I’m back from my second trip to India and I thought I’d share an experience I had from my last day, when a Scrum pilot team were having their first sprint demo. I told the team three weeks earlier, when they first heard about Scrum, that on the last day of the sprint you will have a sprint demo. I didn’t say how to do it so I didn’t know quite what to expect at the actual demo. It turned out to be a success! They had invited a few managers and there where other observers and they did a great job demonstrating what they had done during the sprint.
At the end of the meeting one of the managers asked one of the developers what was the main differences working according to Scrum compared to before. I was just silently observing when he gave the perfect answer without knowing it. He basically said: The progress is much more visible, but because of the high focus on getting things ready there is little room left for being creative. His intention was to mention one good thing and one bad, but it turned out to be exactly what the manager (and myself) wanted to hear.
Actually he couldn’t have been more accurate. Scrum is about getting things done. If you want to be creative, put it in the backlog and let the product owner decide what they want the most, creativity or another feature. Scrum is also about visibility and seeing the progress and more important, the non-progress. The simplicity of Scrum made it possible for this developer to understand the basics of Scrum after using it for a few weeks.