I just attended an excellent training about SCRUM, the Certified ScrumMaster training in Tokyo. And this happens to be the first training given in Japan by the SCRUM Alliance.

The coach, Bas Vodde, told us what makes SCRUM special with respect to traditional development methods (aka waterfall), by explaining us the basic concepts underlying SCRUM. The concise SCRUM Primer, compiled by Pete Deemer and Gabrielle Benefield, is an excellent introduction.

But not only did Bas explain us how SCRUM is supposed to work, he also answered lot of practical questions such as: “how to address skeptical team or management?”, “can SCRUM be applied in projects involving hardware development?”, “how to handle regression testing?”, etc.

Although the “rules” of SCRUM are very simple: self-managing team, potentially shippable product increment delivered in time-boxed iterations (SPRINT), customer-centric backlog driving development, inspect/adapt cycles with transparency, etc. … SCRUM seems very challenging to me if you want to implement it correctly. Because we (and our companies) are simply not used (yet) to think that way. We “like” to have managers telling people what they need to do (rather than encouraging self-management), and we always tend to go back to our old “waterfall” thinking which is really in the way to make SCRUM successful.

So what’s next? Talk about SCRUM and Agile methodologies. Get people know more about it. Start actually using SCRUM in some (pilot) project in our company. I’m really looking forward to see all this happen!