Is SCRUM Evil?

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These notes from CITCONAsiaPacific2009Sessions. See also Is Scrum Evil? from CITCONEurope2008Sessions and Is scrum Evil from CITCONUS2010Sessions.

Scrum is evil because

  • becomes and end in itself - an excuse
  • "that's not scrum"
  • treated as a silver bullet
  • it hides poor estimation
  • master as dictator
  • master as project manager
  • 2 days - certified!

More Evil

  • Daily standup = Agile
  • Agile by the numbers
  • Dessert first - not worring about technical debt or CI
  • You lose the baby with the bathwater
  • scrum teams don't play well with others including customers
  • it has certification
  • it is the philosopher's stone


  • scrum is iterative waterfall
  • "I'm feeling sort of damp and ..."
  • Scrum is the new RUP
  • Jeffrey More - 'Crossing the Chasm'
    • technology adoption lifecycle
  • visionaries/early adopters -> early marjority (scrum has crossed over - makes early adopters sad)

Engineering Envy

  • After the gold rush
  • Other engineering professions have bigger budgets, more risk, more formulae?
  • Other engineering professions still have this pain - see the aeronautical engineer who built spaceship One for Richard Branson on lean methodologies
  • Delays of Recent Boeing/Airbus Aircraft
  • A lot of Agile stuff comes from bottom up - Scrum comes from Top down

Scrum is Good Because

  • (not about how to get non-sucky engineers)
  • people can get it
  • an easy introduction
  • a good starting point
  • it is better than a cowboy shop people can actually follow it
  • improves visibility
  • provides a forum for communication
  • can engage customers in a much wider way
  • blockers are highlighted
  • testers can start work early
  • states there should be a facilitator
  • results focussed
  • makes everybody responsible for end result
  • better communication from end result


  • Scrum is not evil - people are evil