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Scrum: As a Culture Rather Than a Process

05th Sep, 2023
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    Scrum: As a Culture Rather Than a Process

    Scrum as an Organizational Culture

    Scrum is based on cultural mindset that is very different from the preexisting cultures in organizations. What makes scrum an organizational culture is the way it spreads out throughout the organization – there are five specific to scrum characteristics that lead to its spread in an organization: trust, quality, team focus, encouragement, value and scaling up scrum. We will discuss how some of these affect the organizational culture and make scrum the best organizational culture for all others to follow.

    Cultural Impact of Improved Quality

    Quality not quantity – we value quality and quality only – that’s what almost every company’s spokesperson says when he is questioned about their priority or motivation for producing a product. Scrum gives an effortless rule that helps enforce the motto of ‘quality over quantity’, which is: getting releasable every sprint.  When team is clear over this one rule that “quality is their top priority”, people take more pride in their work because by now they know they are producing something worthwhile and unique. There are no longer any personal feuds, cultural barriers or any other impediments that might halt the process. When quality is valued, people overcome the cognitive dissonance that they otherwise have while delivering their product due to the contradiction in their statement and actions- which usually happen in authoritative style of corporate management. Furthermore, there is a mutual level of trust between employees and management as this culture promotes high involvement of all the people from top to bottom. Higher quality results in fewer crises as well, saving both time and money.

    Cultural Impact of Improved Value Delivery

    Scrum provides a framework that guarantees transparencies with frequent opportunities to inspect and adapt. Scrum is often categorized as empirical framework because the team is required to produce products/service beforehand that is before the deadline and testing its market value by delivering them to a selected number of users- this approach leads to the production and delivery of an impeccable product and service. Why? Because whatever feedback the team gets its reviewed and accordingly the product or service is manipulated to meet the demands of the market. This culture has brought a whole new level of involvement and ended the long before time struggle of power imbalance: the experimental approach has led to the mindset of ‘let’s try this out and see what happens’ rather than the old approach ‘I want this, you better make it happen.

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    Cultural Impact of Improved Team Focus

    Having had discussed the impact of improved value and improved quality and trust building throughout the organization, we need to look at how team focus specifically works with scrum as an organizational culture. What happens when we apply the scrum framework to an organization or team? We basically shift the paradigm from leader to team or better said from a team with a leader to highly efficient team that basically does not a leader. Everybody becomes an integral part of the project who is striving hard to deliver quality to customers. 



    Rumesh Wijetunge

    Chief Innovation Officer - Zaizi Limited, Chief Operating Officer - LearntIn (Pvt) Ltd., Director /

    Rumesh is an IT business leader with over 12 years of industry experience as a business analyst and project manager. He is currently the CIO of Zaizi Limited, a UK based data management company heading the operations in Sri Lanka, the COO of LearntIn, a global training institute based in Sri Lanka and is also a lecturer / trainer at multiple private universities on management, IT, business analysis and project management subjects. He is the current president of the IIBA Sri Lanka chapter and is one of the most qualified and sought after trainers in Sri Lanka. Refer his LinkedIn profile for more details and to see more articles he has written on linkedin

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