Close this search box.
Close this search box.
Close this search box.

When Scrum Events Are Burdening

At the beginning of a Scrum implementation y, you usually find two main types of team behaviors. Those who embrace the scrum events (Planning, daily, etc.) and try to better understand them to represent one type. There are many issues and many required adjustments and the team is working on them with the coach. Other teams view Scrum events as a total waste of time. They do them reluctantly and don’t see any value in it. What do you do? We’ve had several such cases and we wanted to better understand what’s going on there. After a deeper look into the dynamics of these teams, we reached some conclusions that let us sleep better at night.

Reason One – Lack Of Understanding

The first obvious reason for a team not performing the scrum events would be that they didn’t get what we’re looking for. It may be they went through training, saw videos, and had pep talks with their managers but still, they didn’t get it. They think this is just another fad and it will go. We say culture follows practice but if you don’t understand where you’re aiming for you just won’t get there. Here is where one on one coaching and a lot of patience is in place.

Reason Two – The Double Star Syndrome

A good clue to what’s going on is the value of the scrum events. The events are there to help the team self-organize: to make sure everyone sees what’s going on so everyone can make decisions. Following the above clue, we understand that another possible explanation for what’s going on in these teams is that the command and control management style in these teams has reached some local optimum, meaning, quite frankly, that it works well. There is usually a talented team leader there, that works very hard, and a bunch of people doing what she says. The people around the leader usually admire her, which reinforces the same dynamics. “How can we decide anything without her in the loop?” The result is that the leader keeps working harder and harder and the other people of the team become smaller and smaller, but in some way, they are all happy about it. The team leader’s ego is well provided for in this situation, and the other team members are feeling blessed for having the opportunity of working with her. We call this the “Double Star Syndrome”: the team is working in a star formation (the leader in the middle) and the team leader becomes a star! In this situation, it is no surprise the entire team is against Scrum events. Who needs planning if the leader does it alone and very well anyway? Who needs the daily meeting if the leader goes around telling everyone what to do? No doubt the retrospective is redundant too – let the leader think about what should we do to improve But what’s wrong with this picture? Why should we change? Should we change? These are good questions (and we’re being quite objective here). We would like to say that in the long run, this management form is unsustainable – meaning, it will not hold for long. However, that would not be true. Many teams are working this way, spawning more managers using the same style. A team member looking admiringly at her manager would like to be in her place. Many people are looking for this kind of power and it is a great motivation for working hard and being promoted. This leads us to the ultimate reason, the mother of all reasons for the change:

The Ultimate Reason for Hating The Scrum Events – Everything’s Fine!

To make a change you need to have a compelling reason. If everything’s fine, don’t change anything. Yet, being in this situation, asking ourselves these questions, suggests something started a change process. It may be that the real reasons for change are hidden and you need to discover them. As a manager, as a coach, you must find the reason for the change. Many times we just get into the “implement the ceremonies” frenzy and forget why are we doing it for. That’s not good. We need to remind ourselves again and again why are we doing the change. The bottom line is that when people see the scrum roles as burdening, the solution would not be to enforce them. The solution would be to understand why are they seen this way. Does the team understand where we’re going? Is there something basic about how the team operates that is blocking the agile implementation? Is there really a reason to change?
Subscribe for Email Updates:



The Agile Coach
Business Agility
Scrum With Kanban
Artificial Intelligence
Agile Outsourcing
ALM Tools
Release Train Engineer
Sprint Retrospectives
Engineering Practices
Agile Basics
Lean Budgeting
User stories
Jira Plans
Lean and Agile Techniques
The Kanban Method
Kanban Game
Manage Budget Creation
Lean-Agile Budgeting
Sprint Planning
Accelerate Value Delivery At Scale
Nexus and SAFe
Test Driven Development
Achieve Business Agility
Development Value Streams
Story Slicing
Games and Exercises
ART Success
Legacy Enterprise
RTE Role
Scrum Guide
IT Operations
Kanban Kickstart Example
Agile Community
A Kanban System for Software Engineering
Managing Risk on Agile Projects
Entrepreneurial Operating System®
Applying Agile Methodology
Software Development Estimation
System Integration Environments
Value Streams
SAFe DevOps
Systems Thinking
PI Planning
Agile Project
speed at scale
Agile Games
Large Scale Scrum
Elastic Leadership
Coaching Agile Teams
Agile Contracts Best Practices
Certified SAFe
Legacy Code
Iterative Incremental Development
Scaled Agile Framework
Agile Product Ownership
Process Improvement
What Is Kanban
Daily Scrum
Scrum Master
Lean Software Development
Lean Agile Management
Agile Release Planning
Scrum Values
Agile Israel
Effective Agile Retrospectives
Keith Sawyer
Lean Risk Management
Professional Scrum Product Owner
Built-In Quality
Agile Development
Kanban Basics
Acceptance Test-Driven Development
Software Development
Program Increment
Kanban 101
Hybrid Work
Team Flow
Implementation of Lean and Agile
Risk-aware Product Development
Agile Release Management
Principles of Lean-Agile Leadership
Product Ownership
Nexus Integration Team
Advanced Roadmaps
Professional Scrum Master
Quality Assurance
Agile Program
AI Artificial Intelligence
Lean and Agile Principles and Practices
Lean Agile Organization
Agile Assembly Architecture
Professional Scrum with Kanban
Continuous Delivery
Agile Israel Events
Limiting Work in Progress
Agile Mindset
Kaizen Workshop
Continuous Improvement
Agile Product Development
System Team
Lean Agile Basics
Lean Agile Leadership
lean agile change management
Scrum Primer
Managing Projects
Agile Marketing
SAFe Release Planning
Implementing SAFe
Agile Games and Exercises
Agile and DevOps Journey
Reading List
Agile Testing Practices
Continuous Deployment
Pomodoro Technique
Nexus vs SAFe
Agile Risk Management
Releases Using Lean
Perfection Game
Introduction to ATDD
Scrum Master Role
Enterprise DevOps
Introduction to Test Driven Development
Continuous Planning
Agile in the Enterprise
Lean Agile
Sprint Iteration
Agile for Embedded Systems
An Appreciative Retrospective
Change Management
speed @ scale
Agile India
ScrumMaster Tales
Agile Delivery
Scrum and XP
Rapid RTC
Agile Techniques
Lean Startup
Agile Project Management
Risk Management in Kanban
Continuous Integration
Portfolio for Jira
Risk Management on Agile Projects
PI Objectives
Lean-Agile Software Development
Nexus and Kanban
System Archetypes
Agile Exercises
Product Management
Jira Cloud
Jira admin
Operational Value Stream
Enable registration in settings - general

Contact Us

Request for additional information and prices

AgileSparks Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter, and stay updated on the latest Agile news and events

This website uses Cookies to provide a better experience
Shopping cart