The Scrum Academy Logo
05Screenshot 2024-04-23 at 9.08.15 PM

Why The Scrum Academy? Why Now?

April 23, 20246 min

Scrum is designed to bring about a new renaissance of self-organization and self-management for software development teams.  Specifically, the simplicity of Scrum is tailored to provide Developers a strong voice in the creation of the solutions they are asked to build.  By giving those people closest to the work a greater say in how the work is done, Scrum is meant to improve the quality of their solutions as well making the workplace more human-centered.

Given these goals, why do these two videos from Jonathan Crossland that describe “why Scrum is bad” (found here and here),  resonate with many Developers?  Read the comments if you don’t believe me.  For many Developers, working on a Scrum Team is dreadful.  

How did we get lost?

IMO, a key reason why many people still struggle with good Scrum practice is that they do not know what good Scrum looks like.  If someone has not experienced self-organization or self-management, it is unreasonable to expect them to recreate that environment without specific guidance, coaching and mentoring.  In other words, if you don’t know what self-organization looks like, what it sounds like or what it feels like, it’s hard to implement Scrum and guide a team in the right direction.

 Let me give you an example of  what I mean. About twenty years ago, I wanted to bake something special for my birthday.  I wanted to make one of Portugal’s famous pastel de nata after reading a recipe from Jamie Oliver’s cookbook, The Return of the Naked Chef.  The picture looked fabulous.  The description was mouthwatering.  Jamie Oliver completely sold me on the story.  There was only one problem – I had never been to Portugal – nor had I ever eaten a pastel de nata.  

Instead of a crispy, gooey and incredibly tasty tart with a slightly charred top, I created a soggy, scrambled egg custard covered with an impenetrable layer of crystalized white sugar.  It was so awful, I had to throw out the entire batch (yes…it was a sad birthday 😞).  Since I did not know what a good pastel de nata looked like, smelled like or tasted like, the best I could do was limited to what I knew at the time.  It was not until I visited Portugal in 2011 did I learn what a good pastel de nata looked and tasted like, and only then could I appreciate how misguided my attempt had been.  

Based on what I have observed over the last twenty years, a lot of Scrum is like my sad  pastel de nata example.  People are inspired to make their team or organization better.  They do some research – read a book, watch a video on the Internet or even attend a class – and then try to do the best that they can.  What they create is not bad per se.  It’s certainly an improvement over the status quo and anyone who tries to disrupt the status quo should be applauded.  It’s just that until you know what “good” looks like, it’s hard to perceive the delta between what was created and what could be achieved.     

The Scrum Academy difference

Our vision at the Scrum Academy is that everyone anywhere can do better Scrum.  We are your partner to help you do better Scrum.  Our goal is to show you how to close the gap between what you are doing today with Scrum and what you could achieve in the future.  And how do we do that?

  1. We focus on the Spirit of Scrum.  Understanding how the Spirit of Scrum connects to the day-to-day challenges experienced by a Scrum Team is the key to doing better Scrum.  Very few educators spend time on this key point.  But we feel that without this mindset, Scrum is just an empty shell of ceremonies, artifacts, and rituals (hello…story points!) forced upon people who are already overworked.  Our instructors teach how to wield the Spirit of Scrum so that Scrum can be a force for positive change in your workplace.  
  2. Our instructors demonstrate patience and kindness.  Just like in the natural world, everything grows at its own pace.  Nothing can be hurried along.  In our classes, we assume that you are a smart, thoughtful human being who is trying to do the best that you can given your circumstances.  We’re not going to sell you on Scrum, nor are we going to talk down at you.  What we will do is share our point-of-view of what good Scrum looks like, what tends not to work and then let you draw your own conclusions on how to advance.
  3. We limit enrollment.  If you want to learn how to do better Scrum, then you need a small class.  Our public classes are limited to twelve learners.  This creates time and space for interaction among the participants and the time for specific questions to be answered.  In our classes, you will hear from other learners how they have applied Scrum and other Agile practices.  These experiences, coupled with the vast experiences of our instructors, will allow you to discover what will work for your team and business.   
  4. “The most interactive class you will ever take.”  That is an actual quote from a recent student who could not stop raving about how much they enjoyed their class and how much they learned.  Each class is a designed experience created by an expert instructor who has spent more than a decade working with adult learners.  Our passion is education and we know how to balance just the right amount of theory with pragmatic, hands-on advice.  While you might be tempted to divide your attention between our class and your normal work, you’ll find that our engaging course design makes it very hard to do so – and you won’t want to!

What help do you need?

Regardless of where you are in your personal journey, we can help you and your team.

  • If you’re a self-learner, our blog offers more than ten years of help, guidance and insight on how to use Agile practices within Scrum Teams.  
  • If you want to enroll in Scrum training, we support both beginners and advanced practitioners.  
  • If you’re a change agent or leader looking to boost your team’s performance, we offer multiple “tune-ups” to help Scrum Teams get back to basics and achieve more in spite of common impediments encountered by Scrum Teams.  
  • If you want to know more about how to create an organization that puts people first while delivering on the business outcomes that matter, we offer consulting services that help your staff uncover the right solution for you.

To learn more about how The Scrum Academy can help you, your team and your organization, contact us today!