Why do managers kill the Scrum (and what to do about it)

Why do managers kill the Scrum (and what to do about it)

I remember a conversation with a colleague the scrum Master – he was then in a rather difficult situation.

I Love Scrum. It all makes sense to me. We use it to deal with the complexity, reduce risk and early to deliver value. Scrum is all that is needed in our organization. And while we don’t want to.

– Well, look. Or Your whole organization is set up anti-Scrumowo?

– On the contrary! Almost all designers scrumowe much in love with him. Their managers. Even the management of the lower level are satisfied. But senior management has not.

– What do they have in Scrum?

They think that the rejection of the long and detailed plans is risky. Moreover, they think that they have the best ideas and everyone in the organization needs for them to adapt. The only thing we gain from Scrum chances of re-prioritizing work and remember. But if we are talking about the Sprint Review, the feedback from several stakeholders can also affect priorities. But then we lose too many great opportunities for development.

My first reaction didn’t help:

– This is a common problem. Many organizations have problems of effective use of Scrum as management top management does not want to accept it.

This conversation shows the difficult situation faced by the Scrum. Many people understand Scrum and sees his advantage. They have not, however, possible to extract from it all possible. Scrum stumbled on glass ceiling. The concept of ” glass ceiling not only women and minorities – under is also tighten modern methods, including Scrum.

The Popularity Of Scrum

You’re probably wondering, where do these insights, because Scrum is so popular. According to the State of Agile 2020, with this technique uses a very large part of all organizations and 75% of them uses their turn Scrum. The problem here is probably the maturity of Agile only a small percentage of organizations have been able to adapt very well to:

Many organizations are not getting enough with Agile or Scrum. Constructers use Scrumowych events, artifacts, and responsibility. Do not use it, however, to create products of the highest quality.

Senior management prevents maneuverability

Scrum requires confidence – the confidence that not only are the people at the summit may have different ideas for the development of the company. It is the hope that Scrumowy team and stakeholders can have a better idea than senior management. This is the assurance that people do not need and do not know how detailed roadmapy to find the best way to bring value.

Unfortunately, the majority of senior managers is not able to trust the members of their organization. Therefore, they articulate a vision and develop roadmapę.

Everything else ranging from lower-level managers to teams scrumowych, he must do what I tell You on the mountain. They cannot deviate from the set path. And not waiting for them to search for better alternatives. Thus, senior management reduces the agility of the organization.

Management top management believes that samozarządzające yourself constructers is too big a risk. And this is why Scrum stumbled on glass ceiling.

SAFe through the ceiling. But why?

Not all Agile approaches they have this problem. Scaled Agile Framework are booming. Why? Because it mimics the traditional structure of the corporate network. The topics of strategic and efficient portfolio dripping down from the mountains to the layer of the Executive branch. SAFe to cope with all the problems of management of the highest level.

But on the other hand, the SAFe has a slightly different reason than Scrum.

This framework set up to supply. Scrum is to cope with the complex problems while delivering Supreme value. It’s a pretty significant difference.

SAFe is much more compatible with the traditional approach to corporate structures, that seems much less scary to senior management. It does not provide, but such dexterity as Agile will deliver the highest quality products.

The effect of glass ceiling

This “glass ceiling” is not enabling teams and organizations to use, which is possible from the Scrum. If the teams are free to experiment to get their way, they won’t understand the true potential that lies dormant in their products.

The only thing they will do is include a feedback that is consistent with roadmapa. Another valuable feedback may not have impact on the product.

Instead of immediately change direction in accordance with the new insighty, the company will only be set if senior management will issue such a command. Latency to respond to the information, all of which took a long time, and their belief in each of them.

Behavior management is seeking something opposite of their initial assumptions. Their goal is the avoidance of risk by adhering previously installed roadmapy. And this leads to a higher degree of risk associated with what is created is not what you need, or lose many opportunities.

Users and customers will not wait for the tanker to change course – will go to companies that meet their needs. To those that have the agility to work fast changes of course.

Call to action

Nieoptymalny Scrum anything will not help us. Management top management must provide the organization with a clear vision and goals, but also need to tell them how to run them. Without this permission, the team is obsessed with only untested functions.

Management top management does not believe, however, in Scrum. Do not lay the belief that people can make strategic decisions about products. However, top management is really only a small group of people in the entire company. When most organizations understand the benefits of Scrum, they will do much more together.

Many things can be optimized. Here are two ways:

  • Take participation of stakeholders. This can be users, customers and staff with a particular interest in this product.
  • Measure and draw conclusions. Check your prediction with the help of numbers.

When you enter, so, stakeholders, and you have a good calculations, we go with it to senior management. Figures louder than opinion – and of course for senior management.

Such measures will convince senior management to make changes in roadpamie. Who knows, maybe you’ll start to notice the potential samozarządzających strips and potential of Scrum, which in turn will help to extract from it all possible.

Scrum prevents

Many people believe that only affects the Scrum team, but that’s not true. Scrum is something completely different when it comes to creating products instead of sticking to the previously installed roadmapy, the vision of top management appears only when:

“Management of the highest degree of development starts by signaling the broader goals or strategic direction. (The New New Product Development Game, by Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka, 1986)

Important decisions on the range of accepted teams scrumowych. If they move in accordance with the vision of this group can define its implementation method. Then minimize risks to do something wrong, too loose forward, inspection and adaptation.


To Scrum works well, the team needs to know what people are pinning hope on how they accomplish the goal. Top management must be involved.

Scrum us allows it. Each sprint, stakeholders have the opportunity to discuss what to do next. Scrum is effective only when the main stakeholders involved in the conversation.

Only after that, the team can optimize the cost of the product, and the chances that they will meet the objectives of the company. Only then Scrum can be seen as the best way to create products, comparing it with the traditional approach, top-down.

The original text in English language you can read here.

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