When would I not want to do Scrum?

This is a slight variant on the question I asked before.

I wanted to add a few things that I did not say before.  You still might want to do a project despite some of the things I will mention, but I have gotten impatient as I have gotten older.

So, when?

Some things I would want….before starting Scrum.

1. High priority. I want the work to be meaningful to the organization and/or the customers. And for the organization to be committed to it.

Seldom do I see a Team get work that has a very low priority.  But I do see lots of situations where the importance is not compelling enough compared to other things.  Or at least not compelling to the Team.  (Maybe things have not been explained well.)  And I see lots of organizations who have not gotten the message about focus, and prioritizing.

2. Want to do Scrum? I want ‘the right people’ to be generally willing to at least try Scrum. And some general willingness by the organization to fix the biggest impediments.

To start, a  willingness to ‘give it a try’ is good enough.  I would also be looking for indicators that can convince them to become truly positive as they start to see it in real life.

3. A real stable Team. To me, if the organization will not give us a real stable Team, things are highly suspect.  I am concerned they are not sure about their priorities. Or they are not decisive. I suppose I could understand certain real-life constraints, but too often I have seen what I have considered … hmmm….it just did not make sense to me.  The managers still had not understood how powerful the Team is; they were still too stuck in trying to optimize the so-called ‘efficiency’ of skill sets.

As I suggested, in specific situations I might agree that the Team is as real and as stable as we can get.  And although we are having some changes in team composition ‘too often’, it is reasonable.

Let’s say the Team looked like it was going to change a lot…would I stop doing Scrum?  Umm.  Hard question. My first concern is that key people do not yet understand the value of a real, stable Team.  Then, by changing the Team, they do not understand how they degrade many of the useful things in Scrum.  No, I would NOT rather do waterfall.  I am guessing, but sometimes I would probably rather do some work at a different company.

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So, if I did not get some fairly positive feelings in all 3 of those areas, I might not want to do Scrum.  Or I might want to do it there and then.  Again, I probably wouldn’t want to do the work any other way, either.

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