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Groundhog Day: Tackling Agile Myths: Scrums



Has your company just made an agile transformation? Are you struggling to see the use of scrums in the day-to-day working environment? Perhaps you feel like you’re in the Bill Murray movie, Groundhog Day? Or maybe, your opinion of the practice lies more in the region of Happy Death Day.


Scrum is an integral aspect of agile working; the ability to work in set intervals, also known as “sprints”, with the goal of quickly gathering information, and subsequently implementing feedback into the work is a great process to make sure employee voices are heard and new ideas can be explored, faults can be fixed etc. without providing a finished product and needing to go back to square one.


Perhaps there is a better analogy for a scrum though, one that shows the value of the nature of the practice in itself? For those who went to Disneyland as children, how many dozen times did your drag your poor undeserving parents on It’s A Small World? Or, on the flip side, maybe you were dragged on that ride dozens of times by your own children, or siblings!


My sister and I were two and four years old respectively and we took them on it around fifty times over our two-week vacation to the resort back in the early 2000’s. Did it drive your parents crazy; leave them desperate for earplugs? Of course! But, equally, didn’t they see how much you enjoyed the ride, surely that infantile joy was reward for the frustrating process of being faced by the earworm of the ride’s theme song?


Although it may seem ridiculous, working in an Agile workplace is similar to riding on It’s A Small World dozens of times, each time you go on the ride, you notice new things; details you may have missed on your previous voyages through the animatronic microcosm of our planet. Sure, there will be aspects that have you wanting to plug your ears, or pull your hair out, but the reward is simply the childlike exuberance that comes from seeing a project finalised, all of your efforts, the cyclical nature of the process finally coming to a conclusion, and you can disembark, knowing that your efforts made that happen.


The hardships and struggle that you underwent trying not to curse as the song rang through your head like a siren, it all came to fruition with the end result: a product so amazing that you just hope that everyone who encounters it can have an equally rewarding experience.


The same way you feel when you see a child mesmerised by the pretty dolls in their colourful cultural dresses, singing in high-pitched harmony all around this, ever so small world.


The idea of constantly engaging in scrums doesn’t mean that we’re suffering through Groundhog Day, no, we are the parents of a product, waiting for our turn to disembark. It pays off. Your project is the child and the scrum is the ride.


And, if you are fortunate enough to come back to the park again, you might just want to go back on it, and do the whole thing all over again.



Based in London, U.K., and founded in 2016 by Arvind Mishra The Agile Works (www.TheAgileWorks.com), is an up-and-coming recruitment and Agile consulting company. Arvind is a Certified SAFe SPC and regularly delivers both private and public SAFe certification workshops.


He is a design thinking expert, Sr. enterprise, portfolio Agile Coach with over a decade of experience working as an Agile coach in diverse industries such as banking, pharma, retail, auto, oil, gas, consulting and government.


The Agile Works; a small team of three strive to help shape the leadership's mind-set and values in readiness for their business transformation journey challenges. With Arvind at the helm, we strive to provide you with the agility tools to make your company that can thrive, and not just survive.


To book a consultation, or for any enquiries, you can contact Arvind via the following email address: arvind@theagileworks.com


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