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lecture: Fragile development

Why Scrum sucks, and what you should be doing instead


Anyone doing any kind of Agile development has heard of or practiced Scrum, which has become a favorite among development managers. In reality, Scrum is a scourge, not a boon, and it's time to understand that the emperor is naked.

Scrum, by its own definition, is a framework for developing and sustaining complex products. It was originally developed by Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber in the 1990s, building on prior work from Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka. It has been described as an alternative to the traditional, sequential approach known in software development as the Waterfall model.

While there is little arguing about the fact that the Waterfall model is suboptimal and outdated, many of Scrum's foundations have been refuted by scientific study, and Scrum's inherent inflexibility about its roles, artifacts, events, and rules requires the Scrum practitioner in the software industry to perpetuate nonsense. Scrum is not only wrong for software development, it's also not new: many of its ostensibly original concepts predate it by 20 years.

This talk explains what's fundamentally wrong with Scrum, what you should change about your development process if you currently are using Scrum, and what Scrum-ish tools and methods you can and should continue to use even after you've ditched Scrum.