Agile Software Development

Self Management: What Makes Scrum Projects Fail?

Scrum methodology demands a change in team management, project management, and thinking. Executives must not tell developers what, when, and how to execute a project. A scrum project means the team is self-managed and organized. Therefore, executives must merely provide adequate guidance and support to work rather than micromanage. This article at the Age of Product explains how ignoring self-management can lead to Scrum failure.

Self-Management in Scrum Guide

  • Page 4: Adaptation becomes challenging when the people involved are not empowered or self-managed.
  • Page 5: Scrum teams are structured and empowered by the organization to manage their own work.
  • Page 9: Developers can select whatever structure and techniques they want, as long as their daily Scrum focuses on progress toward the Sprint goal and produces an actionable plan for the next day of work. This creates focus and improves self-management.

Scrum Failure: Red Flags to Identify

  • The scrum master assigns tasks directly to developers without considering the views of product owners.
  • Managers assign developers the task of supporting executives while ignoring their commitment to achieving the Sprint goals.
  • Scrum masters roll back to the traditional project management methodologies—command and control—in a moment of crisis.

“It indicates that a manager cannot let go of command and control practices. This behavior demonstrates a level of ignorance that may require support from a higher management level of address,” says the author. Additionally, such leadership skills will impede the team’s self-management abilities and increase resistance to Scrum adoption. Scrum masters must serve the team through the art of persuasion, not authority.

The scrum Guide highlights that the team must have the freedom to take ownership of how, what, and when the work gets done if you want to successfully implement scrum. According to experts, ignoring self-management as a foundational principle of Scrum is sabotaging the very idea of Agile product development with autonomous teams. To read the original article, click on

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