I highly recommend reading two articles about the possibility of imposing Scrum on a team and what the results are of doing so. The first, an article titled “Shock Therapy” by Jeff Sutherland with an extensive report from Scott Downey of MySpace. The second article, “Shock Therapy or Compassion” by Tobias Mayer, provides a thought-provoking alternative view. The only addition I would like to make is just to ask a simple question: is everyone motivated by the same thing? I suspect that the knee-jerk reaction is a big resounding “no”, but I ask you, my gentle reader, to consider more deeply. Does anyone really get satisfaction out of purposeless work, no matter the other rewards? There is a strong case to be made that in fact humans thrive on solving meaningful problems… problems that are meaningful to themselves, their community and to humanity in general.
I would also like to point out some coaching models that often start with short term pain, discomfort and even a strong desire to rebel: a personal trainer at a gym, a business coach, a life coach, an executive coach, etc. etc. The trick is, of course, that you get into the coaching voluntarily in the first place. You put yourself in the coach’s hands and trust / suspend disbelief for just a short time while the coach helps you go through the discomfort.
It takes a good coach to make this work.
The benefits are huge. Anyone who has made it to the other side of that discomfort knows this. Anyone who hasn’t made it to the other side is going to be understandably skeptical.
So is what Jeff and Scott are describing really “command-and-control” Scrum? Is it breaking the principles of Self-Organizing teams? I don’t think so, but how about you? What do you think? Do you think you would be better off or worse off with this sort of “help” with starting Scrum?