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Making Scrum implementation work

Matthew Heusser's new book, 'Save Our Scrum,' explains the risk behind diluted Scrum and how to make Scrum implementations work for your enterprise.

Scrum is everyone's favorite step in the Agile development process, but is it in danger? Matthew Heusser, regular TechTarget contributor and managing consultant of Excelon Development in Allegan, Mich., thinks it is and that we all need to do something to get it back on track. In this podcast, SearchSoftwareQuality talks to Heusser, who is co-author of a new book, Save Our Scrum.

And yes, Scrum is really in need of saving -- so much so that Heusser points out that Save Our Scrum has the handy acronym of SOS. Today, organizations are doing Scrum, but it's "Scrum-ish" or "Scrum-light," or his favorite, "We're doing Scrum, but …" -- in other words, every group has its own flavor of Scrum and that dilutes its worth.

Not only is Scrum at the heart of the Agile development methodology, it's also the best way for companies to see themselves in a mirror. "If you have a good Scrum implementation, it will show all of your problems," he said.

'Save Our Scrum' by Matthew Heusser explains how to make Scrum implementations work

Instead, Scrum almost seems to be the place where everyone just throws up his or her hands and gives up. "'We tried Scrum, but it didn't work,' is what I hear a lot of people say. But it didn't work because they changed everything," he said. "You have to understand the why of the framework. Really get into it. Don't just have a superficial understanding of what Scrum is."

Heusser's book focuses on four major problems that can happen to Scrum implementations and gives advice on how to avoid them. One of the most common problems is a situation anyone who has worked in a corporate environment can relate to -- the whirlwind, in which workers are so focused on completing daily duties to keep their bosses happy that Scrum projects end up abandoned.

"You get sucked in and only get your day-to-day work done, thanks to the whirlwind," Heusser explained. It's the No. 1 problem with Scrum adoptions. The solution is to step back and understand how to set goals for special projects that are "whirlwind proof."

Heusser's book, Save our Scrum, is available for $10. SearchSoftwareQuality readers can get a 15% discount.

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