Friday, March 4, 2016

Applying Scrum in your enterprise–Shu Ha Ri

As a consultant I spend a lot of time at different companies, giving me the opportunity to compare used practices, methodologies and tools. One of the things I noticed is that Agile has hit mainstream and is now applied almost everywhere. Most of the time, this means that companies are using Scrum or a derivative ScrumBut, WaterScrumFall,…

However, most companies make the same mistakes:

  • Focussing too much on the Scrum ceremonies(Daily Scrum, Sprint Retrospective,…) without understanding the reasoning behind it
  • Picking a subset of the Scrum concepts and ceremonies before first applying Scrum “from the book”, adapting the rules without knowing the importance of these rules

Let’s use some Japanese wisdom and apply the Shu Ha Ri model of learning:


This model shows the different stages that learners go through when learning new concepts:

  • Shu—Follow rules to learn basics
  • Ha—Break rules and discover context
  • Ri—Mastery and find your own way

If we apply this to Scrum inside your enterprise:

  • Shu – Apply Scrum as defined without changing or adapting any of the meetings or rules
  • Ha – Start experimenting, measure impact and learn from your mistakes
  • Ri – Find an Agile way of working that suits your needs

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