missed opportunity may not be realized initially, but will show up eventually. Hopefully, it won’t be too late.
Thanks for coming in today.