The Spirit of Scrum

September 11, 20092 min

I was having a conversation with a manager the other day about the difficulties she was having filling a position.  Everything seemed like an obstacle that could not be overcome – the distances were too far, candidates were good on paper only, not enough time to review their work, etc., etc.  It seemed that no matter the issue, it was going to be impossible for her to succeed.  When you have an attitude like that and where everything is an obstacle, it would be impossible to succeed.

The Spirit of Scrum borrows heavily from what I call the Spirit of Rugby: teams, composed of players of different physiques and skills, are united by a drive to win through a strong sense of camaraderie, the boundaries of fair play and good sportsmanship.  Teams that are proficient in the basic skills, respect the Laws are embody the Spirit of Rugby are rewarded with victories.  It is no surprise that the number #1 and #2 teams in rugby, South Africa and New Zealand, embody these principles and year after year are ranked as the top teams in the world.  What I have found is the same Spirit of Rugby in the smallest amateur division is the same Spirit of Rugby seen in the international teams.  More so than the Laws, it is the Spirit that connects the amateur teams with the professional teams.

In Scrum, you need the same spirit in order to succeed.  Everyone on the team has something to contribute and when you compete, you do not hold back.  You leave everything on the pitch.  Half measures do not equal success in rugby nor in business.  Sure, some people may get more glory than others, but their time in the spotlight is due to the hard efforts of the rest of the team.  When the team is united, there are no obstacle can stand in their way.  Just like in rugby, teams that embody the Spirit of Scrum are linked no matter what the size nor the domain.  They are all playing with the same game.