The Scrum Process Framework

Agile in general, and Scrum in particular, have become increasingly popular in the last few years. Many organizations have implemented the Scrum Process Framework, and hired dozens of Scrum Masters and Scrum Coaches to implement it.

Most people have heard of Scrum, but are unfamiliar with the Scrum Process Framework. The SPF is an imaginary framework that consists of some or all of the roles and ceremonies of Scrum, laid on top of Waterfall. Unfortunately, both types of organizations, those that are using the SPF, and those that are using Agile Scrum, call what they are doing Scrum, so it is sometimes hard to tell which one they are actually doing.

So, below are some questions you can ask, formatted as a tribute to Jeff Foxworthy, to tell if an organization is doing Agile Scrum, or using the SPF.

If the product owner is nowhere to be found, you might be using the SPF;

  • If you have sprints, but only deliver once, at the end of the project, you might be using the SPF;
  • If the project scope is fixed at the beginning of the project, you might be using the SPF;
  • If the project has several weeks of planning, before development begins, you might be using the SPF;
  • If the Scrum Master manages the project, you might be using the SPF;
  • If you have a team of experts that can only do one thing, you might be using the SPF;
  • If testing is done by a dedicated testing team, you might be using the SPF.

I could go on, but it is much easier to remember just one thing: if the organization isn’t focused on, and even obsessed with, delivering the most value in the shortest period of time, then they are almost certainly using the SPF. Agile isn’t a framework to implement; it is a state of being.

To be clear, I am not saying that the SBF is bad, or that it can’t work—only the results can say whether it is working. However, if you are using the SBF, and it isn’t working, maybe you should try being agile. The only thing you have to lose is missing out on more value in a shorter period of time.

See you next time…