Combo. Packing. -- Cartoon -- October 30, 2007

Welcome back to another week at for the interruption of this series…. now back to our semi-regular programming (smile).This week we conclude the main topic of the month — how to “introduce Scrum” in your organization.It does not matter if you are in the government sector, private or public business (small or large), non-profit, or even non-software related. When rolling out Scrum, two ways that have proven unsuccessful in the past (for me and with many companies I have seen or heard from) include “Top Down” and “Bottom Up.”

I introduced each of these topics during the month (with a blog entry about my trip to Russia, and no real follow-up from Kyiv — which was awesome too!). I received some feedback that some people may have been offended by the “picture” used in the “Bottom Up” approach. Oh well. I have learned long ago that I will not be able to please everyone. And for those of you who are still hanging around — and passing around this site to your friends and co-workers — remember my more controversial comic strip is the one I published at the beginning of this year; it is located here and is the most popular comic strip on this site, exceeding all my expectations and proving that controversial topics — at least with this audience — is working to get the message across.


I told you two ways NOT to do it. Well… you can — and many do — but (or AND) do this with your eyes open.

One of the best ways I have seen at organizations being able to successfully implement Scrum in their environment is by using a combination of the two methods already discussed.

It is about common sense after all.


It is about people. Not technology.


What can you do if you are interested in rolling out Scrum and have a chance at successfully doing this?

Remember. 75% of organizations FAIL at implementing Scrum; they die a slow iterative and incremental death. You can read more about this here.

If I were implementing Scrum (which, by the way, is what I actually work with teams around the world doing in real life (smile)), I’d make sure that the executives within your organization have a clue of what this is going to take.

Be honest with them.

This is not a Silver Bullet.

Just because people go to a CSM Course (or, as I call it, a workshop), does not qualify them to run a Scrum Team.

If you can get to the executives within the organization, have them pick someone to be the executive sponsor of this thing.

Read the above sentence again.


One person.

And make sure this person has some large shoulders and political clout to help provide “cover fire” when the team hits their first roadblock.


Not, “If.”


This executive sponsor needs to be able to let the team fail. And learn from their failure. And help soften the blow if it is a bad thing for the organization.

The team needs to be responsible and not let this person “hang” in the future by making the same mistake again.


The last thing you really want to do is have an executive sponsor who continually gets burned by their Scrum Team(s).


The people actually doing the work (Pigs) need to REALLY have skin in the game.

The Scrum Team needs to act like responsible adults and understand what they are getting into.

It is not all fun and games.

OK. Sometimes we have fun and play games.



The goal is to always produce business value to your organization.

What does that mean?

It varies by organization type (the different “types” are listed above).

What does this mean for you as a ScrumMaster?

Keep your eyes open.



“A Dead ScrumMaster is a useless ScrumMaster.”

Enough said?

Have fun out there!
Gotta run!.Please send comments, questions, criticisms, ideas, or whatever here.

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

Originally Published:
October 30, 2007
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