It has long been my concern that Scrum is treated as a process, or a set of things to do, and that the reason for doing these things is misunderstood, or even missed completely, and thus Scrum becomes just another way of complying to company policy. Recent articles, like this one in the Wall Street Journal illustrate this point. Here, standup meetings are presented as coercive techniques to reduce sloth, and worse, to help an organization become efficient (God save us from efficiency in software development!) That many are still using humiliating techniques such as making late comers pay a fine, or sing a stupid song is something any honorable Agilist should loudly be railing against. This is not treating people with trust and respect.
On this topic I ran a short (90-minute) session at the Scrum Gathering in London, October, 2011, entitled Dogma-free Scrum. Clicking on the link will download the pdf of the accompanying slides.
The first part distinguishes between Scrum as a process and Scrum as a way of being; the second part introduces (what I consider to be) the five underlying principles of Scrum; and the third part focuses specifically on the principle of Collaboration. I’ll be expanding on the ideas presented here in subsequent blog posts, and I’m also planning a one-day workshop entitled “The Why of Scrum” to explore these ideas. Any offers to host this workshop will be welcomed :)