5 Common Scrum Myths

5 Common Scrum Myths

October 27, 2022 6 min to read

Is Agile the same as Scrum? Have you ever thought that Daily Scrum is the status meeting and Sprint Review means demo? These are some of the Scrum myths I debunk in this article. Check it out!

#scrum#scrum master#agile#daily scrum#sprint review

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    The number of myths around Scrum is still growing. Let’s be honest, frameworks or methodologies that use Scrum terms incorrectly do not help.

    Today I would like to list the most common Scrum myths that I’ve seen in my career. I know that these myths have been constantly repeated and passed from company to company. But as you know, this blog is about education, so I want to debunk these myths.

    Myth 1 - Scrum is just about Scrum events and roles

    Many organizations decide to implement Scrum, but they end up only using roles, events & sometimes artifacts.

    What is the result? They focus only on the way how to change processes or the way of working without really using Scrum values & empirical approach principles. This behavior is called: "Mechanical Scrum" and doesn’t work well in the long term.

    To be honest, Scrum is much more about changing the mindset and empowering teams than anything else. I am not saying that events and roles don’t really matter, but they will not work without proper mindset and values. Implementing Scrum is the same like building the house, you need to have the proper foundations.

    Myth 2 - Daily Scrum is a status report meeting

    Daily Scrum is frequently misused by the Scrum Teams as a status report meeting where individuals mention what they did, what they plan to do and what are their impediments. You can ask - "Wait, but what is wrong with that? Aren’t these just the examples of the questions listed in the Scrum Guide version from 2017?"

    The answer is - "Nope". There is one really important part missing here - the Sprint Goal. The Sprint Goal is frequently treated by Scrum Teams as an unwanted element.They either don’t have one or they have multiple, so they don’t really use them.

    What does Scrum Guide 2020 say about Daily Scrum?

    The purpose of the Daily Scrum is to inspect progress toward the Sprint Goal and adapt the Sprint Backlog as necessary, adjusting the upcoming planned work.

    Daily Scrum is not about discussing the status of individuals’ work. It should be time when Developers discuss their progress toward the Sprint Goal and create their plan for the next day of work.

    Again, it’s about their plan collectively as a group of people who want to achieve the same goal. When we focus only on individuals, this element of teamwork can be easily lost and it prevents them from collaboration.

    Status report

    Myth 3 - Agile means Scrum

    It is a common mistake that people use terms Agile & Scrum interchangeably. There is no point to blame anyone, because it can be really confusing to remember all Scrum related terms plus using "Agile" term has been popular and fancy recently.

    Let me make this one straight:

    • Term "Agile" has been used in “Manifesto for Agile Software Development” created in 2001. It reflects the set of values & principles that people who wrote manifesto wanted to promote in software development. Nowadays Agile is way above software development. It remains a philosophy that can be used in many fields & industries.
    • Scrum is a framework dedicated for generating value in a complex environment. Term Scrum was used first time in 1986 and popularized in the early 1990s by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland.

    These terms are not the same.

    Scrum can be recognized as one of the Agile practices. I really like using the below visual representation of the relationship between Agile & Scrum. I hope it will help you to understand the difference.

    Agile mindset vs Agile practices

    Source: https://www.agilesherpas.com/agile-mindset-marketing-agility/

    Myth 4 - Sprint Review is just a demo

    Another common myth is treating Sprint Review as just a demo of the work that was accomplished during the Sprint. Of course we want to show what was done, but that’s not the only purpose of this event.

    What can we read in the Scrum Guide about it?

    The purpose of the Sprint Review is to inspect the outcome of the Sprint and determine future adaptations. The Scrum Team presents the results of their work to key stakeholders and progress toward the Product Goal is discussed.

    During the event, the Scrum Team and stakeholders review what was accomplished in the Sprint and what has changed in their environment. Based on this information, attendees collaborate on what to do next.

    Sprint Review is another opportunity for inspection, but also a really important moment in the Sprint when the Scrum Team can collaborate with stakeholders and get their feedback. We don’t want to just show whatever was done and move on to the next Sprint.

    It should be a moment to stop, reflect on what was done. We want to adjust the Product Backlog based on stakeholders’ feedback and discuss the future direction.

    Myth 5 - Scrum Master doesn’t do anything

    This one is the most painful myth for me as a Scrum Master, because I know how many things that Scrum Master does are invisible and do not recognized by people.

    Of course there are people out there who don’t do their job well and maybe they really don’t do anything. But to be honest the successful Scrum Master shouldn’t be really too shiny and loud.

    There are so many small steps that need to be done by SM everyday that simply will not be visible for people if they don’t know about them. I am talking about asking the right questions, talking to individuals, coaching Product Owner, searching for new techniques that can help the team, analysing behaviours, preparing for workshops and so on.

    I hope I made it clear enough, Scrum Master is not just drinking coffee and chatting. Although a lot of coffee & talking to many people is part of that role. :D



    If you believed in any of the above myths, I hope this post helped you to learn something new today.

    Do you know any other interesting Scrum myths? Feel free to share them here or in Let's Scrum it on social media.

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