Trillium Insights

Thoughts and Insights from Trillium's Practice Leaders

Scrum is chess, scaling Scrum is…

I’ve been getting a fair number of questions lately that go like this:

What does Scrum say about ...? - where the remainder of the question is something that Scrum does not prescribe anything for. 

I love Schwaber’s chess analogy: you either play chess, or you do not. In the same way that chess does not succeed or fail, Scrum does not succeed or fail. Knowing the rules does not make you a Grandmaster or effective Scrum practitioner; strategy, practice, mentorship, etc. *may* make you a Grandmaster or effective Scrum practitioner. You get the idea.

Scaling Scrum is something that is not prescribed by the rules of Scrum*. But I’d like to tie scaling to the chess analogy.

The rules of chess do not tell you how to run a chess tournament. Scrum is chess; scaling Scrum is running a chess tournament.

* Luckily there are plenty of known patterns, resources, and good ideas out there…check out Craig Larman’s books for a start…