“Should we just give up on the Scrum Guide? Nobody’s read it”

Allen Holub published an interesting post:

Should we just give up on the Scrum Guide? Nobody’s read it.

To me, the Scrum Guide is the definitive definition of Scrum. However, I’ve found (by asking many people, sometimes very large groups at conferences) that most Scrum practitioners have not only never read the Guide, they’ve never even *heard* of it. Put another way, Scrum as practiced has little or nothing to do with the Guide. So, given that, is the Guide even relevant? I’m just as guilty as most in quoting chapter and verse when somebody says something ridiculous about Scrum, but more often than not, the thing they’re touting (story points and velocity, for example, or “sprint commitments”) is considered central to Scrum by the vast majority of practitioners, even if it’s either not in or is in direct opposition to something the Guide says. Given that, do you think that it’s worth referring back to the Guide, or should we just define Scrum as what people actually do and get off our high horses?”(1)


I deeply agree with Allen HolubI am, as personal experience, also amazed by this. Each time when there is a discussion regarding a certain topic related to Scrum I advise them to open the Scrum Guide and have it as reference.

But even after it is being read, by some, did they really understood it? For example in the Scrum Guide there are lots of interesting and deep topics, for example:

– “complex adaptive problems” -> this points to an entire discipline regarding complex systems;

– “Facilitating” -> A two days workshop can be made only to understand what facilitation is.
Arie van Bennekum, co author of Agile Manifesto, does this. Interesting and deep thoughts also Dave Snowden has about this subject.

And these are just two examples from the Scrum Guide.

But is even more, I speak about history of Scrum like writings of Nonaka.

I begun to have reluctance of the so called Agile Coaches who actually know only Scrum but when you dig deeper actually they do not know about Scrum neither.

But a bigger problem is that a lot of people in industry think Scrum=Agile and is not like this at all. Scrum has it’s place like the other agile methodologies.

So, ‘Should we just give up on the Scrum Guide?’ I hope not. We should encourage people read the Scrum Guide and then to think upon it. Is useful, it provides a common ground when speaking about Scrum. Also, I consider the guide a very condensed/compressed information waiting to be unrolled.

(1) Allen Holub, “Should we just give up on the Scrum Guide? Nobody’s read it.”: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/37631/37631-6340348761025454083

(2) Scrum Guide: http://scrumguides.org/scrum-guide.html

Transformation, Evolution, Coevolution

Preetam De wrote something interesting which made me think to complex systems:

“#Transformation is a process.
#Evolution is a learning experience through empiricism.

Reason why transformations have short term benefits.
Evolution is long term and is based on how the ecosystem is changing.

Are you transforming or evolving?”(1)

Since we deal with complex dynamic systems  ‘coevolution’ word came in my mind. And I would say that near empiricism we also have theory which could help us a lot. ‘Transformation’, maybe, has short term benefits because a mechanistic approach is considered. ‘Evolution’ works better, maybe, because we use another metaphor which is ecology, biology.
This means the techniques used for ‘transformation’ are different than the ones used for ‘evolution’. No wonder that we have problems with scalability when ‘transformation’ should be applied at large scale.

Note: I know there is a place for both but the problem now, I think, is that we only see the mechanistic approach.

(1) Preetam De, Linked In post regarding ‘transformation’ and ‘evolution’ https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6340146166902059008

Agile Project Manager?

In 2001, in Snowbird, when Agile was defined  there were also representatives  from FDD(1), DSDM(2) you can see it in agile manifesto history (3).

Try to search for Project Manager in the FDD and DSDM references….

So, if I am following a good logical deduction actually “Agile Project Manager” should make sense. I think Agile Project Manager does not make sense because we are still not able to transcend certain things.

Now we’re still speaking in terms of Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches and …. unable to accept things which existed from the beginning and still exists, if I can say so.

I wonder how many of so called agile folks know/read/understood or even applied  FDD, Crystal, DSDM, XP….

Side note: When I speak or hear discussions about Scrum, especially when Scrum Master(s), Scrum Coaches, PO’s, management people are present, these 3 words pop into my head: “complex adaptive problems”(4). These three words combined in this way is a condensed information of an entire discipline. Are they aware of this? If yes, should this be seen in their actions?

(1) FDD: http://www.nebulon.com/articles/fdd/latestprocesses.html

(2) DSDM: https://www.agilebusiness.org/content/roles-and-responsibilities

(3) Agile Manifesto, history: http://agilemanifesto.org/history

(4)  Scrum Guide: http://www.scrumguides.org/scrum-guide.html

We need a Scrum Master

Shu: So, we need a Scrum Master(SM) on project Z

Ri: Are you sure you need a SM?

Shu: The other one left….So we need someone to take care of the team and make sure the project will be ok…so yes.

Ri: Hmmm

Shu: What?

Ri: Isn’t that too restrictive, just a SM?

Shu: What do you mean? It’s a Scrum team, so we need a SM since the other one left.

Ri: Yes, but you also need a person to make sure that things will be ok, a person you can contact when things go wrong

Shu: Yes, a SM

Ri: Don’t you feel a divergence?

Shu: Divergence?

Ri: When you say “SM” and to “make sure the project is ok”, you practically define how the project should always be managed. Aren’t you limiting what she/he should do, although you want much more?

Shu: Its Scrum. Its clear/standard stuff. Everyone knows what to do and what to expect.

Ri: And what will happen when ontology changes? What will be her/his epistemological response? Can you be more clear in your need?(1)

Shu: Ha? Why did you use those words?

Ri: Because of neuroscience. By using those words I tried to activate different neural patterns so maybe you will see things differently. Look, its simple: ontology – a type of system; ontologies – different types of systems. Epistemology – how we know stuff. (1)

Shu: So I need someone to take care of the project but who is able to play also the SM role when applicable or whatever. To be aware of the different ontologies, to transcend them.

Ri: Are you sure? I’m kidding. Its better. At least you tried to understand what you need, and you also started to challenge what you know and what you need to know about a SM.

(1) Dave Snowden, “Multi-ontology sense making; a new simplicity in decision making”: http://cognitive-edge.com/articles/multi-ontology-sense-making-a-new-simplicity-in-decision-making/

(2) Alistair Cockburn, “Shu Ha Ri”: http://alistair.cockburn.us/Shu+Ha+Ri

What is quality?

I remember the days when I heard for the first time what it meant  “quality”. It seemed so exact, so easy to digest, so deterministic, so undoubtful. For an inexperienced person those affirmations/definitions were hard to dismiss and contradict. I heard stuff like: no bugs, implementation of requirements as desired, standards fulfilled…

But in a way reality, my reality, was contradicted by those views of quality. They were, somehow, incomplete. Then I found this:

“Quality Is Value To Some Person


the definition of “quality” is always political and emotional, because it always involves a series of decisions about whose opinions count, and how much they count relative to one another. Of course, much of the time these political/emotional decisions–like all important political/emotional decisions–are hidden from public view. Most of us software people like to appear rational. That’s why very few people appreciate the impact of this definition of quality on the Agile approaches.”(1)  

Each time there was a problem I tried to see it from this perspective and it helped. Below I listed some examples. Intentionally I connected them with the idea of quality, to create novel connections and to help spotting new things – “conceptual blending”. So:

  1. Regarding 360 Feedback

Colleagues evaluate/appreciate each other and even numbers can pop-up. What amazed me was that it can be used to show subjective opinions in an objective way, especially when numbers are used.

Conclusion: Is a lot of emotion there, which can be exposed as very rational and objective.(2)

  1. Strong argumentation is made regarding UI automated checks.

I have said checks, not tests and this is a big difference. And also I have to say that there are situations when they can be useful, of course.

But I have another example in my mind now. Too often I see proposals nice dressed/packed like in the book(s). Everything so rational. But then I began to see/question/investigate what is in the back of those statements.

Questions: What if that person wants it because this is a skill useful in resume? What if this is the career path for that person? What if good testing cannot be explained and made and these ui automated checks help save the appearance?

Conclusion: And slowly, slowly another face of this situation might be uncovered and is no longer so rational.

  1. The following remarque is made: “All task progress have to be filled in daily so the project manager/SM can see the progress”.

Questions: So he/she can’t realize it in another way what is happening in the project? How he/she can handle complex situations, which by definition can be predicted in totality? What if in the middle of the night is called by the boss regarding a status, can’t he/she articulate it without details? Can he/she not use estimation at all and still make it work?

Conclusion: So is a sign of uncertainty? What appeared reasonable it might be a sign of lack of control?

  1. The following remarque is made “You have to respect the process”.

Questions: What if people actually first communicated/interacted? What if is known that it will be no hesitation in solving problems found on spot?

And then suddenly comes the affirmation that process has to be respected. So clear, so rational. But isn’t a fear of not breaking something? Isn’t a way to respond to that fear?

Conclusion: So that remark might be a way to stop things in a rational way because of emotional things, like fear of uncovering/discovering other problems. So, maybe, process is put before interaction and collaboration because often the trend is the same as in industrial development, namely automation, continuous-line production. And it is dangerous when the person could stop each time the production line. (I know Toyota is a counter-example.)

(1) Jerry Weinberg, “Agile and the Definition of Quality”: http://secretsofconsulting.blogspot.ro/2012/09/agile-and-definition-of-quality.html?m=1

(2) Liz Ryan, “The horrible truth about 360 degree feedback”: https://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2015/10/21/the-horrible-truth-about-360-degree-feedback/#682614ba69b9

Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip wedding anniversary

These days, the platinum wedding anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth with HRH Prince Philip is being celebrated.

At that wedding went also King Michael Of Romania with his mother, Queen Mother Elena of Romania. In Romania, in  November 1947, the communists were fully taking the power. Actually the communists thought that King Michael will go to the wedding and never return. On the airport before leaving, King Michael was welcomed with joy by members of the communist government and the prime minister.

When King Michael arrived in UK he felt free, it was no longer that hostile environment which was in Romania. With that occasion he was trying to do whatever he could for his country but this topic was like a closed subject for the officials from UK. Even Churchill was vague when speaking with him. There was one official who spoke with the King in an open way regarding what was happening with him and Romania – I do not recall his name now – . King Michael did not anticipate what was going to happen to him and to the country.

When King Michael returned to the country the communists officials no longer welcomed him with joy but with coldness.

Difficult moments in the Romanian Royal Family

In these days Romanian Royal Family is passing through difficult moments again. His Majesty King Michael of Romania is not well. He  received again, for the second time, the Holy Communion.

Also in these days there is much fuss in the media around Nicolae, the nephew of King Michael and the way the Royal House is responding to this situation. For those who do not know,  Nicolae, in simple terms, tried forcefully to see his grandfather. There were two official declarations from the Romanian Royal House: one stating the fact that Nicolae tried, forcefully, to see his grandfather and the second declaration of his mother HRH Princess Elena, who was very rough with her son. Regarding this incident, a lot of fuss has been made in the media, blaming the Royal House, for not allowing the King’s grandson to see his grandfather. Also there are harsh remarks regarding HRH Prince Radu of Romania, husband of HRH The Crown Princess Margareta of Romania.

What deeply marked me, in terms of the media, was that there was no holistic analysis and debate. It seemed to me that, maybe, they do not have a good understanding of the complex personality of His Majesty King Michael and his Royal Family.

I do not declare myself a great expert in Romanian Royalty and I’m also convinced that maybe there are some things I do not know. But I would have wanted this situation presented in a more holistic and correct way, at least for the sake of His Majesty, who is very sick.

Below I have listed some of the remarks made throughout the media, which I’ll try to expose from another perspective. So:

  1. Nicolae, the grandson of His Majesty King Michael, in connection with the fact that he cannot see his grandfather. Plus, I would add the sympathy of a part of the press and the public.
  2. HRH Prince Radu of Romania – actor, presidential candidacy, relationship with HRH Princess Margareta, which is ironized, his connection with the status of the Royal House which will  be voted by the parliament.
  3. Declaration of HRH Princess Elena – her remark about her son’s behavior.
  4. “The royalty dies with King Michael” – and the connection with the idea of ​​wealth, I would say the limited view of who King Michael is.

It is important, I think, to say, as premises, issues related to King Michael and his Royal Family context. So:

  • The words of His Majesty King Michael from the book “Convorbiri cu Mihai I al României” – I do not want to break the context, that’s why I will put the pages from where the fragments are taken. But, at the risk of exaggerating, those passages taken and presented say a lot about His Majesty King Michael, about his nature, about his way of being:

 “There are rules and superior commands over which I can not pass” – p.10 – he was talking about Ceausescu’s alleged invitation to visit Romania.

 “To not talk about what you do not like, as if silence would change the background of things, it is a practice that the Communists have exhausted” – p.15 – when asked if he feels uncomfortable discussing topics regarding Nicolae Ceausescu.

 “It must be understood that the personal life of a monarch, according to the constitution under my grandfather Ferdinand, must be confused with the destiny of the country.” – p.62 – it was related to his engagement at that time in 1947 with HRH Princess Ana Bourbon-Parma.

“She never said a bad thing about anyone. She found something good to say about everyone. From her I learned that every human being is well founded in good – more or less but just this good keeps him/her alive” p.147 – he was speaking about his mother, Her Majesty Queen Mother Elena of Romania.

 “She has always had the dignity not to complain. I think she did not complain of anything, because she always succeeded in understanding the condition” – p.150 – he was speaking about his mother, Her Majesty Queen Mother Elena of Romania.

 “Some say in jest that there are a thousand ways to be honest, they say so because they probably justify their inability to be honest. There is only one way to be honest, as there is only one way to be clean, and that is, if you wash thoroughly “- p.223 – part of the answer to a question as to how a Christian distinguishes a Christian which is Christian just with the name.

“…. I was a little child when I realized that there is a part in this man which does not belong to us.
.. But what I understood was that this man was more than one of our family members; in his life there was another dimension, somewhat above us; it was something different, important, not as a job, something more comprehensive and deeper. And yet, that something was, in a way, a part of us. ” from http://familiaregala.ro/stiri/articol/si-omul-acesta-este-tatal-meu  .

  • Irina’s decision, daughter of King Michael, not to attend the funeral of her mother. His Majesty King Michael took away her titles of Royal Highness and Princess of Romania.

“In these sad days, I’m thinking with love at my mother and the fact that I cannot come to Romania, despite the desire of the Royal Family / my family;  it is very sad that I will not be able to take my last farewell from my mother, but I will always keep her memory in my heart. The decision belongs to me, I took it for personal reasons, but I will follow from afar and my heart will be alongside the Royal Family.”

  • Royal line of succession:

1. HRH The Crown Princess Margareta of Romania

2.HRH Princess Elena of Romania;

3.Elisabeta Karina de Roumanie;

4.HRH Princess Sofia of Romania;

5.Elisabeta Maria Biarneix;

6.HRH Princess Maria of Romania.

from: http://www.familiaregala.ro/familia-regala/linie-succesiune .


So let me come back to some of the comments / statements made in the press and try to see / perceive / analyze them again. So:

  1. Nicolae, the grandson of King Michael, in connection with the fact that he cannot see his grandfather. Plus, I would add the sympathy of a part of the press and the public.

People, understandable, are impressed by the fact that a grandchild cannot see his grandfather. People, of course, can ask: How come the grandfather does not want to see his nephew? What if the grandfather wants to see the nephew but collective around him prevents that?

First of all, only His Majesty King Michael can say what’s in his heart. Although he is no longer the head of state, he is the King and he lived in clandestinity under the constitution of 1923. (on December 30, 2007 he abolished the salic law of the statute of the Royal House of Romania, and this can be understood).
Personally, I think he wants to see him, but before being a grandfather, he is the King and he asked his nephew to handle some delicate matters in his life, matters that his nephew did not resolve – we speak about a child which was not recognized.

It does not seem to be important, after all, a child / nephew will always somehow be forgiven by parents/grandparents. Yes, but first the grandfather is the King. There are rules / principles / commandments which the King has to respect because of the way he is.

Is important not to forget about Irina, the daughter of His Majesty King Michael, she knew why she must not come to the funeral of her mother, Her Majesty Queen Ana. She knew the Royal Family might be impacted in a bad way by her presence. So although she is no longer a romanian princess, due to some problems she had with US justice, she behaved like one.

When I saw Nicolae complaining about the situation, I remembered the King’s words about his mother, Her Majesty Queen Mother Elena Of Romania.

  1. HRH Prince Radu Of Romania – actor, presidential candidacy, relationship with HRH Princess Margareta which is ironized, his connection with the status of the royal house which will  be voted by the parliament.

Here again are several aspects. Maybe we might have wanted HRH Princess Margareta to be married with a prince, not an actor – I emphasize the idea of ​​impression, sometimes unreasonable desire.
But we have to pay attention to the idea of ​​indirect ad hominem attack which happened to him. His actions need to be criticized, if necessary, not being  ridiculed because of his talent as an actor.
Regarding the moment when he wanted to run for presidency, I know there was an error in his resume. The election decision had been made in assent with King Michael.

In connection to his relationship with the HRH Princess Margareta, are there any elements that lead to the idea of ​​manipulating the princess?

The question of the status which will be voted in parliament regarding the Royal House is understandable. But here not even the reporters have read the law and associated HRH Prince Radu with the fact that he will receive money – no, it’s not true. Also let’s not forget HRH Principesa Margareta is the first in line of succession. The second being HRH Princess Elena of Romania. Nowhere does HRH Prince Radu appear. So to say he will be treated as a “former head of state” is not the case.

However, the integration of the Royal House should not be confused with a member of it, much less with the Head of the Royal House.
HRH Princess Margareta first spoke with her mother, Queen Ana, about her relationship with Radu Duda. In other words, before marriage, she asked for the consent of the King and Queen.

It was not by accident that I wrote above about Queen Mother Elena of Romania, the Queen had a huge contribution to HRH Princess Margareta  education. A detail that seems to be little known.

A dear man, told me : “The reasoning is simple: to the extent that he was very demanding with his nephew Nicholas, blood from his blood, I think he was just as demanding also when he gave his consent for the entrance of Radu Duda into the Royal Family. “

  1. Declaration of HRH Princess Elena – her remark about her son’s behavior

She is the second in the line of succession. Maybe before being a mother she is HRH Princess Elena of Romania. Part of her does not belong to the son, but to the country – it sounds weird, doesn’t it? especially for a mother / grandmother to hear those heavy words said by her.
Why does she says he is hurting the country? Because the destiny of the Royal Family is intertwined with this country itself.

  1. “The royalty dies with King Michael” – and the connection with the idea of ​​wealth, I would say the limited view of who King Michael is.

I recall the contribution of Queen Mother Elena in the education of HRH Princess Margareta … In fact the work of King Michael and Queen Ana for the whole family.

So the royalty is dying because of some impressions and an erroneous picture of the King and his Royal Family? The King and his work is overflowing over the entire Royal Family at this moment and in the future. So, somehow his work on his family would be null – really?
The Royal Family of Romania belongs to Romania, and this will be seen even after King Michael will no longer be with us. The Royal Family will not stop and will continue to make the best it can for the country. Because they were raised, educated and trained for doing so.

Regarding the fortune: King Michael has a will, he has 5 daughters and also there is the romanian civil law. That’s it.

Conclusion: I am glad that Andrew Popper gave an interview these days( you can see the link below), bringing more light and explaining details regarding Romanian Royal Familly:  http://www.familiaregala.ro/presa/articol/transcrierea-emisiunii-romania-9-cu-andrew-popper-tvr1-15-noiembrie-2017 . I’m sure bad things can be said also about Andrew Popper – in a way this is good because, maybe, new unknowns and nice details will come to light regarding the Romanian Royal House.

I am glad that HRH Princess Elena of Romania first belongs to Romania and then to her family – I know it sounds strange but it is not. So she is doing first what she thinks it’s ok for the country and for the Royal Family.

So with the risk of losing, their courage of not making a rebate of what it means the be Romanian Royal House, influenced by King Michael, Queen Ana, Queen Mother Elena, amazes me.

Perhaps we should cherish them even more, precisely because is not that they let anyone, from the Romanian Royal Family, do whatever they want with no consequence. So they will pay an expensive price, a real expensive price, due to honor, fairness and respect for the country. So with them, there is no fooling around when it comes to the romanian people and their country.