Ask 3: Why you should learn the Scrum framework

By Jeremy Jarrell    |    January 17, 2018

If you’re ready to master a new technology, it pays to hear from someone who knows. In our Ask 3 series, we interview an expert from our worldwide network of authors to help you learn about the most important technologies today. In our second post of the series, Scrum expert Jeremy Jarrell answers 3 questions about the state of the Scrum framework.

Over the past 10 years, the Scrum framework has surged in popularity and become the dominant methodology for agile teams. But even as the adoption of the Scrum framework grows, its creators continue to evolve it to better meet the needs of today’s teams. The growth in popularity of the Scrum framework has led to a surge in demand for qualified Scrum practitioners, especially Scrum Masters. 


What's the most important thing happening in the Scrum framework right now?

We’ve started to reach a tipping point where the Scrum framework is beginning to be adopted into non-software industries, such as manufacturing. This has led to many interesting implementations of the Scrum framework. 

Regular revision of the Scrum Guide serves to better reflect the way Scrum Teams work. The most recent revision occurred in November 2017, and brought greater explicitness regarding the Scrum Master’s role as a change-agent within the broader organization. It also reinforced the value of continuous improvement to a team’s productivity, and provided a better explanation of the underlying goal of each component of the Scrum framework. 


What's an adjacent skill or technology that complements the Scrum framework?

While a deep knowledge of the Scrum framework is critical for a Scrum Team’s effectiveness, there are also many complementary skills that can better enable a team’s success. Emotional Intelligence, commonly known as EI, allows an individual to better understand their emotions and the emotions of others, while also helping them understand how emotions may influence their interactions. Since the Scrum framework places an emphasis on collaboration across the Scrum Team, a properly developed sense of emotional intelligence is critical for keeping those interactions productive.

Scrum Teams also stand to benefit from exposing themselves to other agile methodologies, most notably, Kanban. Contrary to popular belief, Scrum and Kanban are not competitors, and they’re far from mutually exclusive. While the two methodologies do approach work in fundamentally different ways, both offer numerous complementary practices that can yield benefits in any environment.


So, what does the future look like for the Scrum framework?

As adoption of the Scrum framework continues to surge, Scrum practitioners are encountering many interesting challenges. The biggest challenge they currently face is implementation of the Scrum framework at scale. Many organizations who initially began with small and lightweight Scrum pilot projects are now ready to capitalize on their success by promoting Scrum adoption to the rest of their organization. 

However, this doesn’t mean bigger and bigger Scrum teams, as you might expect. Instead, adoptions of the Scrum framework are grown simply by increasing the number of small, cross-functional Scrum Teams, and then enabling them to work in concert in whatever way allows them to be most effective. As you can imagine, enabling dozens of teams to work collaboratively in an incremental and iterative manner yields many unique challenges, but the results can be dramatic.

If the benefits that Scrum can yield appeal to you then a great next step is simply to learn more about the components of the Scrum framework. The Scrum framework is very lightweight and its mechanics can be learned in a matter of hours. However, learning the deeper values behind those mechanics, as well as how they can be implemented the most effectively in your own organization, can take much longer.

Whichever path you choose, the Scrum framework’s flexibility and adaptability ensures you can find the path that’s right for you, and will enable you to find success as an effective Scrum practitioner. Start by seeing where you’re at and get your Scrum framework IQ.

About the author

Jeremy is an agile coach and author who helps teams get better at doing what they love. He is heavily involved in the technology community, both as a highly rated speaker throughout the United States and as a syndicated author whose articles and videos have appeared in numerous well-regarded industry publications.