ScrumMaster = Snake Oil Salesman?


www.implementingscrum.com -- Cartoon -- July 23, 2007


Welcome back to another week at www.implementingscrum.com.Eeek. This may hurt a bit.

Sometimes you gotta face things head on. As regular readers know by now, I do not shy away from tough stuff.

In recent history in the blogging world — and elsewhere — I have been seeing a lot of claims that Scrum (and the courses etc.) are hype and people are victims of snake oil sales people.

For those that do not know what a snake oil sales person is, this person sells something for a “cure” that they know does not do anything in reality.

Yikes.

Am I selling snake oil?

Shoot. I *use* it and know it works.

For me.

Gulp.

And, I teach people the skills to become a ScrumMaster in their own organizations (both formally in a class and by mentoring different clients). I say “teach” in a term that also reminds me that I usually “learn” with each new and unique experiences.

And, it works for them.

Sometimes.

It is hard?

No. Maybe.

Yes.

And (smile).

When you put people into the mix (you know — human beings — not “resources”) anything can happen. And it does.

Scrum is not a Silver Bullet.

The Certified ScrumMaster Workshop does not make you “certifiable” to be a ScrumMaster, even with the crazy name. And. I do not hide that fact anywhere. I have yet to have any person in one of my workshops who was forced to be there; each and every person did their research and wanted to learn more about this Scrum stuff.

Scrum is not rocket science.

And.

Many organizations cannot handle what Scrum exposes. And it dies or fades away (see this link for part one of a three part series) or an organization continues to face the challenges Scrum exposes.

Snake oil?

I make no claims that this stuff is easy.

And (geesh… I really want to say “but” here LOL).

It works.

For me.

And at the end of the day, if I try something and it actually works, who cares what other people think. This is not third grade.

If you have read about Scrum (or worse yet — have never even read anything about it) and never tried it, shut up and quit whining about it. Really. Go away. Please. Do something productive with your time.

Ouch. There. I said it. And stand behind it.

If you have read about Scrum and actually tried it, and found it does not (or did not) work for you, STOP. Really.

And finally….

If you have read about Scrum and actually tried it, and find it works for you and the team, learn more. Improve. Really.

Have a great week.

Gotta run….

Please send comments, questions, criticisms, ideas, or whatever here.

You can also enter The Forum to discuss this entry and other Scrum topics. Thank you!

Originally Published:
July 23, 2007


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  1. [...] Read the rest of this great post here   [...]

  2. [...] And, for the record, check out my posting on “ScrumMaster and Snake Oil.” A fun read. Or at least I think so. [...]

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