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This post is from the CollabNet VersionOne blog and has not been updated since the original publish date.

Last Updated Jan 28, 2010 — Enterprise Agile Planning expert

Scrum = Weight Watchers for Companies

Enterprise Agile Planning

The treadmill inspired this blog post. The “post workout results” notified me that I had burned a whopping 132 calories. “Really?” I thought, “That’s all?”  So, I guess I can afford one Reese’s peanut butter cup today or perhaps five Doritos.  It reminded me that jogging can only be one part of a healthy body and mind.

I’ve been a lifelong Weight Watcher for a few years now and I can tell you than when you are “on program” with Weight Watchers you lose weight.  Period.  End of story.  I know this, yet I cheat.  And the little cheats here and there add up to a lifestyle of cheating and then I gain weight.  When you go to a Weight Watchers meeting, the first thing you do is weight in.  Yep, like on the scale.  If you are feeling embarrassed or dismayed about what the scale says and bemoan this to the person weighing you in, that person will likely ask you this one question: “Have you been ‘on program’ this week?”  Oh no…you caught me.

It’s the same with Scrum.  Companies are cheating on their diets and expecting not to get fat.  A seven-year-old can see the fault in this logic.  Why can’t they?

They don’t see it for the same reason that  I cheat on my diet (ahhem…lifestyle change) – I don’t want to face the consequences of my actions.  I would rather eat that cheesecake or down two cookies as a 2 p.m. pick-me-up.  So, too, with the people in companies.  They’d rather ignore the dysfunction around them because it’s too hard to change.  You may even hear a tinge of true hopelessness in their voices when they talk to you about it.  What they need to know is what Jimi Fosdick says so eloquently in his slap-you-upside-the-head style in this short video blog called What’s Not Scrum: Organizations that are good at Scrum don’t change Scrum, they allow it to change the organization.

So when you stand before me all hopeless or embarrassed about how dysfunctional your company really is, I will have only one question for you: “Are you on program?”

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