Don’t look for standards in Scrum Teams

May 03
2 min read

A Scrum Team is a team of people who share some roles, guidelines that explain how to work with the framework and are explained in the Scrum Guide, values, a series of events … everything obvious by now, right?

What if now we compare them to another Scrum Team? What should they have in common? For me, the answer is probably nothing that goes beyond Scrum itself.

They can share a Scrum Master or Product Owner. It is clear that they should share the same values. Maybe they also share the product they are developing or their Product Backlog. But … what do they share as a team? Shouldn’t we expect that the organise internally in the same way? Can we expect that they will both get the same results? Can we replicate the same dynamics in different teams?

The answer for me, as I said, is clearly no. We can try, of course, and maybe the context is very similar and it works in some ways. What we must not lose sight of is that we do not talk about machines or inert beings to be modeled but about individuals working as a team. The relationships that will be established between them are not the same. The character of its members, knowledge, interactions between them … these and hundreds of other things can not be the same simply because it is another different human group.

Therefore, we have models that we can try but no, we can not expect that what works in the self-organization of one team can be extrapolated to another and has to work. Each team has to find, with the help of their Scrum Master, their way. What works and what does not. Each team has its own identity, its way of sharing tasks to be more efficient and, for example, not generating knowledge silos. It will depend on each team to find their way to establish meetings to discuss technical decisions …

Each Scrum Team is a living organism and distinct from the others. To pretend that all the solutions can be extrapolated to other teams is to ignore a large part of the complexity involved in a human work group.

Of course it is more convenient to establish a standard and protocols for everything, but that is not only the opposite of self-organization. In addition, neither guarantees that it works nor, let’s be honest, that your solution is better or more intelligent than the one found by the team.

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